LumberJocks

Allow me to point something out about Butcher Blocks....

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by UncannyValleyWoods posted 252 days ago 1121 views 2 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

335 posts in 449 days


252 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…

Thoughts?

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/UncannyValleyWoods


13 replies so far

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

379 posts in 1583 days


#1 posted 251 days ago

Photos, please.

Greg

View rance's profile

rance

4125 posts in 1746 days


#2 posted 232 days ago

Waiting with bait on my breath. Really. I’d love to see the photos.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1148 posts in 1444 days


#3 posted 231 days ago

Rance,

I too have been eating worms, waiting on the pixs…

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View papadan's profile

papadan

1107 posts in 1954 days


#4 posted 231 days ago

Need the pics, because his description makes no since to me at all. :-(

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

335 posts in 449 days


#5 posted 230 days ago

Sorry guys, I’ll get some pics up asap. I’ve got a butt-load to upload… I just do not have a whole bunch of tech, so I gotta get my neighbor to send the photos from his phone and that requires whiskey. ;-) I’ll get them up as soon as possible.

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/UncannyValleyWoods

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

335 posts in 449 days


#6 posted 230 days ago

Ok ok…so here ya go…

Alright, so first off, in this pic, imagine these boards are 8 feet long. They started out that way, but they were already cut down in this photo.

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.

I actually did save a ton on board feet using this method. I’ve got the math written down somewhere, but I’ll have to throw that up here later… I’m sure this is nothing new, I’m not suggesting I’ve made a discovery, I’m just trying to advocate against the accepted method that’s being demonstrated all over the webernet.

I’ll throw up a photo of the finished board in a few…I’m sure I’ll need to clarify my explanation a bit too, but I’m eating breakfast and just wanted to get the photos up real quick…

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/UncannyValleyWoods

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

335 posts in 449 days


#7 posted 230 days ago

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

335 posts in 449 days


#8 posted 221 days ago

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

1489 posts in 735 days


#9 posted 221 days ago

Your math doesn’t work out quite right.

If you make a 2”x24” wide panel out of 1” face grain glue-ups of the full board width, you would need 24 cuts of 2”, correct? That makes 48” long of a board you need. Add in the kerfs at 1/8” each x 24”, you get an additional 3 inches for a total of a 51” glue up needed at a minimum.

Now say we take your idea of rotating the boards after ripping them to 2” wide strips and turning them on edge. You will need 12 cuts at 2” each. So, that’s 24”, plus 12×1/8” kerfs which is an additional 1.5”. Now, you double it to get the width of the board you need, which is 25.5*2 = 51”.

While you may be saving yourself some glue-up frustrations, you won’t be saving any wood.

The amount of boardfeet in the board doesn’t change. The saw kerfs are the only thing that would make a difference, and in this case, they do not.

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

335 posts in 449 days


#10 posted 221 days ago

j, you’re math may be right. I’m really terrible with math. However, I know that after laying out the wood necessary to do this project with an edge to edge glue up, then doing the project with a face to face glue up, I ended up with a huge pile of extra lumber… I dunno man. I’m probably leaving out numbers somewhere.

Also, I don’t have to worry about kerfs, I cut lumber with my telekinetic mind powers. ;-)

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/UncannyValleyWoods

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2058 posts in 1070 days


#11 posted 221 days ago

After little more than basic cursory math, my brain turns to mush. The end product looks really sharp, though. Whatever you’re doing must be working fine for you.

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

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

1489 posts in 735 days


#12 posted 221 days ago

Well if you made a glue-up of 72” long, you’ll end up with some extra for sure. That may be where you got it from. Your way is certainly a better way for ease of glue-up though.

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

335 posts in 449 days


#13 posted 221 days ago

Yeah, but that’s the thing…I didn’t make a glue up 72 inches long.

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/UncannyValleyWoods

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

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase