|Forum topic by UncannyValleyWoods||posted 292 days ago||1143 views||2 times favorited||13 replies|
292 days ago
I often rail on the mainstream and accepted method of creating end grain butcher blocks. I’m not sure how many folks agree with my chosen method, but I would like to take a moment to demonstrate the value of my approach.
Let’s say you want to build a big block…something to mount on a stand. Let’s say you want that block to be 2 inches thick, 18.5 inches deep and 24 inches wide. Let’s also assume that like most, you’ve got more 4/4 of 5/4 stock on hand than 8/4 stock. Let’s also assume that for the sake of simplicity, you are going to use only one or two types of wood…so you aren’t going for a major pattern.
The first thing you realize when making a board this big is “jeez that’s a lot of wood”.
The accepted method would tell you to pick your pieces, plane the faces and edges, then create a glue up at least 18.5 inches deep and at least 72 inches long (if you want a board 2 inches thick in the end)... Using 4/4 stock, that comes out to 9.25 board feet….not to mention a huge, un-weildly and thin glue up that still has to be cross cut.
Now, consider taking those same boards and ripping them into strips 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick and 6 feet long. If you stand these pieces on their edges (face to face) you will see that you now have a group of boards that are only 9-10 inches deep (depending on how you ripped them), but you have boards that now stand 2 inches high instead of 1 inch high.
If you want to end up with a 2 inch thick board, you know that you will need to cross cut at two inches. But with the new thickness you no longer need the full 72 inches of board length to meet your final dimensions. In fact, after you cross cut, you would have an extra 29 inches of cuts left over.
So here’s what you do…Before you do the face to face glue up, you cut each board in half and add those to the other half to reach your final desired depth of at least 18.5 inches. Then, your glue up will be shorter and easier to manage.
Ultimately, it doesn’t really save on board feet, but it makes the glue up easier because you have less over all length and few cross cut pieces to re-glue. Not to mention, gluing board faces together always ends up easier than gluing edges together.
I’ll try to post some photos demonstrating what I mean later…