Cutting Board Help

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Forum topic by Chris posted 10-19-2015 01:31 PM 643 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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164 posts in 1004 days

10-19-2015 01:31 PM

I am trying to complete my first cutting board. Last night, I cut to final dimensions after glue up and ran it through the planer a couple times. At first, I thought everything looked great, but I looked a little closer and I am concerned about some super small gaps between different pieces of wood. I am not sure if this is a deal breaker or not so I thought I would ask people on the site before I try to repair.

Any advice you all have will be much appreciated.

In the first picture below, you will probably be able to see a small gap between the hickory and the cherry.

In this pic, there is the slightest gap between pieces of walnut.

Am I just being crazy OCD or is something I need to repair? If so .. do I just run it through the table saw and re-glue with more clamping pressure?

10 replies so far

View boisdearc's profile


44 posts in 755 days

#1 posted 10-19-2015 02:06 PM

You might try a syringe and inject glue in the dry joint and re clamp… I think the table saw idea of re sawing would be your best bet..

Did you use jointer on edges? The piece of walnut looks highly figured and there be would be slight tear out if ran the wrong way..

Hope this helps.. The combination of different colored wood is real pretty.

View Chris 's profile


164 posts in 1004 days

#2 posted 10-19-2015 02:21 PM

Thanks Boisedearc. I didn’t use a jointer, I just gut the edges on a table saw sled. When you say the piece of walnut looks highly figured do you mean the grain looks pretty crazy?

View boisdearc's profile


44 posts in 755 days

#3 posted 10-19-2015 03:32 PM

Yes the grain is crazy on that one piece… Might be best to just re saw that bad joint out..

Over the weekend I made 2 cutting boards with end grain up… 1 1/2” thick.. a lot of glue squeeze out… I had the advantage of using my son’s 36” wide belt sander.. They turned out very flat and sanded smooth..

I am addicted now..

View AandCstyle's profile


2538 posts in 1677 days

#4 posted 10-19-2015 10:47 PM

I would smear some glue into the gaps and sand over the wet glue. The dust will fill the gap and take the finish so the gaps will disappear. If you want to get the glue deeper than the finger smear method, you can use your shop vac to suck the glue into the void. HTH

-- Art

View firefighterontheside's profile


13071 posts in 1276 days

#5 posted 10-20-2015 12:00 AM

In the future, instead of more clamping pressure, use more glue. You will waste more glue, but glue is cheap.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Betsy's profile


3333 posts in 3316 days

#6 posted 10-20-2015 12:25 AM

Are the gaps only at the ends? If so, may be just cut the board to get rid of the spaces. Lot less work – board might not be as long – but there are trade offs with all methods.

I think though if I had to keep the length I would cut and re-glue the joint. I’ve never had much luck with the smear the glue and sand over or the inject some glue method – but it can be done – but my vote is cut and re-glue.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View nerdbot's profile


97 posts in 781 days

#7 posted 10-20-2015 12:33 AM

I had this problem when I first started making cutting boards too and I would them fill them with epoxy.

View diverlloyd's profile


1253 posts in 1277 days

#8 posted 10-22-2015 10:14 PM

Mix glue and the saw dust made from when you cut them. Now you have wood putty that matches just cram it in.

View McFly's profile


181 posts in 447 days

#9 posted 10-23-2015 01:10 AM

If you do opt to go for the wood putty, might want to check if it’s FDA approved for food contact.

Personally, I’ll second (third?) the sanding over wet glue, but instead of mixing in a bit of saw dust, take it to the next level and make yourself some wood flour.

Making wood flour is easy peasy and it can make a repair disappear if you do it right.

Take a piece of the same species that’s similar in color to the wood you’re repairing and turn off your sawdust / woodchip collection system and then sand that sucker for a good bit with 220 grit or better. The higher the grit, the finer the dust you’ll be making, so a dust mask is a must for this part. Also, the finer the dust, the better your repair will look in the end.

Collect all of the dust you just made and screen it to remove any large particles.You should now have a very fine powder. Mix this powder into your glue BEFORE you smear it onto your gap (ask me how i know…).

You should immediately sand over it with whatever grit you last used on the board. You will see an almost immediate improvement. Might take two sessions, but when you’re done, you’ll be the only one who knows there was ever a gap there.

Well, you and us, but we’ll never tell.

View Chris 's profile


164 posts in 1004 days

#10 posted 10-23-2015 01:09 PM

This is great advice and something I ended up doing after 3 glue-ups on a couple seams that just didn’t cooperate. I also had a small chip in one of the pieces of hickory that had nothing to do with the glue up issues I was having and I didn’t know what to do … mixing the saw dust beforehand would probably make things even easier.

Thanks again for all the help!

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