can I join the CB club now? my first cutting board

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Project by glen posted 02-27-2013 02:50 AM 3949 views 17 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ever since I saw Marc (the wood whisperer) make an end grain cutting board in 2006, i’ve been wanting to make one. I finally got around to making my first one out of black walnut. It’s about 12×16 and 1 3/4” thick. It’s pretty hefty.

I used an alternating 1 1/2 and 3/4 pattern that I think looks pretty good once glued up. The finish is just mineral oil. You gotta love that moment when you start putting that oil on the walnut and the colour just starts to pop. Makes all that sanding (and sanding… and sanding) worth it. The top is silky smooth.

I learned a lot of things with this being my first cutting board
-pay more attention to the pattern on the glue up. Steve Ramsey (WWMM) when he made his made the same mistake as me. Wish I would have seen his video before doing my glue up. The pattern is a bit off in places. I think i’d use a jig like this one next time
-there is a lot of sanding involved in dealing with end grain. A lot…
-I need to come up with a better system for routing out the “handles” (the groove) on the sides. I used a straight edge guide on my small router (bosch colt) and i slipped a bit on the ends. I should have put some blocks on either side of the board to support it more and figured out a better way to hold it on-end rather than just with my hand and hoping for the best. A nice wide vise on a workbench would be ideal, but my barely-one-car-garage workshop won’t accommodate one
-the used planer I bought needs new blades. I think there’s a chip in one or two or three of them, because there’s a nice lip that was left down the middle of the board that I had to scrape and sand away.
-I think i’d use my router to chamfer the edges next time instead of just my sander. The corners could have been a little more “exact”

Even with the goofups, I’m still pretty proud of it. I’m sure it’s going to make my cooking taste better. Next one is for mom! Thanks for reading…

26 comments so far

View prattman's profile


447 posts in 3406 days

#1 posted 02-27-2013 03:10 AM

Yes you can , the board looks great !!

-- Everyone calls me Ed or Eddie , mom still calls me Edward if she is mad at me.

View Simeond's profile


102 posts in 3693 days

#2 posted 02-27-2013 03:13 AM

Great choice in using walnut with some streaking in it. Very nice effect and the craftsmanship looks good!

-- "...a band of small discoveries, strung like pearls on a thread of curiosity, lending richness to our work...." - James Krenov.......

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 4172 days

#3 posted 02-27-2013 04:42 AM

awesome job; welcome to the club!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Ken90712's profile


18083 posts in 4478 days

#4 posted 02-27-2013 08:58 AM

Great looking board, hard to go wrong with walnut.. Will last for yrs!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Buzz's profile


16 posts in 3981 days

#5 posted 02-27-2013 11:43 AM

Very nice board

-- Buzz Oakfield New York

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4720 days

#6 posted 02-27-2013 12:29 PM

Awesome board. Be hard to beat the looks of that one. The first and second boards I did will always be my favorites. Made a lot since, but they don’t speak to me like the first two, which still sit on the counter in my home.

Thanks for Sharing

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View mloy365's profile


448 posts in 4419 days

#7 posted 02-27-2013 12:59 PM

I am not the gatekeeper, I would say YES!

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View patbrennan's profile


26 posts in 3359 days

#8 posted 02-27-2013 01:02 PM

Nice looking board. Sanding end grain sure is a pain!

-- "If the women don't find you handsome you should at least be handy" - Red Green

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

549 posts in 4975 days

#9 posted 02-27-2013 01:06 PM

too pretty to use

-- Joe, Ga

View USMC_Buckaroo's profile


20 posts in 3327 days

#10 posted 02-27-2013 02:23 PM

Howdy glen

Your cutting board looks dandy to me, and the look of the black walnut (especially end grain) is superb!
But, just so’s it’s asked, why so thick? That thing’s gotta weight almost as much as a Buick! ; – )



View glen's profile


175 posts in 3842 days

#11 posted 02-27-2013 03:01 PM

Thanks for all the encouraging comments everyone.

@Buck – why so thick? It’s really a matter of preference. I’ve been using an old cutting board for cooking that was 1.5 inches thick and I liked the height of it on my countertop, so I wanted to recreate that. As well, there’s something satisfying about chopping up veggies on a thick board as opposed to a thin one. The knife strokes just feel different… I guess overall its a matter of opinion. A quick search on any foodie newsgroup and you’ll see that most cooks out there want to have at least 1.5” thick end grain boards. Good question man! Take care

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3537 days

#12 posted 02-27-2013 04:08 PM

For an end grain board, I would advise against using such a jig. I used something similar on my first two, and they came out pretty bad. Concentrate on lining up that center line. You can trim the edges after a glue up. I’ve also found gluing the board in two separate sections works well if you are damned sure you can keep the sections dead flat and use parallel clamps.


View WoodArtbyJR's profile


428 posts in 4254 days

#13 posted 02-27-2013 05:11 PM

Consider you name as added to the LVDT Club. I use, on the final coat, a heated mixture of bees wax and mineral oil. It seems to help seal a little better IMHO. You mentioned a planner. Did you use the planer on the end grain? If so, not a good idea safety wise. If you’re going to make many more, invest in a drum sander. Your end results will astound you. I too have difficulty with the routing on the juice rail but use my router table fence and blocks to add hand holes. Something else you can look at is poly feet for the underside of the CB. The down side of that is you make it a one sided cutting board but what you gain is, that bad boy DOESN’T move when you you are cutting on it. I agree with you on the thickness part. Very nice, now let’s see some more.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 3976 days

#14 posted 02-27-2013 06:42 PM

Looks great! Been on me to make one as well.

View glen's profile


175 posts in 3842 days

#15 posted 02-27-2013 08:26 PM

@lumberJoe – what do you mean by they came out bad? Did the boards rack up at all or was it the alignment? Just curious. On first inspection, this jig looked like it might help, but obviously first hand knowledge is best. The guy who built it uses cauls to keep the boards from racking, it looks like. Maybe the jig isn’t the answer, but a little more time with my square and some cauls on the end when glueing up

@Jim – Yes, I used my planer after the first glue up, not on end grain. I wanted to take the first glue up to 3/4” thick (it was about 7/8 after milling the rough lumber and 3/4 was easier for me to do math with ;). From a “plan” perspective, I followed these steps that were posted on the wood magazine community, combined with what Marc (WW) talked about – you can see in the wood mag posting about when I used the planer. Using a planer on end grain might be dangerous, potentially ruin the surface, and be certain to dull your blades pretty quick. I agree – a drum sander would be best. I’ll either find one used or build one after I finish making some my shop cabinets, router table, knife holder…. So many projects, so little time!

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