End grain Black Walnut cutting board

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Project by HalDougherty posted 12-16-2011 11:07 AM 6688 views 6 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

TexPenn is a Lumberjock who’s been an inspiration for me and a while back he posted a cutting board made like this one. It took a while before I learned how to cut tiny rings and glue them into a log shape for an end grain cutting board. (big evil grin) Nope, it’s just a 1 1/2” section of a walnut log that I sanded, coated with tung oil, and wet sanded with tung oil and extra fine steel wool. It’s so nice I don’t know if I’ll be able to cut anything on it. I’m not going to sand the next one as much, so I’ll actually use it. I guess this one will be a Christmas present for someone.

I may use another one of the log sections I dried to make a wall clock. It would be great looking with a simple clock mechanism and numbers around the edge of the walnut plaque.

-- Hal, Tennessee

16 comments so far

View STL's profile


68 posts in 3840 days

#1 posted 12-16-2011 02:26 PM

Great job Hal! You just can’t beat walnut!

-- Dan Siggers, Alabama,

View lew's profile


13312 posts in 4763 days

#2 posted 12-16-2011 03:15 PM


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

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3416 days

#3 posted 12-16-2011 03:24 PM

Very nice!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View drbyte's profile


847 posts in 5070 days

#4 posted 12-16-2011 04:07 PM

Nice! How long was it cut before being sanded and finished? Was it dried in some secret manner to prevent splitting/checking/cracking?

-- Dennis, WV

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3995 days

#5 posted 12-16-2011 09:28 PM

What a great looking board.
I am also curious if it was just the luck of the draw or was there a special drying technique used?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4245 days

#6 posted 12-16-2011 11:40 PM

I cut this walnut early last Summer. The tree produced 3 logs 12’ long. The top log was almost all rotten. The solid part of the log was only a little over 3’ long. I cut 1/2 of it into 1 1/2” slices. I brought several of them inside and they dried without cracking. The slices I left stacked with the boards from the first two logs, cracked so bad they were useless and went in the burn barrel. Before stacking them, I gave them one defrost cycle in the microwave. None of the microwaved slices cracked.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3995 days

#7 posted 12-17-2011 01:59 AM

Thanks for the info.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25917 posts in 4113 days

#8 posted 12-17-2011 02:50 AM

Nice one , Hal. It is good that it dried without cracking! Merry Christmas….......Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3698 days

#9 posted 12-17-2011 04:43 AM

Microwave huh? Those must not be as big as they look ( or you have a bigger microwave than I have!). What is the diameter of those. I would like more detail on the microwave process: “one defrost cycle” for how long? then stored inside with no finish/preservative for how long before you sanded/ finished ? Do you think this process would work for oak?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4245 days

#10 posted 12-17-2011 12:10 PM

I use the microwave to dry small items I turn on my lathe. I don’t have the patience to rough turn something and wait 6 months to see what it’s going to look like… So, I weigh the item, and record the green weight. After it’s cooled to room temperature, select defrost (50% power setting works too) and put in the weight in ounces. My microwave calculates the time. Each time I heat the item, I let it cool back to room temperature and weigh it. When it stops loosing weight, it’s dry. To calculate the moisture content of wood I’ve sawed on my sawmill, I also put it in the oven at 170 degrees overnight to get it bone dry and record that weight. It will gain weight as moisture is absorbed from the air. This cutting board was 12” in diameter and it fit in a regular microwave. A 16” rolling pin also fits, if it’s placed from corner to corner at an angle.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3698 days

#11 posted 12-18-2011 03:44 AM

Thanks Hal. And I got your pm.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3844 days

#12 posted 12-19-2011 04:24 PM

Great glue up man, I can harldy see the lines :). Really a nice simple item, well sanded well done. Merry Christmas man!

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 3214 days

#13 posted 06-01-2012 01:40 PM

Beautiful Work! I love the end grain!


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View oleCB's profile


77 posts in 3689 days

#14 posted 08-13-2012 07:37 AM


Beautiful Work!

After looking at the National Hardwood Lumber Association Weights Chart on Walnut I noticed that if you devide the green weight by 1.53 you should have the dry weight of each piece. Would you happen to still have your weights before and after drying to check that against?

I’m just curious and am trying to microwave (experimenting) some small GREEN end grain, walnut blocks (4 – 7/16” thick X 4” X 4” at a time) using the microwave. I’m using kg instead of pounds, ounces because my scale reads the kg in hundredths instead of X amount of ounces! My blocks are dropping from .11kg to .07kg with 2 – 3 mins micro cycles and 1 – 2 mins cycle, all @ full power. I place 1 sheet of dry paper bag material under for each setting and as soon as I remove the pieces from the MW I stand them on end and let them steam and cool off, while I run another set in. It seems to be working really well. I noticed you are using 50% power setting, any special reason?

BTW: I have dried 138 of thes blocks without a crack!

-- There was only one perfect carpenter... It wasn't me!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5060 days

#15 posted 08-13-2012 08:49 PM

You could use a limb about 4” dia. and slice it up for some Coasters!
They would be COOL & NICE!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

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