Cutting board question

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Forum topic by PeteMoss posted 12-06-2010 02:03 PM 2054 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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207 posts in 3492 days

12-06-2010 02:03 PM

I understand the reasoning behind end grain cutting boards, what with the not severing any fibers and it being gentler to your knife edges and all that. Artistically I can also see where people can do some really amazing things putting them together with different woods and shapes and whatnot.

My question is this. For someone who is just wanting to put a attractive piece of wood in the kitchen to cut on, it there anything really wrong with an edge grain board? Again I understand the theory, but would I, as a typical homeowner, cause enough wear to either the board or the knife in real life for it to matter? I’m asking because I’m thinking about taking a nice looking piece of wood and using it, not even cutting it into strips, just sizing it, sanding it, and putting some mineral oil on it, and letting it be a pretty piece of wood. Any thoughts on this are much appreciated. Thanks.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

13 replies so far

View mstenner's profile


57 posts in 3176 days

#1 posted 12-06-2010 04:08 PM

Basically, that will work fine. You sharpen your knives slightly more often… no big deal. The biggest “problem” I see with that approach is that the wood will move substantially over time. You’ll probably end up with something that cups quite a bit, and due to the exciting life of a cutting board, I wouldn’t expect to just be able to resurface it and have it remain stable after that.

-- -Michael

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3695 days

#2 posted 12-06-2010 04:14 PM

You use the end grain for a cutting board because its more durable.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3325 days

#3 posted 12-06-2010 05:10 PM

hey Pete, it will work just fine, but as mentioned above, it could eventually cup and then it would basically be done..but if you keep if oiled really well , you will prevent the cupping for some time..and if all else fails…make a new one that is glued up and a bit thicker and you will have another cutting board…if you ever come this way towards Montgomery…stop on in…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3670 days

#4 posted 12-06-2010 05:15 PM

it would work just as well.

end grain cutting board can cup just as much as edge grain cutting boards! I made both, and the END grain is the only one that cupped on me – in a bad way.

The only real advantage in end grain is the fact that you don’t actually cut the fibers down which helps both visually, and the longevity of the board.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3464 days

#5 posted 12-06-2010 05:36 PM

Use only one side for cutting and keep the other side clean for display if you want to continue to look at a nice looking piece of wood, as you described it.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2872 days

#6 posted 12-06-2010 07:34 PM

Given your choice board, you could rip it into pieces approx 2 1/2 inches wide, say, and invert the odd ones and glue it back together to minimize cupping.

Of course, if you had a few alternately-colored strips to put into those glue joints…hoo hah!

And flat grain will be fine. Worst case scenario if it gets a little ratty, bring it into the shop and ROS it with some 80 grit to degrease it, run it through the planer and it’s like new.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View PeteMoss's profile


207 posts in 3492 days

#7 posted 12-07-2010 01:32 AM

Hey thanks everyone. Sounds like I’m just gonna make one, cut with it, and refinish or make a new one as necessary.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3979 days

#8 posted 12-07-2010 01:41 AM

I love edge grain boards, as much as end grains. Rip different widths of complimentary woods and make mirror image patterns. I bought a thin strip ripping jig , and I slice off real thin pieces of different woods, and make pin stripes. I prefer edge grain to face grain..i think it holds up to knife abuse better than face gran boards, but not as nice as end grain.


View tbone's profile


276 posts in 3706 days

#9 posted 12-07-2010 06:24 PM

Cutting Boards 101—class is in session.
As we all know, there are 2 types—end-grain and edge or face grain.
“End grain” cutting boards are actually ‘chopping blocks or butcher blocks’—primarily used by butchers for cutting meats, as well as other professionals where bacteria control is paramount.
“Edge of face grain” cutting boards are usually used as cheese boards, bread boards, and vegetable boards. The grain can be advantageous here because they usually double as serving boards.

In the next class, we’ll be discussing why Han Solo doesn’t disintegrate when the Millenium Falcon hits hyperspace.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3548 days

#10 posted 12-07-2010 08:24 PM

I have a really simple edge grain cutting board that I use at home. Just maple and walnut stripes about 1 1/2” wide. I don’t like to cook all that much, so it doesn’t get used much. I almost wish I could wear it out more so I have an excuse to make a cool one.

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3764 days

#11 posted 12-07-2010 10:19 PM

I have one I made in shop class probably 30 years ago, it is still going strong. About every 10 years I have run it through the planer to clean it up a little, then re-oil and it is as good as new.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View DavidH's profile


519 posts in 3765 days

#12 posted 12-14-2010 03:44 AM

edge grain will work fine. woodsmith shop did a show on some edge grain cutting boards with splines on either end which should help prevent cupping.

they have the plans as a free download:”":

-- David - Houston, Texas. (

View jerryw's profile


158 posts in 3938 days

#13 posted 12-14-2010 05:38 AM

if you cut with the grain your board will not get cut up so bad. don’t cut across the grain it cuts the fibers in the wood. oh, throw away searated knifes.

-- jerryw-wva.

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