How do I approach this end grain cutting board build. (Completed)

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Forum topic by Dan658 posted 12-04-2014 02:27 PM 1172 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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93 posts in 1291 days

12-04-2014 02:27 PM

I’m making an end grain cutting board for my brother for Xmas and it’s going to have an 8 bit Super Mario on it composed of 4 woods with 3/4” squares. Some of you may have seen an 8 bit Mario board online. The reason I’m going with 3/4” squares is Mario is about 16 squares tall and 3/4” is the only way I could fit him on a usable size board.

My big question is how do I go about building this one. I understand how most end grain boards are build, but that same method won’t work with the 4 woods and a random pattern. The only way I can think of doing this is to lay them individually which is time consuming and increases the chance of an error.

I can not think of a better way of approaching this one. Any insight would be greatly appreciated since I’ll be starting soon. I’m just waiting on the blood wood for the red bits.



4 replies so far

View WadeHolloway's profile


85 posts in 2116 days

#1 posted 12-04-2014 10:32 PM

The last time I built one of those I went to a metal shop and found a couple of pieces of heavy duty angle iron and got them to check and make sure it was square. Set up piece of Melamine and covered it with packing tape. I got a bottle of extended set up glue by Titebond. You have about twenty minutes of set up time with it. I did a couple of dry set ups to make sure everything and all clamps were where I needed them. I then poured a good amount of glue in a plastic bowl. I brushed each piece one at a time and place down on the board. Once all of them were done I applied the clamps using the angle iron pieces to keep everything straight and with equal pressure on the sides of the boards. Once they were dry I used a wide surface sander to level everything out, but you could still use a belt sander if went slowly. Hope this helps a little. It is a lot of work but well worth it I thought. Good luck

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2696 days

#2 posted 12-04-2014 11:37 PM

If Wade’s full board glue up seems risky, from a timing standpoint….
Perhaps two or three smaller glue ups. Then glue the two or three “pieces parts” together.

Good Luck.
Looking forward to seeing the finished board!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Dan658's profile


93 posts in 1291 days

#3 posted 12-05-2014 01:59 AM

Thank you both. Unless someone else pops up with a better way, I think I’ll take both of your advice and tackle it in 2-3 pieces. I have scrap aluminum angle and melamine laying around, so I’m part way there. For smoothing out, I’m going to build a router sled to flatten it since it would be nice to have around even after the build is done.

I’ll be sure to post the outcome win or lose for all to see. Thanks again for the help.

View Dan658's profile


93 posts in 1291 days

#4 posted 01-25-2015 10:21 PM

I thought I’d check back in and post the results in case anyone was curious. The project got put off due to another Xmas project that took longer than expected. Luckily, my brother’s birthday falls in January, so it became his bday present instead.

I ended up using the scrap aluminum for a router sled instead and made a clamping jig for the pieces. I constructed the body of Mario first and could only clamp 3 rows at a time due to the glue’s open time. I then had to glue and clamp those separate rows together. The sides went much quicker since I could construct that more traditionally. Over all, it came out pretty good, but a woodworker with a critical eye can definitely find some cosmetic flaws. It was a monster pain in the ass to complete, but the result was worth it. That being said, I don’t know if I’ll ever make an 8 bit board again. I’ll post more pictures in the project page when I can.

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