End grain cutting board wobble!

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Forum topic by Benius posted 07-09-2017 08:31 PM 1635 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 1129 days

07-09-2017 08:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cutting board wobble end grain

I’ve made about a dozen end grain cutting boards using maple, walnut and Purple Heart with maple generally the main wood. They are getting better and better as I iron out all the little trouble spots I’ve had since starting. One problem that I continue to run into is board wobble!! I’ve made birds ranging from 1.25” to 1.75” thick and they always develop a slight wobble, usually no more than 1/16- 3/32”. I don’t know what causes it and have already piled the boards for use.

My question:

Does anyone know what causes this wobble and how to prevent it?

Thanks in advance :)

6 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3283 posts in 3065 days

#1 posted 07-09-2017 09:42 PM

Benius, it could be a couple of different things: You didn’t mention how you sand them, but you might be introducing a 32nd discrepancy that way. The boards might be warping a bit if there is a moisture differential caused by storing them flat and air flow over the top dries the top more than the bottom. HTH

-- Art

View splintergroup's profile


3865 posts in 2030 days

#2 posted 07-09-2017 09:51 PM

Do you use a drum sander?

I noticed that when sanding (especially end grain), the board will get quite warm. Further sanding to get it flat will often result in a slight warp when I flip it over to do the other side.

I figured that the heat from sanding was warping the board (about 1-1/2” thick).

I corrected this by letting the board cool for 20-30 minutes between grits, then waiting a day before doing the final 180 grit pass.

This eliminated any “wobble”.

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29 posts in 1129 days

#3 posted 07-09-2017 11:16 PM

I use a random orbital sander with 180 grit to start and then, without any pause, usually end with 220 or 400 depending on the wood type. I’ve noticed super hard wood like Purple Heart doesn’t sand as well as maple and walnut and cherry so I figure I’ll use 400 grit to buff them more than sand. I never thought heat would be an issue but maybe you’re right. Also, I work in my garage in a Minnesota and I’d wager that the humidity is a definite problem. Thanks for the insight!!

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29 posts in 1129 days

#4 posted 07-10-2017 02:45 AM

I’m thinking after I’m done sanding, I’ll bring the board inside and let it dry for an extra few days before applying mineral oil. Perhaps that’ll allow moisture/humidity to escape before becoming trapped.

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3865 posts in 2030 days

#5 posted 07-10-2017 12:57 PM

A ROS wouldn’t generate the heat that I’m referring to. Best to follow your own advise and let them “rest” a few days before finishing.

View cracknpop's profile


437 posts in 3157 days

#6 posted 07-11-2017 01:59 AM

My son and I made our first end grain cutting boards earlier this year. One of them developed a wobble after sanding with drum sander. My only explanation was that one board held more heat than others which warped it during sanding. We ended up using ROS to sand opposing corners until wobble was gone.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

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