Endgrain Cutting Boards

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Project by JayG46 posted 10-12-2014 09:54 AM 1829 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got an order for an endgrain cutting board, and since making just one seems like kind of a waste, I made a batch of seven. Each is different in size or shape or combinations of woods. I used this partially as a scrap purge, so there are pieces of maple, ambrosia maple, cherry, walnut, purpleheart, mahogany and black locust utilized.

The last time I made a batch of endgrain boards was over 18 months ago and since my skills have grown considerably over that time, time round seemed like much less of a chore. For one, the glue-ups went really smoothly. I put the pieces down on a section of melamine, used parallel clamps from the sides with the bars acting as straight edges and was able to keep them really flat without much effort. I think part of this was due to using thicker stock, mostly 6/4 as opposed to 4/4. Even though I utilized 4/4 stock, I ripped it to 1.5 and stood it on edge. I now have a segmented cutterhead in my planer, so by chamfering the trailing edges and taking very, very light passes, I was able to get the boards nice and flat without any explosions or bodily injury. Obviously YMMV, but I had no problems whatsoever.

I took the first few boards to the drum sander but it turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. The lines that you get are usually pretty deep and generally require a lot of additional sanding by hand to remove. I found that by taking ultra thin shavings with an ultra sharp LV bevel up smoother and you can get the boards shiny smooth. The black locust one in particular (pictured close up above) was almost reflective. I skipped right to 180 on the ROS to take the tracks out and finished at 320. Lots of time saved here.

One touch I added this time were finger slots on the larger ones. I did them with my Domino XL with the 14mm bit at 15mm deep. It took 5 plunges to get the desired width.

The finish is the Wood Whisperer method with thinned salad bowl finish topped off with a mixture of bee’s wax and mineral oil.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

6 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile (online now)


4509 posts in 2402 days

#1 posted 10-12-2014 11:35 AM

Nice collection of boards and I envy your skill and PATIENCE ‹(•¿•)›

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2390 days

#2 posted 10-12-2014 12:32 PM

very cool boards, great job

-- steve, simple and effective

View Arcola60's profile


106 posts in 3163 days

#3 posted 10-12-2014 05:06 PM

Very nice wok, and some beautiful cutting boards. I also find that doing multiple boards save time. Also my glue up process has improved. I certainly can appreciate every point you made about the process involved in making end grain boards. Thanks for posting.

Ellery Becnel

View hoss12992's profile


4172 posts in 2672 days

#4 posted 10-13-2014 12:14 AM

Those look great. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 2638 days

#5 posted 10-13-2014 12:59 AM

Thanks guys. End grain boards have to be one of the most popular projects around here and although they are relatively straight forward, I think everyone is looking for anyway to make them less tedious, especially to sand and flatten.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 3847 days

#6 posted 10-13-2014 06:02 AM

Nicely done. 7 people will be very happy!

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

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