Help with an grain cutting board

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by lew posted 08-13-2008 09:16 PM 1461 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lew's profile


12500 posts in 3993 days

08-13-2008 09:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut maple cutting board help

After seeing all of the beautiful examples, here, I could not resist trying to make an end grain cutting board. As it was my first attempt, I decided to use some scraps. After gluing and clamping, I had a flat maple and walnut blank that was about 12” x 18” x 7/8”. It sat for about a week on the workbench before I started sanding. Using the belt sander/80 grit, I smoothed the imperfections on one side. Checked to make sure it was still flat and it was. Then flipped it over and did the same to the other side.

When I picked it up, I had bowed, in the long direction probably about 1/16”!! I double checked to make sure I had not sanded a “cup” into one side- nope- it is bowed!

Right now it is sitting on a couple of strips with a chunk of railroad rail in the middle hoping to “unbow” it.

Any suggestions as to what went wrong?


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

9 replies so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3966 days

#1 posted 08-13-2008 10:46 PM

maybe moisture in the glue caused this and it will straighten if it keeps drying?

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 3970 days

#2 posted 08-13-2008 10:50 PM

Heat from the sander?

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3911 days

#3 posted 08-14-2008 02:35 AM

When I made mine I used a “jointing” jig with my Router to cut it flat. Then sanded out the imperfections (pulled some of the grain out) with a ROS, then polished it up.

That worked well.

View lew's profile


12500 posts in 3993 days

#4 posted 08-14-2008 02:56 AM

Thanks for the ideas. Maybe it was the heat generated by the belt sander as Ted mentioned.

Anyway the piece of railroad rail seems to have done the trick. It is back to being flat after about 6 hours.

Gonna get a new belt tomorrow and see if that might cut down on the generated heat.

Thanks Again!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 4020 days

#5 posted 08-14-2008 03:09 AM

I usually sand a little on one side, then flip it & sand the other side. if the wood is getting more than a little warm, flip it & work the other side. Keep flipping it & you won’t run into that problem again.


View Sac's profile


268 posts in 3871 days

#6 posted 08-17-2008 03:11 PM

Great Post Lew. I have a sack full of scrap that I am looking to build a chopping block with. I’ll have to be careful with the belt sander for sure after reading this. I’m curious, where did you come across the railroad tie? I would love to get a piece of one of these.

-- Jerry

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


527 posts in 3835 days

#7 posted 08-17-2008 03:39 PM

One thing I have noticed is if I sand one side of piece and leave it laying flat on a bench it will bow since the one side is getting a lot more exposure to the air than the other. I always leave pieces either raised on blocks or standing leaned against a wall so that both sides get the same air exposure.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 4195 days

#8 posted 08-17-2008 04:53 PM

What Rich said. you should never leave wood flat on a bench, especially something like doors, or a tabletop, or a cutting board. I always put some scraps under it so air can circulate all around the piece.


View lew's profile


12500 posts in 3993 days

#9 posted 08-17-2008 05:21 PM

Thanks for the tips!

Purchased a new belt for the belt sander and that helped reduce the heat generated. Also, sanded a little on each side to prevent heat build up. That seemed to do the trick.

Jerry- Actually it was a gift! One day I mentioned to a friend that I was thinking about getting a small anvil. I said my Grandfather always had a piece of railroad rail in his shop to use as one but I didn’t know where to get a piece of rail. Well, last Christmas my friend shows up with this HEAVY package. Yup, a piece of rail!

It’s real handy because it works like an anvil, a super weight and a door stop. He told be he was driving and at a rail crossing there were some short pieces of rail and he promptly liberated one. Took it to a machine shop and had them cut it into smaller sections- instant Christmas presents.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics