Here’s the original project I posted: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/53452

Hint: When you look at the board, long ways going left to right, every row is a different size, but every group of 2 rows are all the same size!

Solution: First you rip strips like you would for a regular end grain board, but in a progression of widths from largest to smallest in pairs (one light one dark). The height of the strips needs to be the largest width + the smallest width + at least 1/8 inch. I made a really simple thin strip jig for the table saw, indexed the side for 3/4 and 1/8 strip sizes, then with a very sharp pencil free handed in the number of “steps” I wanted there to be to add up to the final board width that I wanted. So I’d set the jig, cut a light and dark strip, then bump the jig to the next size and repeat. Each pair of strips need to be **exactly** the same width, or else the whole thing won’t be symmetric down the middle and nothing will line up when you swap them back and forth. I ran them all through the planer in pairs.

*The ripped strips all merged together. Ideally these would all be the same height.*

After lining up your two progressions of strips so they merge together biggest to smallest and smallest to biggest, glue them all together, cross cut them into rows and flip them end grain up. It works out easier/better later if you end up with an odd number of rows here. That finishes progression #1, and you could stop here and invert every other row and have a pretty board…

*Crosscut and end grain flipped up, then every other row flipped long ways. You don’t want to actually flip them long ways if you’re going on to the next round of cuts. Leave them all going dark to light!*

But, if you flip/invert every other row now, that leaves every row the same size! So what we can do now is cut each of these rows, end grain up, into two rows each, in a progression again (say 3/4 to 1/8 again but with a different number of steps), then alternate swapping those. This uses up that 1/8 inch that we added in for the height earlier, leaving just enough so the widths and heights line up square in the corners after the second round of cuts.

**UPDATE:** Here’s some extra explanation on this step. After cross cutting all your rows you should have all your rows going dark to light, left to right, with the end grain up. **Like the picture above, except all dark to light in one direction.** What we’re going to do is cut every row in half, left to right, in a progression, making each row into two rows. By varying the size of these rows we’re able to make a pattern going the other direction. This is really the central “new” idea vs. other end grain cutting board designs.

If you remember from before we said our smallest size would be 1/8” and the largest 3/4”, then we added those plus 1/8” for the height. The height of those strips is now the width of these rows. So for your first row, you would cut 1/8” strip from the “inside”, lose around 1/8” from sawing, ending up with a 3/4” remainder piece! Then flip the 1/8” piece. On the second row you’d cut a bit more than 1/8” from the inside, lose 1/8 inch from the cut, and end up with a bit less than 3/4. Flip the bit larger than 1/8” piece. Keep going, sizing your cuts so when you get to the last far row your cut size will be 3/4”, leaving a 1/8” remainder piece. If you give it a little thought you can actually do two rows (say cut 1/8 off the inside of the first and last row) per saw setup. Just keep track of your grain direction.**END UPDATE**

If you have an odd number of rows that means the middle row gets cut right down the center. I actually used a band saw and a drum sander for this round of cuts. These thinner strips from the second round of cutting can be brittle at the glue joints.

Then just glue it all up and do your finishing.

An extra row appeared in mine. How did that get there….

-Joe

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