Staggered Steps Endgrain Cutting Board

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Blog entry by SPalm posted 06-27-2010 03:56 AM 89340 reads 259 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a new style of cutting board (at least new to me). I was thinking about 3D designs on the way home from work last week, after Martyn’s Blog and Steve’s Video. So I came up with this. Kind of Sinister, kind of Tumbling block. Once I drew it out, it reminded me of Staggered Stairs (which are kind of cool), and reminded Karen of the Steps on the Row Houses in Baltimore. So that is how the name came about.

I started with 6/4 walnut cut into 10 inch strips. This small length makes it easier to glue up. These were jointed in one corner and this corner was marked with a big ‘L” marking the perfect 90 degrees. I thicknessed some cherry and maple down to half inch. I ripped these with a miter to be a little wider than the walnut.

By using a foam roller, I was able to apply a very smooth layer of glue.

This allowed me to glue up the sticks with a near perfect miter with minimal clamping.

When dry, I lightly passed the mitered corners of each stick over the jointer to reestablish the 90 degree corner. Then I ripped the raw sides to be equal widths on the bandsaw. Then sent them through the thickness sander to clean them up.

Now to cut the notch. I used the router table, making several passes with each stick.

To get the design to come out with equal rows on the top and the bottom, I had to make sure that the notches were half height. I kept raising the bit until one of the sticks when held upside down, would fit into another.

Now crosscut the sticks to the thickness of the cutting board.

I tried a dry fit to try it all out. Figuring out the vertical cut point for the sides is a bit tricky, and depends on the depth of the notches.

I glued it up (Yikes!), sanded it, and applied the first coat oil. It looks great. After I get some more coats on it and buff it out, I will post it as a completed project.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

45 comments so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 5153 days

#1 posted 06-27-2010 04:05 AM

That is some cool to look at it keeps moving.

View blackcherry's profile


3351 posts in 5279 days

#2 posted 06-27-2010 04:28 AM

Nice work Steve, your design is eye candy and stunning as well…thanks for taking the time to share…BC

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 4560 days

#3 posted 06-27-2010 04:32 AM

I will keep looking at this and reading your instructions until I really get it, and then I am going to make one of these! this is really nice work. So, your car has an auto pilot and you can think about something this complicated on the drive home?

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

View MOJOE's profile


571 posts in 4725 days

#4 posted 06-27-2010 04:43 AM

This board is killer! I have always liked end grain boards, but this one is fantastic.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5674 days

#5 posted 06-27-2010 04:56 AM

What I find most amazing about this, Steve, is that you were able to envision this pattern and figure out how to get there. Excellent!

Me? I’d just be throwing things together, wondering what it was going to look like when it was finished. :-)

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

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4886 days

#6 posted 06-27-2010 06:16 AM

WOW! And I thought Degoose was the board master. This is fantastic. Thanks for the blog.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View degoose's profile


7287 posts in 4810 days

#7 posted 06-27-2010 06:19 AM

Now this I like… this is the coolest yet… I am going right up to the workshop and build me one of these…And then have a few XXXX in your honour… Nice… nice … nice…..

-- Be safe.

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5856 days

#8 posted 06-27-2010 07:17 AM

Steve: A well thought out board. Nice build and a great set of photos.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 5357 days

#9 posted 06-27-2010 10:15 AM

Oh yes; I like this. A lot! I’ve never done a cutting board but I think this might be the one when I do. Soon!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 4497 days

#10 posted 06-27-2010 11:58 AM

That is incredible. It has a lot of depth to it, really just incredible.

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 4751 days

#11 posted 06-27-2010 12:07 PM

I love this design, WOW.
The board really pops 3D with the finish.
Gorgeous !!


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View 4thumbs's profile


153 posts in 4602 days

#12 posted 06-27-2010 01:23 PM

Amazing to me that you could visualize this and come up a way to make it so! Thanks for posting – very nice!

-- 4thumbs in MO

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 4781 days

#13 posted 06-27-2010 01:24 PM

Amazing. Miters + straight on glue joints. A bigger challenge.

Love the design.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5338 days

#14 posted 06-27-2010 02:24 PM

Thanks everyone. Most kind.

In case anyone wonders, copy it if you want. I can only imagine, with this talented group of people, what the variations of this design can take.

As far as thinking while commuting, I live outside DC, so I spend a bit of my time doing this. This concept was simple compared to keeping that whole CNC machine in my head. I guess I am weird that way. But I love it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4520 days

#15 posted 06-27-2010 02:25 PM

WOW!! Incredable I will have to give this a try. Thanks for the pics and steps.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

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