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End grain cutting boards. Comments and ideas?

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Forum topic by skogie1 posted 07-26-2016 05:23 AM 1280 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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skogie1

95 posts in 824 days


07-26-2016 05:23 AM

I’m going to do some end grain cutting boards for christmas presents. (How many woodworking posts have started with that sentence I wonder?) Probably going to use cherry, beech, walnut and maple in various combination but am open to suggestions. Just looking for any been-there-done-that wisdom. One thing I’m wondering, anyone have a great way to cut a juice rim? Thanks in advance!


19 replies so far

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jmartel

6565 posts in 1611 days


#1 posted 07-26-2016 01:20 PM

Wood species doesn’t really matter much. Just go with whatever you like the look of. I wouldn’t use a softwood or something with super open grain like red oak. The board can soak through with red oak and just deposit juices to the counter below.

For the juice rim, use a router and an edge guide with a round groove bit. Something like 3/8”-1/2” works fine.

I’d add rubber feet secured with stainless screws, and cut hand holds in the sides with a cove router bit as well.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#2 posted 07-26-2016 02:46 PM

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AandCstyle

2566 posts in 1718 days


#3 posted 07-26-2016 10:16 PM

End grain is extremely difficult to flatten. Use a drum sander or VERY sharp hand planes to get close to the final smoothness desired, then use a ROS to complete the job. Maybe you already have this under control.

-- Art

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skogie1

95 posts in 824 days


#4 posted 07-27-2016 08:00 AM



End grain is extremely difficult to flatten. Use a drum sander or VERY sharp hand planes to get close to the final smoothness desired, then use a ROS to complete the job. Maybe you already have this under control.

- AandCstyle


I was planning on using my thickness planer by taking very light cuts. Not advisable? I was hoping that by taking shallow cuts I could avoid problems. Hand planing is an option for me, yes.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#5 posted 07-27-2016 12:45 PM

I was planning on using my thickness planer by taking very light cuts. Not advisable?

Ah no

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Kazooman

624 posts in 1413 days


#6 posted 07-27-2016 01:37 PM

I agree with waho6o9. You shouldn’t rum an end grain board through your planer. Some have reported that they did so with no problems. Others have reported that the board shattered and the planer ejected pieces with great force.

Here’s The Woodwhisperer’s take on it. Note the pictures.

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/end-grain-through-the-planer/

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jmartel

6565 posts in 1611 days


#7 posted 07-27-2016 01:51 PM

Easiest way to do it is with a router and a flattening sled. Then you can go back over with the ROS.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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splintergroup

826 posts in 683 days


#8 posted 07-27-2016 01:55 PM


I was planning on using my thickness planer by taking very light cuts. Not advisable? I was hoping that by taking shallow cuts I could avoid problems. Hand planing is an option for me, yes.

- skogie1

I’ve seen it done where you glue long grain boards to the infeed and outside ends (basically frame the cutting board). This protects the end grain edges when the board leaves the planer. A couple of quick passes on the table saw removes them after the board is flat.

Of course you will probably get some tear out or other issues where you will still need to spend some time sanding.

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pmayer

864 posts in 2526 days


#9 posted 07-27-2016 02:10 PM

I would strongly advise against sending end grain cutting boards through a planer. I’ve seen a couple videos where people did this with some success, but I’ve seen far more examples where this led to a horrible outcome. It’s dangerous and can instantly destroy hours worth of work.

In my experience, if you do a good job on the steps leading up to the final glue-up and sanding, there is very little material to remove. I normally use a drum sander, but most of the end grain boards that I make could be sanded with a handheld belt sander and ROS within 5-10 minutes. Get the board soaking wet to soften the fibers, and the sanding goes fairly quickly.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

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waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#10 posted 07-27-2016 02:17 PM

Then you have to spend more time fixing it

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bigJohninvegas

207 posts in 923 days


#11 posted 07-27-2016 03:29 PM

I use a planner all the time. The trick is to mill a scrap 2X4 about 1” or so wide × the thickness of the cutting board.
Glue it on the tail end of the cutting board so the it goes through the planner last. Make the 2X4 a little longer than the cutting board is wide. Plain away. This will prevent it from blowing apart as it passes through the planner. Very light cuts will help to limit the time you will spend with the RO sander. Take your time with the final glue up and you have a better chance at getting a flat board. I do 4 or 5 boards at a time. Never fails I get in a rush and a board comes out with a bad wobble.

-- John

View Stewbot's profile

Stewbot

195 posts in 545 days


#12 posted 07-27-2016 04:46 PM

I just use cauls to get it as flat as possible then put in my time with the ROS. I’ve briefly considered using the planer, but would be out a very nice tool were I to damage my planer and just don’t have the funds to fix any unnecessary damage.

A guy on YouTube (i believe mtmwood) has a video in which he specifically demonstrates how he runs his end grain boards through the planer as well as methods discussed above. This man makes some amazing cutting boards, his channel is worth a look.

-- Hoopty scoop?

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bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1812 days


#13 posted 07-27-2016 06:15 PM

I was planning on using my thickness planer by taking very light cuts. Not advisable?

Definitely not advisable. Be careful during glue up and really work to maintain alignment as to minimize the amount of sanding and leveling. Use a waterproof glue like TB III for longer open time and to have a more durable board.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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bigJohninvegas

207 posts in 923 days


#14 posted 07-27-2016 08:52 PM

Stewbot, I went and looked up that you tube video.
Here is the link. https://youtu.be/QJ2LSj4RhAs
Right at the 10 min. Mark is what I do. I only glue a strip on the trailing end. Sometimes I get a little chipout on the front, but not much. With out the strip on the back, it can blow apart on you.
You, and I would never plain an end grain board without the strip glued into place.
Also very lite cuts.

-- John

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Stewbot

195 posts in 545 days


#15 posted 07-28-2016 03:59 AM

Yup, that’s the video I was referring to.

-- Hoopty scoop?

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