End Grain Cutting Board

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Forum topic by Erik posted 02-12-2008 02:58 AM 2240 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Erik's profile


5 posts in 4524 days

02-12-2008 02:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer cutting board

Hi all, first post!

I am a college student who loves to keep myself busy with some simple projects on the weekends. Currently I am working on a cutting board which is made of about 50 blocks of 1” thick pine cut into 2-3” long x 1 3/4” deep blocks and glued together into a rectangle roughly 12” x 16” with all the end grain facing up.

There is some unevenness on the board due to slight differences in the height of all the blocks. My question is, what is the best way to smooth this out? My first choice would have been a bench planer, but I don’t have one in town (there is one in my old man’s garage, but I am out of state). Also, I have heard horror stories about people trying to run an end grain board through a bench planer and the planer shooting the board out like a missile. My second choice would be my trusty belt sander, but I am afraid that I wont be able to produce a perfect flat surface.

I’m not sure what else to try….an electric plane or hand plane maybe?

Any guidance would be appreciated.

16 replies so far

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4550 days

#1 posted 02-12-2008 04:00 AM

My vote would be for a nicely-sharpened low-angle hand plane.

-- Eric at

View Erik's profile


5 posts in 4524 days

#2 posted 02-12-2008 08:10 AM

Thanks for the tip Eric, I’ll give it a try this weekend.

View jeremy's profile


53 posts in 4546 days

#3 posted 02-12-2008 03:59 PM

Yeah, probably a low angle plane. Just be carefull on the edges, work in towards the center of the board so you don’t blow out the corner.

-- Jeremy, Saratoga, NY

View SPalm's profile


5335 posts in 4649 days

#4 posted 02-12-2008 08:13 PM

Hi Erik, Welcome to LJs.
I would vote for the all purpose router on a sled. Works great for this kind of glue up, or flattening a bench top, etc. The sled can roll around on a gantry, or simply be supported by two flat boards like this:
A simple router sled.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View skozub's profile


59 posts in 4526 days

#5 posted 02-21-2008 04:29 AM

I agree with Steve if you have the means for a big project. Something small like a cutting board is likely best addressed with a block plane though. Steve’s item is a great idea though and something I’ve done with some very large tops…worth learning in my opinion.

Good luck!

View EaglewoodsPres's profile


53 posts in 4497 days

#6 posted 03-10-2008 05:29 AM

Another vote for steve here. I have used the router sled method on very large solid wood counter that won’t fit through my planer. It works like a charm. Just be sure to build it to last. Once you use it you’ll love it and find things to make just so you can use it.

-- Chris ( [email protected] )

View them700project's profile


245 posts in 1785 days

#7 posted 04-19-2019 02:00 PM

Im a bit lazy so I always glue up an extra piece on one end so that I can run it on the jointer planer. Not the safest as you do get some blowout but the piece of side grain at the end prevents most explosive blowout. And then i take it to crosscut sled ant trim that piece off

View LesB's profile


2550 posts in 4210 days

#8 posted 04-19-2019 04:21 PM

First off I have to say that most pine is too soft to use for a cutting board, even on end grain but you are working on it so make the best of it. Be sure to seal it well because pine is highly absorbent.

I agree with the latter consensus on using a router if you have one and the same caution as using a plane be careful in approaching the edges and make very shallow passed so you don’t get any split out. I would also follow the recommendation given for gluing on sacrificial strip around the edges to prevent splitting and you can remove them after the leveling id done.

-- Les B, Oregon

View duc996's profile


32 posts in 2264 days

#9 posted 04-19-2019 04:29 PM

Erik, where are you located? Maybe someone on here that lives close to you that has a drum sander can offer some assistance letting you use their drum sander. I am in Houston and you are welcome to use my drum sander or low angle hand plane if you wish…...good luck!

View Delete's profile


439 posts in 1139 days

#10 posted 04-19-2019 04:51 PM

Being at college you probably don’t have access to alot of power tools. If you don’t mind a little sweat and elbow grease, It’s not such a large surface so avoid the power tools, that are going to destroy your edges if your not careful, and go founding fathers old time. A rasp will take the high spots out quickly on soft pine, use double sided tape to attach a couple of sheets of sand paper to a flat piece of plywood, and with circular rotations sand the surface flat and smooth, start coarse and work your way to as fine as you want. Just one idea ha,ha.

View thenetdog's profile


11 posts in 3026 days

#11 posted 04-19-2019 04:57 PM

I am lucky enough to have a bench planer so I do it the lazy way like them700project and run it through with a waste piece at each end, taking very small bites. I also found a way to save sanding time – glue long scrap runners to each side that extend a few inches past the good part of the board. That eliminates snipe on the board itself and keeps the end grain flat all the way to the edge.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5788 posts in 3076 days

#12 posted 04-19-2019 05:15 PM

Do you have a access to a wide belt or drum sander.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Steve's profile


2068 posts in 1349 days

#13 posted 04-19-2019 05:39 PM

Wonder how Erik ended up doing in college? Hopefully he’s not still there!!

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5788 posts in 3076 days

#14 posted 04-19-2019 08:51 PM

Wonder how Erik ended up doing in college? Hopefully he s not still there!!

- Steve

Maybe he’ll let us know.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Erik's profile


5 posts in 4524 days

#15 posted 04-20-2019 08:21 PM

How funny this thread would resurface 11 years later. I remember that project very well. To be honest, I think it came out looking like crap. I had no idea what I was doing at the time. But I think this thread motivated me to buy a hand plane at the time, which would be one of many, many tools I’ve picked up over the years. Here is a cutting board I made a few years ago for my brother and his wife for Christmas. I wish I had a picture of that first, terrible one for comparison!

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