Wood species for end grain cutting boards

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 07-17-2012 03:23 AM 9104 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2883 posts in 1340 days

07-17-2012 03:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cutting board end grain

I think my wife is more excited about my woodworking hobby than I am. At first she was jealous of the garage. Now I have a list of projects a mile long and she even comes out to help a bit. She was in Williams and Sonoma today and saw some really nice end grain cutting boards she liked. Since she signs off on my purchases, she knows what wood costs. because of that she was able to deduce that 220$ for a simple maple cutting board is about 45$ in materials. So now I have another project.

Because I am a glutton for punishment, a simple maple cutting board won’t do. I want to mix and match some woods and make a nice end grain board. Are there any woods I should specifically avoid? I know Oak is a no-no, however I see it used a lot (not here though). I also know some people are allergic to walnut, but I see it used in a lot of cutting boards.

In addition, what are the best choices for end grain boards?

-- Unplugged Woodworkers -

7 replies so far

View knotheadswoodshed's profile


200 posts in 1264 days

#1 posted 07-17-2012 03:32 AM

maple, walnut and cherry are the most commonly used woods for end grain boards.
I will be making a few of those up myself next week.

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities"

View waho6o9's profile


6397 posts in 1669 days

#2 posted 07-17-2012 03:47 AM

Walnut and Maple, yeppers.

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2883 posts in 1340 days

#3 posted 07-17-2012 03:50 AM

Also, for an end grain board that will actually see heavy use, I should probably get 8/4 stock? Not implying yours do not, but waho6o9, I would cringe if my wife took a cleaver to that!

-- Unplugged Woodworkers -

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6397 posts in 1669 days

#4 posted 07-17-2012 04:02 AM

8/4 is the way to go, good call Joe.

View derosa's profile


1567 posts in 1927 days

#5 posted 07-17-2012 04:12 AM

8/4 stock only matters in regards to the pattern you are choosing to make. The glue lines on a board built with thinner stock are no weaker or stronger then one built with thicker stock. I assume you’re referring to the board thickness based upon the cleaver comment, in which case thickness is based on how far from the end you crosscut the pieces that will be glued together. So a 12” long board can produce 12 cuts for a 1” thick cutting board, 6 cuts for a 2” thick cutting board or 4 cuts for a 3” thick cutting board for endgrain. Personally I like my endgrain boards to be about 1.5” thick, sturdy but not too heavy.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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2883 posts in 1340 days

#6 posted 07-17-2012 04:20 AM

I was referring to glue lines. I was worried that the more glue lines, the weaker the board could be. It’s good to know structural integrity will be intact. Another question – glues. Titebond III I assume? It will likely get wet a lot

-- Unplugged Woodworkers -

View AandCstyle's profile


2021 posts in 1349 days

#7 posted 07-19-2012 01:01 AM

You should review the chart at this link. I find it interesting that maple is a more potent sensitizer than walnut. I use purpleheart which is also less potent than maple. I know that if a person has a true allergy that it doesn’t require much of the allergen to cause an allergic reaction, but in an end grain cutting board, there will be little if any allergen transferred to consumers. My personal approach is to clearly indicate all the ingredients and let the consumers make informed choices.

-- Art

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