What tool to flatten Endgrain cutting boards?

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Forum topic by KenBry posted 01-09-2012 11:05 PM 5416 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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468 posts in 1867 days

01-09-2012 11:05 PM

Hi Guys,

I have been intrigued by all the end grain cutting boards I see on here. So I am trying my hand at them. I was wondering which tool is best for flattening these out after glue up?

I know a planer is not the choice (KABOOM), I know a drum sander is an ideal choice, however it is a bit cost prohibative. I have a 3 X 21 belt sander however it’s tough to get it flat accross the board. Palm sander just takes WAY to long…

Is a Hand plane a good choice for this task?

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

6 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2371 days

#1 posted 01-09-2012 11:15 PM

A hand plane could work as long as the “squares” are fairly flush. You’ll want to bevel off the ends of the board, otherwise you’ll get a lot of tear out. I used a router sled for mine. Check out this project (not mine):

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2113 days

#2 posted 01-09-2012 11:22 PM

One of the bevel-up jacks might be your best bet. Do it on a skew with support blocks. I just figured a planer with a carbide helical could get it pretty close. Am I wrong about that?

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Eric_S's profile


1551 posts in 2615 days

#3 posted 01-09-2012 11:35 PM

How about a quick and easy to make jig, a router planer jig. Here is one I did recently…

The router is screwed to the top piece and then that is slid over the bottom tray holding the board in place. You could add guiding blocks to the bottom piece so that the top slides across in a straight line and then keep moving those as you move across the board. I wish I added guide blocks as I had to do some sanding after to remove the router marks, but this got it perfectly flat and level on both sides and was very quick to use.

Do an LJ search for router planers and you’ll find some other designs of this, this was just a quick and easy one though.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 2327 days

#4 posted 01-10-2012 01:45 AM

Drum sander.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2407 days

#5 posted 01-10-2012 02:12 AM

I started flattening endgrain boards with a router jig like eric posted. Then with a shop-made v-drum sander. One similar to this (not mine)
I have since upgraded to a conventional drum sander. They all work. It just depends on how fast you want to get the job done.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 2470 days

#6 posted 01-10-2012 04:13 AM

I used a small belt sander on my first end grain board to get it flat, then used a ROS to remove the scratch marks from the belt sander. It took a long time!

I have since gotten a drum sander and it works much faster and more accurately (read: flatter) than my original method. I still use a ROS to finish it though.

If I didn’t have a drum sander, I would try the router sled method to get it fairly level, then use a ROS, or a hand plane, starting with the router sled, then using the ROS or hand plane to clean it up.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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