End Grain Cutting Board

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Project by Jim88 posted 01-12-2014 09:54 PM 3134 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So this is my first cutting board, id never seen an end grain board prior to joining Lumberjocks and thought I must have a try. Its based on the wood whisperer one I found online and just added the boarder to give it my stamp. I used Purple heart and Ash although I’ve found out since Ash was not a good choice, still it’ll be a fine bread board for me. Its finished with bee’s wax and mineral oil.

One problem with it is since its been indoors around 2 weeks the purple heart has developed tiny hairline cracks in it which is a real shame. You can just see them in the 2nd pic on the 2nd row up of big purpleheart square’s.

Can anyone advise how to remedy these please that’d be great.

9 comments so far

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3354 days

#1 posted 01-12-2014 10:52 PM

very nice board,i like the border around it.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4851 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 01:17 AM

The checks (splits) were most likely already in the board when you bought it. It is usually best to cut off the first inch or so of your board and check for splits in the piece you cut off. If not readily visible, apply pressure at different angles and if splits are present, the wood usually breaks at the defective areas. If splits are found in the first piece, repeat the steps until solid wood is found.
How soon after completing the board did you apply the Mineral Oil ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Vince's profile


1291 posts in 4592 days

#3 posted 01-13-2014 02:11 AM

Nice work I also like the border.

-- Vince

View Jim88's profile


20 posts in 2787 days

#4 posted 01-13-2014 05:50 AM

I put the mineral oil the board the same day, should I have waited a few days first?

View prospector45's profile


150 posts in 2893 days

#5 posted 01-13-2014 12:21 PM

It is hard to believe this is your first board, it is gorgeous. Very precise. When I have had small hairlines or knots, I have used super glue to fill the void. Liquid super glue so it will run in the hairline and fill. Super glue gel for small knots and voids. Not sure what you should do because it is already finished.

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4851 days

#6 posted 01-14-2014 02:52 AM

I oil my boards as soon as I am through sanding them . I didn’t know if you had waited to oil yours and the cracks developed as the wood dried out, but apparently they were already present.
Keep up the good work and next time you will know to check the endgrain more closely : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View jeanlowry's profile


27 posts in 4632 days

#7 posted 01-14-2014 04:51 PM

Why was ash not a good choice?

-- Jean, Colorado, find time to make some dust!

View Jim88's profile


20 posts in 2787 days

#8 posted 01-14-2014 08:59 PM

I’ve since read that Ash is to opened grained to use in an end grain board, even after oil an beeswax the grain looks like there are very small hole’s in so its really not suitable to cut meat on which is a shame but another lesson learned.

View Jasoninsacramento's profile


56 posts in 3314 days

#9 posted 01-16-2014 07:51 PM

Very pretty board! A couple of thoughts I have about why the cracks appeared. All of this is speculation…I know there are people who know way more about this stuff than I. I sometimes get hairline cracks in purpleheart and cherry just like that. End Grain cutting boards are inherently unstable because so much of the surface is exposed, allowing much more expansion and contraction than, say, a piece of furniture that has mostly long-grain exposure. Add to that the fact that you’re using two different species of wood that expand and contract at different rates. This all adds up to the wood moving and stressing…and cracking. I also noticed that the grain direction in the bottom two rows are perpendicular…that means that although they’re the same species, they’re expanding in different directions. Finally, I wonder if the border exacerbated the wood movement. I’ve never put a border on like this, so I’m not sure. I’m thinking back to when I installed a hardwood floor and the manufacturer instructions included leaving a half-inch gap between the wood and wall to allow for expansion and contraction. The border might be keeping the wood from moving and the only release it has is to crack.

I’ve made a number of cutting boards, and have seen this happen more than a few times. I think it takes some experience to learn how to get the grain direction right to minimize movement that may cause cracks…just keep building them!!!

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