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Which of these two construction methods for end grain cutting board?

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Forum topic by CrankAddict posted 01-30-2020 08:53 PM 726 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CrankAddict

84 posts in 606 days


01-30-2020 08:53 PM

Hi Everyone,

I’m looking to build my first cutting board (end grain, using walnut and maple) and I’m stuck trying to figure out which method would be best, both in terms of likelihood of a precise result and also long term reliability from movement patterns. In the method on the left, I am just cutting a bunch of cubes from a 3 layer lamination and then gluing them up. But it requires me to rotate every other cube 90 degrees and then somehow glue up a stack of cubes in perfect alignment to create a row, then glue up the rows in a second pass.

The method on the right is only two different “slice” patterns, but it requires more input sizes (0.5”, 1.5”, 2.0”, 2.5”) to produce those slices vs the cubes which were all just 1.5”.

My lack of experience keeps me from knowing which of these two options is the best. Any thoughts?

Thanks!


12 replies so far

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

778 posts in 4077 days


#1 posted 01-30-2020 08:57 PM

The one on the left.

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5929 posts in 1378 days


#2 posted 01-30-2020 09:50 PM

Left.

When you can keep it square, it’s easier to figure out where you are going if all adds up to the same size.

Requires making saw cuts one after another to keep the same spacing, and same on Planer, run them through one after another so when you finally get down to the correct size, they all follow through same same. Won’t matter if the final is dead nutz 1.5×1.5, as long as they are all the square of the same size they will nest.

Now making them 1.5 can make the math easier for figuring the whole thing though. Plus if you work toward a goal of 1.5, it’s doable, and getting there time after time, preps you for making things fit. Any things.

-- Think safe, be safe

View sras's profile

sras

5534 posts in 3933 days


#3 posted 01-30-2020 09:58 PM

Hmm, you could build long plank made up of the first 3 layers on from the design on the right. Then cut that into strips, flip them on edge and then flip every other one. That would give the result shown.

Being able to build a long plank simplifies the construction.

Also the pattern on the right does not rely on perfect alignment between the strips that are cut & flipped.

I would also change how the plank is built up but that would require drawing something up…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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CrankAddict

84 posts in 606 days


#4 posted 01-30-2020 09:58 PM

Ok, so left sounds like the way to go. I can imagine a way to get a pile of 1.5×1.5 cubes, or at the very least as you say having them all be the same and square. Where I get concerned about this plan is now taking 8 of those cubes and trying to glue them into a single perfectly aligned row. Because if I don’t nail that, and now I have to plane down the sides of a slightly staggered row, now my row of squares just became a row of rectangles. I have no way to plane the inner faces to get them back to squares again.

But maybe I’m overthinking all this though. Maybe just some cauls on each side to squeeze them into a fairly straight row is all that is needed to get it “close enough”?

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sras

5534 posts in 3933 days


#5 posted 01-30-2020 10:02 PM

We posted at the same time! Nothing like a contrary opinion to make you think :)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View heybuc's profile

heybuc

3 posts in 191 days


#6 posted 01-30-2020 10:11 PM

Check out the Russian at MTMWOOD.com he has a ton of YouTube video’s, all his are end grain, just be sure to put on the CC so you know what he is talking about.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

7700 posts in 3069 days


#7 posted 01-30-2020 11:29 PM

Make several of each. Both are really interesting and will be a hit.

View Lee's profile

Lee

149 posts in 1682 days


#8 posted 01-31-2020 12:38 AM

I have to agree with Steve, the one on the right, much easier to glue up long strips then re cut them and flip every other one end for end and rotate. yes take a look at MTMWOOD , on youtube, he is the master of cutting boards. I just made four of thees for christmas, not end grain but same technique.

-- Colombia Custom Woodworking

View CrankAddict's profile

CrankAddict

84 posts in 606 days


#9 posted 01-31-2020 04:47 AM

Thanks for the responses everyone. I actually have watched a number of MTM’s videos, and a dozen other wood channels, but I haven’t seen anybody “making a row out of square blocks”. It always seems to be gluing full width rows together instead, which is what made me question the left approach in the first place.

Let’s say for a minute that I was able to create the left style precisely, is there any reason it would be less stable with eventual moisture changes? I would think not since all grain is running vertically regardless, but what do I know!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4987 posts in 1624 days


#10 posted 01-31-2020 05:11 AM

Oh NO… not another end grain cutting board!

Just kidding CrankA’, however, we do get a fair share of great designed cutting board offering posts… only to have all those SWMBOs bashing hell out of them with blunt knives.

Listen to the boys’ advice above!... and new ones below!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5655 posts in 2191 days


#11 posted 01-31-2020 05:36 AM

Just clamp the cubes between cauls to keep them lined up in a row. Just make sure you put some packing tape or something on the cauls so that they dot get glued to the strip.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View sras's profile

sras

5534 posts in 3933 days


#12 posted 01-31-2020 04:16 PM


Let’s say for a minute that I was able to create the left style precisely, is there any reason it would be less stable with eventual moisture changes? I would think not since all grain is running vertically regardless, but what do I know!

- CrankAddict

Wood does expand/shrink differently across the growth rings (radial) than with the growth rings (circumferential). I have had end grain boards crack because of this. However, your design on the left is made up of smaller pieces and I would guess that it would be stable. In my case I had a 4” piece of circumferential grain next to a set of radial grain pieces and the radial grain pieces were the border pieces.

At 1.5” you should be okay…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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