Inlay on end grain cutting board

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Forum topic by ArlingtonM2 posted 01-18-2016 02:33 PM 1117 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 859 days

01-18-2016 02:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: inlay cnc

I’m making a cutting board as a wedding present and I want to inlay the bride & groom’s names.

I’ve got a guy with a CNC router who can cut the negative into the maple end grain board, and cut the positive from some cherry (or maybe walnut) which will become the inlaid letters. The inlaid letters would be about 1.25-1.5” high.

I’m a little worried about mixing end grain and face grain. I know the letters are small, but with the cutting board, I don’t want any gaps at all if the two cuts of wood move differently over time, lest food and bacteria collect.

The alternative would be to use a food safe epoxy.

So, my questions are:

1. Do you think the different cuts of woods (face grain inset to end grain) will result in gaps over time?

2. Would epoxy be a safer way to go?


6 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


1389 posts in 1797 days

#1 posted 01-18-2016 02:51 PM

How about the side of the cutting board.Adding a inlay to the work surface does not seem right, Beware if you make it too pretty your friends might not use it. As it becomes a art piece.

-- Aj

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1176 days

#2 posted 01-18-2016 03:09 PM

Due to wood movement experienced by the moisture of using the board and washing it I would not inlay anything into the end grain. Over time I would expect either a wood inlay or an epoxy to crack. How about laser engraving their names?

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2350 days

#3 posted 01-18-2016 04:02 PM

I’d be more worried about the glue bond between end grain and face grain holding up over time. I guess this is something I would not do. How about lazering the names on the side?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ArlingtonM2's profile


5 posts in 859 days

#4 posted 01-18-2016 05:49 PM

Side inlay: I’ve thought about it. It’ll affect the sequence of building up the board, but it’s definitely an option. If I did that, it’d be face grain-on-face grain

Laser engraving: I’ve discounted that because I don’t want any crevices where food can get caught.

Epoxy vs wood inlay: If I did it on the side, would wood inlays be any better/worse than colored epoxy?

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5 posts in 859 days

#5 posted 01-18-2016 05:53 PM

nevermind…. deleted this one

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2256 days

#6 posted 01-19-2016 01:01 AM

Arlington, I made the board so the letters go all the way through. Abbie has never let a knife tough her CB.

-- Art

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