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View Mark Smith's profile

Cutting Board Questions

by Mark Smith
posted 11-25-2012 08:05 PM


29 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5200 posts in 1299 days


#1 posted 11-25-2012 08:12 PM

http://larrysworkshop.wordpress.com/

http://lumberjocks.com/degoose/projects

Larry’s happening with the cutting boards. More ideas for you to ponder.

I wouldn’t ever run end grain cutting boards through a planer though.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 762 days


#2 posted 11-25-2012 08:21 PM

One of these days I may be as good as Larry. You did answer one of my questions because I see he is selling some fairly simple square boards for $50. That seems like a fair price for that type of board. But he really has some much more complex stuff in there too.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2932 posts in 1965 days


#3 posted 11-25-2012 08:31 PM

End grain cutting boards are more labor intensive to make and therefore command higher prices. There are some that come from China, but you won’t be able to match their price. I would not worry too much about price, but price it according to the cost of your material and labor. 50% of the material/labor cost would be a reasonable cost to ask for. Craft fairs are good places to try out your items. I would also emphasize “MADE IN AMERICA” on your projects. Many more people these days are trying to buy made-in-America. Here is a tip for getting free wood. Visit local cabinet making shops and ask for their scraps. You can find enough scrap to make a few cutting boards, but not end grain boards that use thicker wood than a cabinetmaker would use. End grain boards are usually made from 2” square or larger stock. Cabinetmakers use 4/4 and 5/4 stock mostly. I hope this will help you. Start with simple and work your way up to more fancy boards, as your skill and speed improves.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5200 posts in 1299 days


#4 posted 11-25-2012 08:34 PM

Pricing is pretty much regional, or what the market will bear
in venues like Etsy.

I would like to make one of the complex ones, as I think they
totally rock. I betcha once you figure them out you can make them
a lot easier once the mystery is removed.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 762 days


#5 posted 11-25-2012 10:54 PM

If you run a end grain board through a planer, what’s the worst that can happen? Will the planer just tear all the end grain up, or is the danger just in tear out at the end of the board?

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

2573 posts in 872 days


#6 posted 11-25-2012 11:07 PM

It can seriously damage the board, the planer, yourself, and/or any combination of the above. Use cauls to keep it mostly flat, then flatten it up with a beltsander, or, better yet if you have one, a drum sander.

-- End grain is like a belly button. Yes, I know you have one. No, I don't want to see it.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5200 posts in 1299 days


#7 posted 11-25-2012 11:11 PM

Googled it and found a broken CB from none other than Marc
from The WoodWhisperer, and a fellow LumberJock.

Shame to do all that work and then break it.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 762 days


#8 posted 11-25-2012 11:27 PM

I do have a drum sander. I can see how that would be a lot easier on the wood than the planer. I think for right now, I’m going to skip on the end grain boards.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View JNP's profile

JNP

106 posts in 1299 days


#9 posted 11-25-2012 11:36 PM

Look at the boards on ETSY. You will find fairly simple end-grain boards for $35 – $45 per board ft. Fancier boards command a higher price, $55 – $65 bd/ft.

I think edge-grain are about $10 less per bd/ft.

-- Jeff

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1830 days


#10 posted 11-25-2012 11:46 PM

This was a friend of mine’s and accomplished woodworker’s first attempt at a cutting board in which he attempted to use a planer to flatten the board. The piece literally exploded. A planer is just not setup to handle the low angle that end grain requires in order to be flattened. If you ever try using a hand plane with a higher angle on end grain, you will feel how difficult it is to push and how much pressure you are exerting on it. Multiply that by a glue-up of multiple end grain pieces and you can quickly see how something like this can happen. That is why drum sanders are so popular.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View NedB's profile

NedB

659 posts in 2287 days


#11 posted 11-25-2012 11:49 PM

I’m working on the pricing thing for a bunch of boards at the moment as well. However as for end grain boards and your planer, I’ve had a couple kick back (no damage to the planer) and just once board blow up. A few things I’ve found that help are to glue on either a sacrificial ‘flat’ board on the end ( you can cut it off later, or leave it) By having a non end grain board at the
end’ of the board as it travels through the planer, there won’t be any blow out or tear out on the trailing edge of the board.

another trick I do with smaller/thinner boards is to glue on a set of ‘runners’ on the sides to help guide the board through the planer. The Runners don’t have to be hardwood, I use pine, they’re basically there for traction on the rollers, so that the board will travel through the planer safely. The times I’ve had a board kick back were related to having a strip of end grain higher and/or lower than the board next to it and the rollers tried to pull it through and it got stuck.

