Warped Cutting Board

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by wseand posted 02-25-2013 08:09 PM 2285 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3956 days

02-25-2013 08:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question cherry maple walnut cutting board edge grain warp

I made a couple of cutting boards and they turned out ok. After a few uses one warped on the person I sold it to and the other didn’t, sold to different person. They are made from Cherry, Maple, and Walnut. It is a end grain cutting board made the basic way. I used TB III for the glue up. I made two boards from the same stock. The only real difference is I didn’t put bread board ends on the the one that warped, if that makes sense. The one that didn’t warp had ends made of Myrtle on it. The boards were about 1-1/4×12 x 15 give or take. The one that warped went to New Jersey and the one that didn’t stayed here in New Mexico. Also, they were both finished with copious amounts of Mineral Oil.

I guess my questions are. Does the ends make a difference and could the humidity difference in the locations make them warp. The one that warped was a inch or so larger all the way around. I was yold from the customer they did treat it again with Mineral Oil and the cleaned and dried it as usual.

19 replies so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3956 days

#1 posted 02-25-2013 08:12 PM

Just to add, that any comments or questions are appreciated. I’m looking to not repeat this problem again.

Thank you,

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3402 days

#2 posted 02-25-2013 08:20 PM

Ummmm….. 0% humidity in New Mexico, 95% humidity in New Jersey.

You also don’t know how the owner cleaned it.

Humidity will make a 16” thick butcher block do strange things, let alone a 1 1/4” board.

If the owner lets the board sit for awhile, it will probably acclimate to it’s surroundings.

The breadboard ends probably didn’t have anything to do with it, except they don’t do anything on end grain boards except look pretty.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3956 days

#3 posted 02-25-2013 08:32 PM

I was figuring that the humidity might play a big part in the problem. I just didn’t think about it prior to sending it. I put the ends on the one for more length, since I broke a couple of pieces. I will tell the customer to give it some time, if that doesn’t fix it I will just have to send another one.

I appreciate the response, not really sure what to do if I have to send another one to norther parts. Maybe wait til monsoon season here. I will have to make a disclaimer, ONLY SHIPS IN JULY AND AUGUST. Wonder how that will go over.

Again thanks for the help.


View rustfever's profile


797 posts in 4225 days

#4 posted 02-25-2013 10:40 PM

Air drying a board after cleaning is a big factor in warping. A board freshly cleaned needs air on all 6 sides for hours. Such as setting in a rack. Or at least tipped up on one end. If not done, a cutting board will warp most anyplace.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3901 days

#5 posted 02-25-2013 10:46 PM

I agree with rustfever above. I will also add that I have seen endgrain boards warp by applying more oil to one side than the other.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Thomas Hanson's profile

Thomas Hanson

46 posts in 2867 days

#6 posted 02-25-2013 10:51 PM

More air flowing over one side than the other after wetting will also warp boards. Rule one: whatever you do to one side, do to the other or it will arch it’s back in retribution.

-- Okie from Council Hill

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3956 days

#7 posted 02-25-2013 10:57 PM

Hey thanks for all your responses. I really do appreciate all your inputs. I will digest it all. I was probably in to much of a rush to ship. Most of my work doesn’t make it to the coasts so I don’t take these things into consideration. Asking for forgiveness doesn’t always work for customers. Luckily I have other boards I can ship them if all else fails, I would probably just refer them to someone in their neck of the woods next time. Doesn’t make sense to take the risk if someone closer to them can do the same thing. Plus shipping is horrendously expensive now a days.

Appreciate all your responses,


View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3956 days

#8 posted 02-25-2013 10:58 PM

Arching ones back is not always a bad thing, but point well taken.

View jat's profile


86 posts in 3686 days

#9 posted 02-25-2013 11:29 PM


I have made several end grain cutting boards and sent many of them to NJ to family members; none have ever warped. I doubt humidity was the culprit. Sounds more like someone got their board very wet and just let the water soak in or even worse, put it in a dishwasher.

Doesn’t sound like any of the issue is related to your construction or finishing.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3956 days

#10 posted 02-25-2013 11:56 PM

I haven’t made a lot of boards but I use the same principles as any other project so I guess I have to question my technique. I did do a lot of research, mostly from the talent on this site. SO I do feel my techniques are solid. But with all the variables involved one can never be sure. All being said, I will continue building as I have been and consider this a learning experience. Kind of like Basic Training only with out the marching and yelling. I do question the customers complaint and or truthfulness but who am I to repute their morality. I have to question both my techniques and their truthfulness. Either way if the customer isn’t Happy, Happy, Happy, neither am I. I will take all into consideration make adjustments to any technique that may need it and drive on with my bad self.

I do appreciate your confidence,
Thank you,


View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3402 days

#11 posted 02-26-2013 12:45 AM

Either way if the customer isn’t Happy, Happy, Happy, neither am I.

That is an excellent work ethic I try to live by.

Most of the time I will just eat the problem and give the customer a new piece. I also pay for shipping both ways, so I can have the old piece back to see if I can tell what went wrong.

Sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s materials and sometimes, (gasp), it’s a customers fault.
I don’t say anything, just check mywork more closely or check the material more closely, or put that customer on a “Do Not Sell To” list.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View AandCstyle's profile


3288 posts in 3171 days

#12 posted 02-26-2013 01:52 AM

Bill, I am sorry about this mis-adventure. I sent my son a CB from ABQ to DC. If he cleans it and lays in on the counter, it warps. When he flips it over on the counter it flattens out again. Now, he leaves it on edge after washing until it is dry and it is okay. I suspect that eventually, it will totally adjust to their humidity level and it will stop misbehaving in this way. Maybe you can send your customer a box of green chiles as a piece offering. :)

By the way, great looking boards.

-- Art

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3201 days

#13 posted 02-26-2013 02:10 AM

I’m not sure if this is a viable option or not, but if you wanted to acclimate your boards before shipping them to a known humid area, here’s a trick from my old cigar smoking days. If you mix a bowl of table salt and water into a slurry and put the solution into a sealed container, the relative humidity inside will stabilize at 75%. I used to use this process to calibrate my hygrometers. Here’s a link if you’re interested:

-- John, BC, Canada

View lew's profile


13216 posts in 4670 days

#14 posted 02-26-2013 02:11 AM

If the cutting board doesn’t have feet on it, a damp counter top could have been the problem. My wife left her’s set over night on a damp counter top and in the morning it looked like an end grain bowl. A couple hours in the oven- at the lowest temp- flattened it back to level. After that, I’ve installed feet on all my cutting boards.

Just my 2¢

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 3550 days

#15 posted 02-26-2013 03:09 AM

I also put feet on the boards I have made. The rubber ones from woodcraft work well and make the board sit well and don’t slide around. When I clean mine I wash the side I used then rinse the back so both sides get wet. My though is that it will equalize the water absorption, haven’t had a problem yet.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics