Sanding end grain cutting boards

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Forum topic by AandCstyle posted 04-16-2012 03:44 PM 4426 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3072 posts in 2282 days

04-16-2012 03:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing sander

I have gotten into making these recently and have a couple examples in my projects section. I use an 18×32” delta drum sander followed by a ROS. I start with 80, 100, 120, 150 grit on the drum sander then go to 150, 180, 220 and end with 320 grit with the ROS and finally some hand sanding.

Is this a reasonable sanding schedule? What do you do that you have found to work well for you? Even though I thoroughly enjoy sanding (NOT), it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to cut out a step or three. :) Thoughts?


-- Art

9 replies so far

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2797 days

#1 posted 04-16-2012 04:58 PM

This is just my opinion, but I think you could do 60 (or 80), 100, 150 on the drum sander, then go straight to 180 and 220 on the ROS should be more than enough, I’ve never gone above 220 on my end grain cutting boards, but maybe I should? I don’t know.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3713 days

#2 posted 04-16-2012 05:59 PM

You only need to sand until you can’t see any more scratches from the sand paper or tool marks. I don’t know how rough your boards are to start with , but you may be adding more scratch lines to them ( and more work for yourself) by starting out with the 80 grit. 320 seems like overkill on endgrain , but I’m sure it looks nice : )
My flat and edge grain boards rarely see 220 , unless they are for someone special …LOL
example : 180 grit

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2602 days

#3 posted 04-16-2012 06:02 PM

Beautiful cutting board there Dusty56! Excellent contrast of grains, very good.

View nate22's profile


475 posts in 2900 days

#4 posted 04-16-2012 10:10 PM

I agree with dusty56 I made a couple and I sanded until I couldn’t see anymore scratches from the sand paper.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View AandCstyle's profile


3072 posts in 2282 days

#5 posted 04-17-2012 01:53 AM

Thanks for the replies so far. Usually, when I do the final glue up, there is a strip or two that need to be brought into alignment with the others, hence the 80 grit. I was taught to increase one grit at a time, but maybe that isn’t necessary on end grain. As Jeremy suggests, I can probably jump a level when going from the drum sander to the ROS so that would save me one step in my process. :) The reason I take the face of the boards up as high in grits as I do is that I have noticed that the sides don’t absorb as much oil as the end grain and therefore are a lighter color shade. My thought is that sanding the faces to a higher grit prevents some oil adsorption so the color of the faces and the sides will be more similar. Does this make any sense and is it valid?

Any additional suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

-- Art

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#6 posted 04-17-2012 02:09 AM

I would stick with most of what you doing except I would include 60 &120 grit and start using a ROS after you have gone up to 120 grit on your sander and probably not bother with 220.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View AandCstyle's profile


3072 posts in 2282 days

#7 posted 04-17-2012 02:13 AM

Thanks, Jim, I actually do use 120 grit, but inadvertently left it out of my original post.

-- Art

View Adrian A's profile

Adrian A

169 posts in 2927 days

#8 posted 04-20-2012 07:41 PM

I stick with a 120 on my drum sander, then do 80, 150, and finally 220(if im bored).

I dont worry about the smoothness and the lines too much. the second water hits your board it will get super fuzzy. So if you are really anal then you really just want to sand 120 on drum sander, then wet the entire board. then start the process all over again.

My customers always say their boards get fuzzy, then a week after using it the fuzz is gone and their knife marks begin.

Its not that much of a science.

View AandCstyle's profile


3072 posts in 2282 days

#9 posted 04-20-2012 11:52 PM

I probably over-think stuff similar to the way I like to over-engineer stuff. LOL

-- Art

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