Natural edge cutting board - Need help

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by maggiem posted 12-16-2013 04:49 PM 2085 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View maggiem's profile


9 posts in 1616 days

12-16-2013 04:49 PM

I bought a kiln-dried slab of black walnut to make a natural edge cutting board. When I bought the slab, it would lie flat. After removing the rough bark and sanding it, it now rocks slightly when placed on a counter top. Not an ideal result, since I made it as a gift for someone. It has not gotten wet, so it is not warped, I believe this is the result of removing the bark. I do not own a planer. What is the best solution? I thought about adding feet, which I could sand down to level the board. Is that a good solution, and if so, what is the best way to do that?

22 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2354 days

#1 posted 12-16-2013 05:41 PM

Put it in a 250 degree oven for a couple hours to see what happens. It’ll either flatten out or (probably) get worse, which can only be fixed by planing/sanding.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1942 days

#2 posted 12-17-2013 12:55 AM

Feet would be the quick way

View retfr8flyr's profile


384 posts in 1662 days

#3 posted 12-17-2013 03:34 AM

If you have a local cabinet shop they will usually run it through the planer for a few bucks.


-- Earl

View maggiem's profile


9 posts in 1616 days

#4 posted 12-17-2013 06:00 AM

Thanks, Guys. I’ve tried everything and all of the above except having someone run it through a planer. I guess I’ll try that tomorrow. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just have a really pretty piece of firewood…that won’t lie flat. Thanks, again.

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3098 days

#5 posted 12-17-2013 03:11 PM

If you have a 6×48 belt sander, you can use it to flatten wood. see my other response in another post today.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2770 days

#6 posted 12-17-2013 03:38 PM

IF your board is glued, heating it to 250 will fail the glue.

Use rubber feet on the corners, if they are fairly soft, all will be good – and it keeps the board from sitting in water on the counter.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View quvia's profile


103 posts in 1660 days

#7 posted 12-17-2013 06:09 PM

Park your car on it over night.Just kidding. I use wood buttons on the corners if warped a little.

-- Ted ,Conesus,N.Y.

View WibblyPig's profile


172 posts in 3267 days

#8 posted 12-17-2013 06:31 PM

If you’re in St. Louis, feel free to contact me and we can run it through my planer.

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1942 days

#9 posted 12-18-2013 03:32 AM

not to throw a wrench in the works, but is it long grain or end grain? long can be planed, end grain has to be sanded.

just an FYI

View maggiem's profile


9 posts in 1616 days

#10 posted 12-18-2013 07:40 AM

Thanks for the tips, Robert. I read your other posts. I did try sanding it, but it’s a pretty pronounced twist, and it is not a thick piece of wood…especially now that I have sanded the heck out of it.

View maggiem's profile


9 posts in 1616 days

#11 posted 12-18-2013 08:12 AM

Shawn, David – It is not glued because it is not an end grain nor an edge grain. It was a live edge slab of black walnut that did lie flat when I first got it. I removed the rough bark, sanded it down and applied a beeswax and oil mix.

However, removing the bark apparently released some pressure that allowed the twist to come out. I chose the piece because I like the rustic look and I think the colors and the texture of the grain are really nice, so I’m very disappointed with this unexpected twist (pun intended). I did try putting in in the oven as a last resort, as I had seen that mentioned elsewhere. However, that may have made it worse. The twist is so pronounced that feet at each corner will not work. I’m thinking of using two pieces of 1” x 2” x 6” (or 8”) blocks, placed a little closer to the center where it is straighter, as a sort of platform to stabilize it, then I can sand the blocks to level them. I still think it is pretty so I hate to give up, although I did briefly consider running over it with my car as Ted suggested, but that was just the frustration talking. This probably goes without saying, but I am new at this.

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2600 days

#12 posted 12-18-2013 12:36 PM

I would not give up on this piece. The picture was worth a thousand words. This piece of wood with the knot in the center stands a great chance of movement seasonally. The grain runs in a different direction through the knot and as seasonal expansion and contraction occur I would put money on this board warping and twisting. I think soft feet would be your best bet to help counteract this seasonal movement. It is a beautiful piece of wood, don’t give up on it

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3098 days

#13 posted 12-19-2013 03:06 AM

Here is another thought. Go a different direction and cut the slab into 2” wide strips. Recut to take a thin slice (just skim on a tablesaw) off of each side to get a 90 degree surface. Reglue, either with contrasting strips or just to each other. This takes a lot of the twist out. If you can use a bandsaw the kerf would be minimal. I use the 6×48 belt sander to touch up the cuts. Some Yellowheart or Redheart could look good with that piece.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View maggiem's profile


9 posts in 1616 days

#14 posted 01-01-2014 06:30 AM

Hey, Guys, I finished the cutting boards and though my “rustic live edge slab cutting boards” are nothing like the beautiful end grain and edge grain boards I’ve seen on this site, I think they turned out okay for a first time rookie Lumberjock, like me. Even though I have definitely caught the bug, there were many mishaps along the way. I have a humor blog and I am writing about my adventure in woodworking for my next post. I’d like to mention Lumberjocks, your suggestions, and how nice and helpful you were. I won’t use your names or nicknames if you do not want me to, but if it is okay for me to mention you guys and the forum, I will send you a link to the blog as soon as I am finished writing the post. Just let me know.

Thanks again for responding so quickly with all your help and suggestions. Happy New Year!

View UncleStumpy's profile


736 posts in 2306 days

#15 posted 01-01-2014 06:42 AM

I have been doing this happily for 10 years, am self-taught and mistakes are part of the education.
I find it extremely satisfying when I can turn a mistake into something cooler that what I had planned – it happens all the time. So welcome to our own version of addiction!!!

How can we read your humor blog?

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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