An experiment with a Cuttingboard

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Project by rotorwash posted 01-24-2011 06:43 AM 1827 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I wanted to do an experiment to see how wood movement effects glue ups. I live in southern California and the weather is (for the most part) consistent all year round. However, I live in what is referred to as the high desert where we see triple digits in the summer and a couple of days of snow in the winter. I wondered if the weather in my area was drastic enough to see some good wood movement. I cut approximately 8 strips of cherry heart and sap wood and made a cutting board. On the ends I biscuited and glued a strip perpindicular to the grain of the body of the cutting board. I know this is a definite no-no, but like I said I wanted to see first hand how the joints would fail with wood movement. I added a curve to the ends, finger holds and feet. That was about 3-4 years ago now. The cutting board gets regular use (you should be able to see some knife marks on the top). I periodicaly (once a year maybe) give it a light sanding and do give it a drink of mineral oil / bees wax blend every month or so. To this date I have seen no signs of any joint failing. There is no cracking and the joints are still invisiable to the eye and touch. If anyone could comment on the why this is I would appreciate it. I have made a few others with the same basic design but with the more traditional way to attach a bread board edge.

-- Jon, California

4 comments so far

View B13's profile


463 posts in 3251 days

#1 posted 01-24-2011 08:26 AM

Welcome! to LJ’S It’s hard to judge wood some times. I live Inn the south and wood here can expand and contract I’ve had fruit wood to crack!

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3663 days

#2 posted 01-25-2011 03:38 AM

I would think that you are doing a good job of keeping moisture out and your climate is pretty stable. Take it to the Northwest coast and you might see wood movement! Nice board.

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

View BrendanC's profile


13 posts in 3591 days

#3 posted 01-25-2011 03:40 AM

hey Rotorwash, I’ve made several projects w/ cross grain glue ups and have had varying results. from subsequent inquiry i’ve learned that the degree of movement has a lot to do w/ the species of wood and the cut,( quartersawn has less movement than plainsawn wood) also there was an interesting article in fine woodworking by Christian Becksvoort Oct 2003 “understanding wood movement” in it he describes the basic points of wood movement and the joinery methods to overcome this problem. Welcome to LJ’s

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121 posts in 3388 days

#4 posted 01-25-2011 09:08 PM

Wood movement is one of the things that probably intimidates me the most. It’s so unpredictable and has a big influence on work. I’ve seen wood warp so extremely over a short amount of time, which I wouldn’t have believed before I started working with it. Left a plank of walnut in my cars trunk for half a night while I was out with it and when I came back home and took it out it was bowed like crazy. Went back to the original state the next half of the night while storing it like before. It was relatively cold at the time, so the difference between home and trunk was rather big, but I was really surprised how quickly and to what extent it happened.


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