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Forum topic by hairy posted 08-04-2017 02:24 PM 1322 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3084 posts in 4340 days

08-04-2017 02:24 PM

I’m working up the nerve to try some end grain cutting boards. Having never done this, I am full of questions, among other things.

I have an assortment of American woods, maple, walnut and cherry. All 8/4. Walnut is steamed and kiln dried, maple is air dried, cherry is I don’t know how, but it is dry. I am unsure of the exact species of each.

I have watched many youtube video’s, and will watch more. I think I have the basics, but many talk of the pro’s and con’s of their method. I’m asking for your experience and advice.

Would 4/4 or 3/4 thick stock be better than 8/4 ?

Should all the different woods be dried using the same method?

Some align the grain to match, and some alternate the grain. Some say alignment ensures similar wood movement throughout the board, others say mismatching the grain ensures stability.

Added 8/6/17. I watched a few more video’s that say to align the blocks for best appearance.

I would like the boards to be 2 sided, some say to use feet to keep a gap under the board.

I would only use a juice groove if it doesn’t interfere with the pattern.

What is a good size? Length, width and thickness.

Am I overthinking this? Your advice is appreciated. I am sure these are the first of many questions. Thanks!!

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

6 replies so far

View Doe's profile


1437 posts in 3638 days

#1 posted 08-04-2017 03:35 PM

Great questions! I’d like to know the answers that come up.

Here are my thoughts, for what they’re worth:

I think the thickness primarily depends on what wood you have. Thicker ones are more impressive and would have more value to the customer (and a higher price without extra labor).

Dry is dry; I guess you could use a moisture meter. I was wondering more about oilier wood but I haven’t actually looked it up.

If you use a planer of the electrical sort, the grain should match or you’ll get tear out. It’s good to know about the wood movement – makes a lot of sense.

Being an occasional kitchen user, I know about having a damp towel to prevent slipping. I’m kind of iffy on the foot business: I never turn them over while using them and I think that feet take up extra storage space . When making them, feet are really handy if the board isn’t exactly flat; it worked great for me when I had a bit of glue up slippage and didn’t want to remove a lot of wood.

As for size, I use boards in different sizes depending on what I’m doing (and what’s clean). When I’ve made them, it depended on what size wood I had. With bigger, you can charge more, but I’ve seen some small cheese ones that are just darn cute, that people might pay a premium for (maybe).

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View sras's profile


5536 posts in 3937 days

#2 posted 08-04-2017 03:38 PM

I’d start with a smaller board. Maybe a cheese board that’s 8×10 and around 1 1/4 inches thick. A smaller board uses less wood, has less issues with movement and takes less effort to level out.

I’ve seen boards use 8/4 material, but 3/4 or 4/4 will be easier to work with. Just make sure the entire board is end grain

If you haven’t already, check out some of the older videos by mtmwood on youtube. He has a series called “The basics of making end grain cutting boards”

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View hairy's profile


3084 posts in 4340 days

#3 posted 08-04-2017 06:17 PM


I needed that start with a small board tip. I tend to jump in the deep end of the pool.

mtmwood makes some awesome boards, but his video’s put me to sleep. I’m sure his English is better than my Russian, but I need to hear the maker talk about what he’s (or she’s) doing. And once they start talking metric measurements, show’s over. No offense, I just never learned it and I’m too old now.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9602 posts in 3137 days

#4 posted 08-04-2017 06:37 PM

Metric made easy…
25 mm = 1” (so 50 mm = 2” and 100 mm = 4”) and despite what some may say, that’s pretty well close enough for wood working projects.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View TungOil's profile


1382 posts in 1303 days

#5 posted 08-04-2017 08:54 PM

Here are 2 end grain cutting boards I made about a year or so ago as a way to get rid of some nice cherry scraps.

The small one is 1-3/4” thick, 4-1/2” square made from 3/4”. the big one is 2” thick, about 14” x 22” made from 8/4.

I’d suggest starting with something like the small one as a first board to get the hang of making end grain boards (maybe go a bit bigger). They are a bit of work especially if you don’t have access to a drum sander. Hard maple is the best material in my opinion, but cherry and walnut are nice too.

The build is fairly straightforward- basically cut your strips, glue up an edge grain cutting board, then sand it very flat both sides. Then, cut strips from that glue up the thickness you want your board, flip them 90 degrees and glue up again. And sand flat again. I use TB III on all my boards since its waterproof.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View bondogaposis's profile


5805 posts in 3159 days

#6 posted 08-04-2017 09:58 PM

Take a great deal of care in aligning the sections as you glue it it up, it will save hours of sanding later, unless you have a drum sander.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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