Out of the scrap pile and into a gift #1: Convert random scraps into end grain boards (cut first - design later)

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by sras posted 12-07-2009 06:09 AM 3503 reads 12 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Out of the scrap pile and into a gift series Part 2: Arched Candle Holder »

OK. This blog stuff is new to me. I’ve got a couple projects going where I am forcing myself to leave the large stock alone and work with material that ends up getting burned after I have too much of it.

I have been using CBdesigner from jayman7. He posted a project on this here. I have searched through blog entries and I think I am using this in a little different way. Another big resource for me has been dewoodwork’s blog on how to make an end grain cutting board.

Clearly, a lot of people have been making some great looking end grain boards here. I’ve looked at several project postings. Originally, I used CBdesigner to come up with interesting board designs. But when I would go to the wood pile, I ended up looking at my boards that were fairly wide. They can be used for lots of projects. I kept looking at my rip cutoffs and wanting to use those. These are the pieces left over after ripping stock. They are usually 4/4 to 6/4 in thickness and anywhere from 1/16” to an inch or so wide.

It took a while to get it through my head that the design process needed to be in two steps. This two step design process is what seems to be a new contribution (if not – oh well, at least I have done my first blog!)

Prior to design, I select a bunch of stock that looks like good cutting board material. For me that is hardwood of a decent length. Also I limited myself to the rip cutoffs.

Collection of hardwood stock

You notice that I have a piece of hardwood flooring in there as well. Collect the stock into a group of similar lengths.

This is where I make a first pass with CBdesigner. This one is just for sizing purposes and checking for a good balance of different colors. Make a list of which woods you have and estimate their final width. Also determine what the common thickness will be. If you have a mix of 4/4, 5/4 and 6/4 stock, it will end up being all around 3/4” thick. Now fire up CBdesigner and verify you have enough wood to create a board of a reasonable size. That is the only necessary step at this point! But I end up playing with the colors and sizes to see what I might end up with. I had a mixture of cherry, walnut red oak and white oak. My first board had an initial design that looked like this.

Initial Design

Next step is to get all the stock to a common thickness and trim each piece to a consistent width. I use my thickness planer for this. I set each piece’s width to as wide as possible.

Common Lengths

Now I carefully measure the thickness of each piece and make another trip to CBdesigner. I use a dial calipers. This time is about getting the order of the strips right. I check for good contrast of the colors and reasonable transitions between the pieces. Here is where I ended up. Notice how the design is very different from the first one.

Final Design

Once the design is laid out, I make sure to get the order correct for the glue up. Then glue the stips together. Notice how the strips are numbered.

First Glue up

The rest of the process is taken from dewoodworker’s blog. I used Behlen’s Salad Bowl finish, buffed with 0000 steel wool and coated with mineral oil. Here is what the final board looks like.

Resulting Board

Well, that’s all for now. I would love to hear any comments. The next post will be for using four thin pieces of cherry that were left over from an earlier project. They have been gathering dust for about 15 years now …

Here is an update, in case some of you have not found it, here is a project posting for this and two other boards.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

4 comments so far

View DonDA's profile


169 posts in 3254 days

#1 posted 12-07-2009 06:35 AM

Very nice! And to think this wood almost went to the fire and was wasted.

-- Don, Saginaw Mi

View sras's profile


4806 posts in 3152 days

#2 posted 12-07-2009 06:49 AM

Thanks! I have to credit LJ for the save. I never could figure out what to do with those long thin strips!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Paul2274's profile


330 posts in 3135 days

#3 posted 12-07-2009 06:35 PM

Great project… Love the pattern… and it’s a functional way to recycle.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3138 days

#4 posted 12-07-2009 09:08 PM

Recycle ,save from burner , save from dumster , converting other thing´s in to something useful and even mabey for a present always give a thump op

bye ther way that piece ain´t looking too bad ( read well done )
it will keep an reminder to the owner to make good food for the table


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics