006: pallet wood cutting board #2: cuts and glue-ups

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 03-30-2010 11:02 AM 10195 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: visualizing a cutting board in SketchUp Part 2 of 006: pallet wood cutting board series Part 3: cleaned up, ready for final shaping and finishing »

I’ve renamed my 5 preexisting project series from “project: whatever” to “00n: whatever” where n is the number of the set of posts in order. E.g. instead of “project: a rolling base for my planer,” that was the second project series I made, so now it’s “002: a rolling base for my planer.” The projects were starting to scatter in my series list, and I’d have a few series listed at the top in the drop-down for new posts, then an out-of-order set of posts that began with “project:,” and then more randomly named series below those. This change alphabetically stacks and keeps in order the project posts at the top of that list. I like organization.

Anyway, no going back now. I’ve cut the wood block into 6 2” thick chunks:

block cut into 2-inch thick pieces

It will be the end-grain board previsualized in my previous post in this series. You’ll note some severe burning of the [crooked] cuts from my dull band saw blade. I’m holding off on buying any new $40+ blades for now, and with just the one, I don’t really want to wait for sharpening. I did buy a diamond wheel and chainsaw bit for my Dremel, and I’m considering some frontier sharpening on the blade. I’ve seen someone online have some success this way, and he posted a YouTube video on how to achieve his results. Anyway, here are the 2” thick pieces laid out to get a sense of the final board:

2-inch thick pieces laid out in butcher block arrangement

Glue-ups were a little bit of a pain. It was very hard to clamp without them sliding out of perfect alignment. I solved this and made the arduous task a lot simpler with some C clamps which held the face I wanted flush perfectly so:

C clamps and Bessey K-Body clamps joining up butcher block pieces

C clamps and Bessey K-Body clamps joining up butcher block pieces

First pieces glued-up:

Bessey K-Body clamps joining up butcher block pieces

Gluing 2 of the chunks together:

Bessey K-Body clamps joining up butcher block pieces

Final clamping, front and back:

Bessey K-Body clamps joining up butcher block pieces

Bessey K-Body clamps joining up butcher block pieces

All glued up and ugly:

glued-up butcher block board

glued-up butcher block board

There are some real discrepancies in thickness, but overall there’s at least a 1.75” thick, flat cutting board hiding in here:

glued-up butcher block board

glued-up butcher block board

I had wanted the darker wood bordering the long edges, as seen in the back left board here:

3D rendered cutting board concepts

However, the long grain wood on the board edges was really drab in real life, so I went with the board design in the front left. I don’t like the band through the middle as much, but the streak running up the center of the plank that made up what are now the outside faces adds a vertical dark stripe repeated 3x on each long face, which I think enhances the visual interest. Too, the drab face had some checks in it, and I didn’t want them showing on the outside edges of the cutting board.

Tomorrow I’ll set up my router bridge and flatten the front and back, removing the dark burn marks from the dull band saw blade, then use the table saw and maybe the jointer to get the edges to 90° and pretty. Then I can round over the sides and corners.

burned end grain of cutting board

I’m eager to see if this mess will look pretty in the end:

burned end grain of cutting board

I think I want to put some recesses under the short sides to make it easier to pick up the board. It is quite a chunky little thing!

fat end grain cutting board ready to be planed and finished up

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

3 comments so far

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 5124 days

#1 posted 03-30-2010 03:14 PM

Looks great Gary,
I hope you dont make the same mistake as I did and run it through your planer… Talk about things going heywire in a quick hurry, WOW!

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5066 days

#2 posted 03-30-2010 04:26 PM

just be careful when routing near the edges. I have a bad feeling about chip out. small chips probably won’t matter much because I assume you’ll round over the edges, but bigger ones might not be fun.

i wish i had some advice on the bandsaw blade, but the only thing i can think of is to tell you to stop resawing your found lumber. I don’t want you to do that though. I wouldn’t have all those cool finds of yours to look at.

View lew's profile


13488 posts in 5094 days

#3 posted 03-30-2010 04:27 PM

Great blog, Gary,

I’m taking notes on your clamping techniques. This is something that I can never get just right.


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

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