Either way, the ONLY way to get the board through the planer is to take extremely light passes. Try and horse it through by taking more than 1/32 or less off and you’re just asking for tear-out or worse. Means more trips through the planer, but hey, that’s just woodworking.

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1 http://nedswoodshop.blogspot.com

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

15123 posts in 1060 days


#12 posted 11-25-2012 11:57 PM

If you use a planer, very light passes. Body armour if your standing nearby. Sanding is a better option.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 762 days


#13 posted 11-26-2012 12:20 AM

I actually do have the body armour, but it doesn’t cover the groin, which is about planer level, so I’ll skip that. :)

What exactly is it that makes end grain cutting boards popular? I personally think the side grain boards look better. Is it just that the end grain takes a knife better and lasts longer? What is the purpose behind them?

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View JNP's profile

JNP

106 posts in 1299 days


#14 posted 11-26-2012 12:49 AM

End grain is easier on knives and is more “self-healing” showing less wear than flat or edge grain.
The absorb better so treating with mineral oils get deeper into the board and can be freshened with just a wiping of oil or oil and beeswax

Flat/edge grain can chip or splinter which obviously wouldn’t be very fun to find in your food. They are harder on knives and scratching is much more obvious. They need to be sanded to be refinished and are less absorbent which might be good for letting meats “rest” after cooking.

I use end grain for everything except meats (edge grain).

-- Jeff

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 762 days


#15 posted 11-26-2012 01:14 AM

Thanks Jeff, that was the info I was looking for. I’ll give endgrain a try later on. Right now I have enough wood in the shop to make a few thousand cutting boards, so I’m going to make a few flat ones over the next month or two and see how that goes.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View JNP's profile

JNP

106 posts in 1299 days


#16 posted 11-26-2012 01:21 AM

The secret is just making sure your lumber is sized appropriately, all sides are perfectly flat (snipe will kill you so make sure you cut the boards a few inches long or really get the sides flat) and square. Once you do that and your edge grain glue up, you’re just a few more cuts and a bit of glue away from an end-grain! Good luck!

-- Jeff

View Alexandre's profile

Alexandre

1417 posts in 913 days


#17 posted 11-26-2012 01:31 AM

I’d use a drum sander, then a card scraper to finish out a end grain cutting board.

-- My terrible signature...

View NedB's profile

NedB

659 posts in 2287 days


#18 posted 11-26-2012 01:52 AM

Monte, with respect, just because You’re not comfortable doing something, doesn’t mean that the technique is ‘wrong’. And a kickback Can happen on a normal orientation planing situation as well (presuming a typical power planer). Less likely, sure, but not impossible.

Mark, nothing wrong with side grain boards, they show the beauty of the wood just fine as well. I have one old side grain very small board in the kitchen, it shows its age, but gets used often. Personally I prefer the end grain board, but that’s just me. And i use it with all sorts of food, meat, veggies, doesn’t matter. I simply clean it immediately after use. If you’re using hardwood, even a side grain board should last for years, at worst you’ll need to sand it every so often.

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1 http://nedswoodshop.blogspot.com

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 762 days


#19 posted 11-26-2012 02:14 AM

Thanks Ned. The reason I like sticking with the side grain boards is I need to make stuff to sell since I opened a commercial shop. With the use of my planer and drum sander I can turn out regular flat boards fairly quickly. I’m thinking if I make 15 or 20 at a time I can have less than an hour total into each board. The way end grain is being described it sounds like maybe 3 or more hours each per board. Unless that was adding $50 or more to the price of the board it may be more cost effective to stay with the flat boards.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View NedB's profile

