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Forum topic by Mark Smith posted 508 days ago 1018 views 1 time favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Smith

466 posts in 540 days


508 days ago

In looking for items to sell it appears that cutting boards are very popular so I have a couple of questions from you experts. I can do a google search and see everything from $29 to $175 for what I consider fairly simply cutting boards to make. Much more complex ones are in there from $50 to hundreds of dollars. The website I found that has the $29 ones say they are made from maple (the don’t specify hard or soft) and they also say made in Mexico. I was considering ordering one just to see what they look like. Anyway, my question is if I could only get $29 for them it almost doesn’t even make it worth it to sell them. But $45 and up for simple glued up hardwood cutting boards is probably something I could make money at. Does that sound like fair pricing? And I guess this part should have been in a different forum because my main questions were going to be about construction.

The End Grain Cutting Board. I have not made one of these and truthfully didn’t even really know what they were until I read about them on here. I’ve seen them before, but didn’t pay that close of attention. The questions I have is can you run these through a planer? Of the couple of cutting boards I’ve made so far what makes them so easy is I don’t have to be too careful with the glue up because I have a planer. So once I take them out of the clamps I run them through the planer on both sides to give a nice even finish and then I send it through the drum sander a few times and I’m left with only finish sanding to do. What is the process going to be for end grain boards? Are end grain boards that much more popular than regular side grain boards?

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com


29 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4448 posts in 1077 days


#1 posted 508 days ago

http://larrysworkshop.wordpress.com/

http://lumberjocks.com/degoose/projects

Larry’s happening with the cutting boards. More ideas for you to ponder.

I wouldn’t ever run end grain cutting boards through a planer though.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

466 posts in 540 days


#2 posted 508 days ago

One of these days I may be as good as Larry. You did answer one of my questions because I see he is selling some fairly simple square boards for $50. That seems like a fair price for that type of board. But he really has some much more complex stuff in there too.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2397 posts in 1744 days


#3 posted 508 days ago

End grain cutting boards are more labor intensive to make and therefore command higher prices. There are some that come from China, but you won’t be able to match their price. I would not worry too much about price, but price it according to the cost of your material and labor. 50% of the material/labor cost would be a reasonable cost to ask for. Craft fairs are good places to try out your items. I would also emphasize “MADE IN AMERICA” on your projects. Many more people these days are trying to buy made-in-America. Here is a tip for getting free wood. Visit local cabinet making shops and ask for their scraps. You can find enough scrap to make a few cutting boards, but not end grain boards that use thicker wood than a cabinetmaker would use. End grain boards are usually made from 2” square or larger stock. Cabinetmakers use 4/4 and 5/4 stock mostly. I hope this will help you. Start with simple and work your way up to more fancy boards, as your skill and speed improves.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4448 posts in 1077 days


#4 posted 508 days ago

Pricing is pretty much regional, or what the market will bear
in venues like Etsy.

I would like to make one of the complex ones, as I think they
totally rock. I betcha once you figure them out you can make them
a lot easier once the mystery is removed.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

466 posts in 540 days


#5 posted 508 days ago

If you run a end grain board through a planer, what’s the worst that can happen? Will the planer just tear all the end grain up, or is the danger just in tear out at the end of the board?

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

923 posts in 650 days


#6 posted 508 days ago

It can seriously damage the board, the planer, yourself, and/or any combination of the above. Use cauls to keep it mostly flat, then flatten it up with a beltsander, or, better yet if you have one, a drum sander.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4448 posts in 1077 days


#7 posted 508 days ago

Googled it and found a broken CB from none other than Marc
from The WoodWhisperer, and a fellow LumberJock.

Shame to do all that work and then break it.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

466 posts in 540 days


#8 posted 508 days ago

I do have a drum sander. I can see how that would be a lot easier on the wood than the planer. I think for right now, I’m going to skip on the end grain boards.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View JNP's profile

JNP

105 posts in 1078 days


#9 posted 508 days ago

Look at the boards on ETSY. You will find fairly simple end-grain boards for $35 – $45 per board ft. Fancier boards command a higher price, $55 – $65 bd/ft.

I think edge-grain are about $10 less per bd/ft.

-- Jeff

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1609 days


#10 posted 508 days ago

This was a friend of mine’s and accomplished woodworker’s first attempt at a cutting board in which he attempted to use a planer to flatten the board. The piece literally exploded. A planer is just not setup to handle the low angle that end grain requires in order to be flattened. If you ever try using a hand plane with a higher angle on end grain, you will feel how difficult it is to push and how much pressure you are exerting on it. Multiply that by a glue-up of multiple end grain pieces and you can quickly see how something like this can happen. That is why drum sanders are so popular.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View NedB's profile

NedB

649 posts in 2066 days


#11 posted 508 days ago

I’m working on the pricing thing for a bunch of boards at the moment as well. However as for end grain boards and your planer, I’ve had a couple kick back (no damage to the planer) and just once board blow up. A few things I’ve found that help are to glue on either a sacrificial ‘flat’ board on the end ( you can cut it off later, or leave it) By having a non end grain board at the
end’ of the board as it travels through the planer, there won’t be any blow out or tear out on the trailing edge of the board.

another trick I do with smaller/thinner boards is to glue on a set of ‘runners’ on the sides to help guide the board through the planer. The Runners don’t have to be hardwood, I use pine, they’re basically there for traction on the rollers, so that the board will travel through the planer safely. The times I’ve had a board kick back were related to having a strip of end grain higher and/or lower than the board next to it and the rollers tried to pull it through and it got stuck.

Either way, the ONLY way to get the board through the planer is to take extremely light passes. Try and horse it through by taking more than 1/32 or less off and you’re just asking for tear-out or worse. Means more trips through the planer, but hey, that’s just woodworking.

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1 http://nedswoodshop.blogspot.com

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

10794 posts in 838 days


#12 posted 508 days ago

If you use a planer, very light passes. Body armour if your standing nearby. Sanding is a better option.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

466 posts in 540 days


#13 posted 508 days ago

I actually do have the body armour, but it doesn’t cover the groin, which is about planer level, so I’ll skip that. :)

What exactly is it that makes end grain cutting boards popular? I personally think the side grain boards look better. Is it just that the end grain takes a knife better and lasts longer? What is the purpose behind them?

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View JNP's profile

JNP

105 posts in 1078 days


#14 posted 508 days ago

End grain is easier on knives and is more “self-healing” showing less wear than flat or edge grain.
The absorb better so treating with mineral oils get deeper into the board and can be freshened with just a wiping of oil or oil and beeswax

Flat/edge grain can chip or splinter which obviously wouldn’t be very fun to find in your food. They are harder on knives and scratching is much more obvious. They need to be sanded to be refinished and are less absorbent which might be good for letting meats “rest” after cooking.

I use end grain for everything except meats (edge grain).

-- Jeff

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

466 posts in 540 days


#15 posted 508 days ago

Thanks Jeff, that was the info I was looking for. I’ll give endgrain a try later on. Right now I have enough wood in the shop to make a few thousand cutting boards, so I’m going to make a few flat ones over the next month or two and see how that goes.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

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