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Edge grain or Face grain cuttingboard?

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Forum topic by Eddie posted 01-28-2014 04:08 PM 1112 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Eddie

212 posts in 1413 days


01-28-2014 04:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cuttingboard

I am trying to put together a few cuttingboards for a benefit auction.

I do not have the time to make an endgrain board so I am planning a long grain version.

I wanted to ask you guys if it is better to use the face grain or the edge grain of the lumber?
What are your thoughts and what is common practice?

Thanks in advance!


10 replies so far

View Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop's profile

Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop

644 posts in 2153 days


#1 posted 01-28-2014 04:14 PM

That’s a fairly good question, because it all really matters on how the wood is cut, flat sawn, riff sawn, or quartersawn. General practice for me is Edge grain if I don’t do end grain.

-- Drew -- "I cut it twice and it's still too short!"- Rock-n H Woodshop - Moore, OK

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jdh122

879 posts in 2280 days


#2 posted 01-28-2014 04:41 PM

Edge grain will show the knife marks a bit less than face grain will, but you’ll get far more interesting figure on the face grain (in most woods), which might lead to higher prices for the benefit auction. If it were me I’d probably try it both ways.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Eddie

212 posts in 1413 days


#3 posted 01-28-2014 07:33 PM

If I am just using flat sawn wood (keep costs down), would you recommend edge grain then?
Im assuming the edge grain as the cutting surface would be less prone to warping?

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4026 posts in 1813 days


#4 posted 01-28-2014 07:54 PM

I don’t think it really matters much, however if you start w/ face grain lumber and rip strips then turn them on edge you can get some different thicknesses out of standard 4/4 & 8/4 lumber and you wind up w/ an edge grain board.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Picklehead's profile

Picklehead

1015 posts in 1391 days


#5 posted 01-28-2014 08:46 PM

Wouldn’t wood movement in the joints be less with edge grain?

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

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SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3047 days


#6 posted 01-28-2014 09:08 PM

All professional butchers blocks used by the food industy were/are still made up with lots of small blocks of end grain .These are sanded smooth and they withstand the cutting action over many years much better than long grained timber, and there is no deviasion from that rule absolutely all are. At least here in the uk and also within Europe use end grain facing upwards and finished well.They then use normal length of timber with iron bandings for the frame wich holds it all together very heavy and will last fifty years or more I have seen some old tables with great big concave tops used and scrubbed every night after work with great heavy brushes and soapy water.They are reckond to be much more hygenic than the nylon modern ones.
Which are now frowned upon here by health and safety as despite serious cleaning efforts they hold onto bacteria much longer than wood which has been cleaned. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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jdh122

879 posts in 2280 days


#7 posted 01-28-2014 09:15 PM

Wood movement shouldn’t be a big issue in something as small as a cutting board. And there is no cross-grain joinery, so even if the face-grain board will expand and contract a bit more seasonally, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Edge grain as cutting surface might warp a bit less. But even with face grain by the time you rip it into narrow-ish strips you’ll end up with the warp direction mixed up enough that it should mostly even out (this is the main reason to make cutting boards out of narrow strips rather than wide planks). It you’re worried you can look at the end grain and alternate rings up and then rings down when you glue them up.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

212 posts in 1413 days


#8 posted 01-28-2014 09:51 PM

@jdh122—Thank you! I am not too concerned with the movement at the joints. I was thinking more about the flattness of the cutting surface if I used wider Face grain (3” strips).
I have a really nice piece of 6/4 birdseye maple that I was going to use in the cutting board.

My plan is to use the wider pieces of the maple face grain to keep the beauty of the board intact and then rip thinner Jatoba pieces. Similar to below.

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bondogaposis

4026 posts in 1813 days


#9 posted 01-28-2014 10:07 PM

Movement is a non-issue because all of the grain is in the same direction and not confined. You’ll never notice if your board is a little thicker one day and thinner the next.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Eddie

212 posts in 1413 days


#10 posted 01-28-2014 10:09 PM

Great thanks! I will go ahead with the project as planned then.

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