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End Grain Cutting Board flattening

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Forum topic by AandCstyle posted 735 days ago 2662 views 2 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AandCstyle

1249 posts in 855 days


735 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: milling sanding

I know that one or two people on this forum have made end grain cutting boards. :D I have started making them recently and, in spite of my best efforts, I always end up with strips at slightly differing heights. I have flattened the two faces with my thickness planer, but that causes too much chip out. I have also sanded with a drum sander which works great, but it is slow and uses abrasive faster than I like.

Therefore, my question is what do all the seasoned pros here use to get their boards flat?
TIA

-- Art


10 replies so far

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2078 posts in 1083 days


#1 posted 735 days ago

Make yourself a router sled. It’s the best way to go for cutting boards, especially if you have to flatten end grain.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - https://www.etsy.com/shop/BigTWW - http://vimeo.com/98821147

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BTimmons

2078 posts in 1083 days


#2 posted 735 days ago

Oh yeah, hit the edges with a chamfer or radius bit first, or you might have some tear out along the edges.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - https://www.etsy.com/shop/BigTWW - http://vimeo.com/98821147

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

302 posts in 1400 days


#3 posted 735 days ago

Handheld belt sander

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

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AandCstyle

1249 posts in 855 days


#4 posted 735 days ago

Brian, I think this solution will work for me; I already have most of the materials on hand. I will make one tomorrow to use on my next board. Thanks!

Bob, I know that the belt sander would do the job if I felt that I could control the uniformity of the thickness. My experience with a belt sander isn’t that great, but thanks for the suggestion.

-- Art

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2247 days


#5 posted 735 days ago

router sled…
for for safety sake – please try to refrain from sending end grain through a planer… do some searches online for wha this might result at… not pretty

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

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AandCstyle

1249 posts in 855 days


#6 posted 735 days ago

PurpLev, thank you. I know that now, but didn’t. Once was enough to make a believer out of me that that is DEFINITELY not a good idea.

-- Art

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2078 posts in 1083 days


#7 posted 735 days ago

Yes, sending end grain through a planer is an extremely bad idea.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - https://www.etsy.com/shop/BigTWW - http://vimeo.com/98821147

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

636 posts in 2690 days


#8 posted 735 days ago

The router sled is a good idea, but you will still need to do some sanding.

I made a bunch last xmas. Did a little experimenting and found the router sled to be the most effective. I then used my home made drum sander with 100grit paper to start the sanding (and cleanup the router marks with 1 light pass), followed with a ROS 120, 150 and final at 220. Using the drum sander to thickness sand did chew up paper, and I found myself feeding the boards in 5+ times/board to get them flat. End grain is tough stuff.

I bought a 1 1/4 mortising bit (I think it’s an Amana bit) that makes quick work using the router sled.

I’ll be doing more boards this year for xmas. These are additive to build, and seem to be a “right of passage” on this site. Some really beautiful boards here.

-- Nicky

View Dchip's profile

Dchip

267 posts in 1850 days


#9 posted 735 days ago

A well-waxed, sharp, low-angle jack plane can make pretty quick work of an end-grain board. I just did a batch of three this way. It’s a bit of a workout, but some frequent honing of the blade can really help. I like that there are zero material costs with this method (once you get over the $200 hump for the plane).

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC, http://www.9x7woodworks.com

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1249 posts in 855 days


#10 posted 734 days ago

Nicky, thank you for the great info. I will try your sanding schedule on my next board.

Dan, I could definitely use the workout. LOL However, I am not sure if I will live long enough to master sharpening. :)

-- Art

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