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Gaps in my first End Grain Cutting Board

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Forum topic by RADickson posted 01-15-2017 03:53 PM 576 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RADickson

1 post in 353 days


01-15-2017 03:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

Greetings! I just finished making and sanding my first attempt at an end-grain cutting board. It actually looks pretty good, but I find there are some tiny gaps both uncovered from sanding or between the various wood blocks. Is there some way I can fill those gaps and still maintain a safe cutting board?
Thanks for your time.

-- Ross, AZ; Saw dust makes you fat!


6 replies so far

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

542 posts in 1704 days


#1 posted 01-15-2017 05:08 PM

Not sure what method you used to construct your board, but it sounds like elements of it were not planed properly before glue up. It also sounds as though you may not have used enough glue during glue up.

I’m also unsure what species you were using, but that can make a huge difference.

I’m also unsure how long you allowed the material to remain clamped or whether or not you used a sled during crosscutting. All of these can be factors.

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

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Kazooman

871 posts in 1792 days


#2 posted 01-15-2017 05:30 PM

You can fill small voids with a mixture of sanding dust and the wood glue you used on the board. If the gap is fairly large it might be noticeable after oiling the board, but it will be better than leaving a crack to allow water and food residue to enter.

When I have a need to do this I thoroughly clean out the bag on my random orbital sander (vac it out) put on a coarse disc and sand away on a piece of scrap from the project. Easy to get a good pile of sanding dust quickly. I have actually taken to storing the leftovers in small plastic bags. I have bags of maple, walnut, cherry, and purple heart in my shop right now.

PS: I always use my ROS with a dust collector so I have to haul out the bag to do this.

Just noticed it was your first post. Welcome! Post a picture of the board when you are done.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

384 posts in 1302 days


#3 posted 01-15-2017 07:37 PM

I use danish oil to finish alot of my projects. My go to finish. While the board is wet with oil, power sand it with a finish sander and some 180 paper. It will make a slurry that will fill voids very well. Once it dries, it will be very permanent.
With that said. I make alot of end grain cutting boards. I have had a couple failures myself, and would never fill voids on a board to be used for food. I worry about bacteria from blood getting in there.
The couple of failures I have had have been cut up into trivets, or coaster sets. All works out in the end.

-- John

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3208 days


#4 posted 01-15-2017 08:23 PM

Without a picture, I would suggest cutting the board along the gap and reglue the halves.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

871 posts in 1792 days


#5 posted 01-15-2017 10:29 PM



I use danish oil to finish alot of my projects. My go to finish. While the board is wet with oil, power sand it with a finish sander and some 180 paper. It will make a slurry that will fill voids very well. Once it dries, it will be very permanent.
With that said. I make alot of end grain cutting boards. I have had a couple failures myself, and would never fill voids on a board to be used for food. I worry about bacteria from blood getting in there.
The couple of failures I have had have been cut up into trivets, or coaster sets. All works out in the end.

- bigJohninvegas

Hi John,

I agree that the sanding slurry method is a great way to fill minor voids in a project. However, (and without more information or a picture from the OP to confirm) I assume that this end grain board is like most and is made from contrasting woods. Have you been successful with the sanding slurry technique with different woods? A favorite mix is purpleheart and maple. Doesn’t the purpleheart dust get into the maple?

As far as filling voids in a cutting board goes, the OP was referring to tiny gaps between pieces. Not ideal, and best avoided, but I don’t see any problem filling them. The filled areas will be far less porous and less exposed to bacteria and blood that the field of end grain. That is like a micro-porous sponge waiting to suck up a lot of gunk. A small gap filled with glue and sawdust should be pretty resistant.

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

514 posts in 588 days


#6 posted 01-16-2017 12:21 AM

How about using System 3 Epoxy to fill the gaps. I’ve used it for that purpose and it worked great. It WILL however, leak through if you don’t plug the bottom side.

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