NedB

659 posts in 2287 days


#20 posted 11-26-2012 03:46 AM

Mark, you’ve got a thickness sander? heck, get your tolerances on your crosscuts and glue ups tight and you’re golden. I use my planer because in my 240sf shop I can’t justify a sander.. however if you’re careful with your glue ups, you would only be adding one more glue up wait vs a side grain board. I’d do a couple of ‘eye candy’ boards with contrasting woods and ‘impressive’ heft to them just to have on hand. 1.5” to 2.5” thick, about 18×24 or so finished dimensions. then when they decide they don’t want to pay for the big board… offer the side grain at a ‘bargain’ price.

bait, switch? what? no, that’s Marketing in action. lol

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1 http://nedswoodshop.blogspot.com

View bubba1772's profile

bubba1772

48 posts in 1010 days


#21 posted 11-26-2012 02:29 PM

Here is an endgrain board that only took me about an hour and a half to do. They don’t have to take a lot longer…

-- I work with metal for money, and wood for fun...

View bubba1772's profile

bubba1772

48 posts in 1010 days


#22 posted 11-26-2012 02:30 PM

Forgot the link!

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/74604

-- I work with metal for money, and wood for fun...

View jap's profile

jap

1236 posts in 776 days


#23 posted 11-26-2012 02:57 PM

i like side grain boards, you can make them thinner then end grain boards.
I made one 1/4” or 3/8” thick, that would be to week for endgrain.

-- Joel

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 970 days


#24 posted 11-26-2012 03:07 PM

Maybe I missed it, but I can’t believe no one mentioned a a router plane. For me, this is the fastest and easiest way to flatten a board (if you don’t own a drum sander).

I’ve found This bit works really well in a router plane for flattening the boards. There is still a fair amount of sanding required, but just a working through the grits (I start with 80) gets it done in about half an hour for both sides with a good 5” ROS.

Edit – edge grain boards go through the planer. I found a neat trick to avoid sinpe. I cut the 2 middle pieces of the board about 4” longer than the rest and center the rest of the pieces. You have 2” in the front and 2” in the back that will get cut off. The planer will snipe the longer boards that end up getting trimmed off anyway

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 762 days


#25 posted 11-26-2012 03:52 PM

Actually Joe, now that you mentioned the router planing, I completely forgot that my CNC machine will actually plane wood too. It’s not real efficient which is why I haven’t used it much, but for an end grain cutting board it should work fine. I have a 1.5” wide flat planing bit for it. You can set it up to plane the entire board automatically, or you can work the router manually and just go over the entire board.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 970 days


#26 posted 11-26-2012 04:02 PM

I just tried another suggestion in gluing up end grain boards that worked REALLY well. While gluing the pieces, I did it vertically instead of horizontally. Once I got the pieces perfect, I drove a couple 18awg brads in each row. This kept the board really flat and aligned the way I wanted it. For the last piece I drove some brads in to the board at around 40psi so they wouldn’t penetrate all the way. I clipped them off leaving about 1/8” then put the final piece on to that. Sanding was a breeze and I didn’t need to use my router plane at all.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 762 days


#27 posted 11-26-2012 05:16 PM

I’m trying to picture exactly what you did but don’t completely understand it. Did you basically glue it up and then use the brads to hold it in place before putting the clamps on? If so, I’m assuming you’re using 1” or thinner boards? I’ve never tried to drive a brad nail into anything bigger, but I guess they do come in longer sizes.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 970 days


#28 posted 11-26-2012 05:36 PM

It’s tough to explain without pics. With end grain boards, I first make and edge grain board and then slice that up into strips. Here are two off cuts I had laying around from an edge grain board:

Spread some glue on ALL of them at the same time. I use TBIII for this because it has a long open time.

Place one piece on top of the other carefully. If this were a real board and not scrap, I would use some quick clamps. Make sure the pieces line up as perfectly as you can, then drive some brads. In this example I underdrove the nailer to leave the brads proud. That way they are visible in the picture. Normally I set the compressor to 90 PSI and just drive them home

After that, just keep going. Once they are all together, get out the clamps.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 762 days


#29 posted 11-26-2012 09:42 PM

Thanks Joe, that looks like a good idea and can really save a huge amount of sanding time on the end.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

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