How to flatten cutting board?

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Forum topic by coletrain posted 12-10-2008 04:49 AM 3838 views 2 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 3571 days

12-10-2008 04:49 AM

Hey guys,
I am making cutting boards for christmas presents this year and have run into a problem. The pattern i am using is the one off Woodwhisperer and I have finished the first glue up. Now that the blocks are glued together some of them are higher than others. I need to plane them down but dont have a planer. I do have a 6” craftsman jointer but the cutting board is ~12” wide. Im not familiar with hand planers although I do have a few but I do have a random orbital sander. Could that get the surface level enough to not have any gaps in the end grain for the final glue up??

19 replies so far

View JerrySats's profile


237 posts in 3580 days

#1 posted 12-10-2008 05:05 AM

Sounds like a good excuse for learning how to use those hand planes . Test it out on some scrap pieces .

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3975 days

#2 posted 12-10-2008 05:08 AM

Or you could take em by a local cabinet shop with a wide belt sander!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3725 days

#3 posted 12-10-2008 06:06 AM

Someone here posted a jig that uses a router to do exactly what you want. Sorry I can’t remember who it was but a search should reveal it.

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

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 3932 days

#4 posted 12-10-2008 01:50 PM

GaryK did the jig for the router. This is the link.

-- Berta in NC

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3643 days

#5 posted 12-10-2008 03:30 PM

I did something similar to GaryK

Didn’t take long to whip together a jig. I made the cross pieces that the router runs on sized for my router plate so I just popped the router table router out and used that.

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3457 days

#6 posted 12-10-2008 03:40 PM

I have made several of those this year, but I have a thickness drum sander to even them out. If you use a hand plane, work towards the center so you don’t get split out on the edges. The ros with even a coarser grit than 80 would be the way to go. For your second glue up build a right angle jig with a plywood bottom just an half inch shorter than the dimensions of your finished cutting board, using scraps on two edges to form the right angle. Wax it, or cover with wax paper during the second glue up. You want the corners of the squares to be dead on as you clamp, so pay close attention to that. Also, clamp a board on top before applying a lot of side pressure with your clamps to keep the cutting board flat and decrease the amount of sanding you will have to do after the glue up. Good luck!!

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4284 days

#7 posted 12-10-2008 06:10 PM bout a good ol fashoned beltsander.

View ShopMonkey's profile


26 posts in 3426 days

#8 posted 12-10-2008 08:56 PM

I would hone those hand plane irons with a wetstone and then give it a shot. Prolly wanna use a block plane though, if you got one. Drum sanders work pretty good if you have access to one. Pretty high priced machine.

-- I like trees ...... as long as their by the board foot.

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 3922 days

#9 posted 12-10-2008 09:07 PM

As stupid and maybe some would say dangerous, but I run mine thru the planer. I take tiny bites off and keep fliping them over back and forth. So far I have done about 20 different sized boards and they have all come out flat and level.

I only do long grain this way, have not made any end grain yet.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4216 days

#10 posted 12-10-2008 09:30 PM

That someone Lew is talking about is Garyk. He used a long piece of plywood about 2 foot wide, with a 2×4 up right on both sides I think. Then had his router on a platform on wheel that he could run up and down the board he had secured inside the rails. That is not a good explanation of it. I’m sure if you sent Gary a pm he would show it to you..

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4188 days

#11 posted 12-10-2008 09:37 PM

Like Dennis, I use a belt sander. Messy, but it works.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View coletrain's profile


20 posts in 3571 days

#12 posted 12-10-2008 09:51 PM

Wow everyone, Thanks for all the replies.


View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3663 days

#13 posted 12-10-2008 10:51 PM

I used my planer on an end grain cutting board. You can get a bit of chip out like that so i rounded over the edges a little bit and it help a lot. So is it really dangerous?

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View PeteMoss's profile


207 posts in 3440 days

#14 posted 12-10-2008 11:02 PM

I use the planer on the end grain also. Only take somewhere in the 1/128 to 1/64 range of a cut, about an eighth of a handle turn. Works pretty well, but definately seems to be hard on the blades. I also cut a chamfer on the trailing edge to eliminate chipout. It actually works very well on the hard maple, and cherry, but on oak it tends to tearout the endgrain over the whole face of the board, then you have to sand it down for an extended time.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3738 days

#15 posted 12-10-2008 11:24 PM

either a router jig, a widebelt sander from a cabinet shop, or a hand plane. don’t use and ros because it won’t get it flat it will only get it flush and that can cause problems later on. hand planes are too hard to use. you should have no problem.

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