Sanding Pupleheart/YellowHeart End Grain Cutting Board

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Forum topic by Brandocalrizzion posted 07-25-2014 11:22 PM 2402 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brandocalrizzion's profile


29 posts in 2166 days

07-25-2014 11:22 PM

I am trying to finish my first end grain cutting board. I made it out of Purpleheart and Yellowheart. I had some glue residue left on the wood from the glue up and some saw marks on the wood from the table saw. I am trying to sand it down with my orbital hand sander to get the glue and the saw marks off and having the hardest time working this wood.

I have been using 60, 100, and 180 grit sand paper with my sander. The yellowheart responds much easier than the purple heart does. I have gotten most of it but there is still some pretty good saw marks left on the purple heart and I just can’t seem to get the sander to get that stuff off. I do not want to use my planer with end grain and I do not have any hand planes either. As far as I know, my only option is to continue working it with my hand sander.

Does anyone have any advice for me regarding sanding purple heart? The sand paper gets destroyed pretty quickly and I do not seem to be making much progress. I have about 3 hours sanding into it right now.

9 replies so far

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4262 posts in 3121 days

#1 posted 07-25-2014 11:34 PM

Scrappers are your friend. Also Purpleheart is harder they Yellowheart so it will sand faster.

This is something a lot of people do not know. When I was in Panama, South America they have so much Purpleheart that they burn it like Cottonwood here. Big trees too.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View AandCstyle's profile


3223 posts in 2817 days

#2 posted 07-25-2014 11:41 PM

I have a few suggestions for your consideration. Purpleheart is very hard, but it can be overcome.

The first is to glue a strip of flat grain wood to the back edge of the CB and let the glue completely cure, then run it through your planer taking very light cuts, maybe like 1/64th. The flat grain will prevent the end grain from tearing out. Only try this IF you are very comfortable with the process and your CB is sufficiently thick to take the stress of the planer. A spiral head will work better than blades and feed at the slowest possible setting.

Make a sled and use your router with a bowl bit or similar. Again, take the shallowest possible cuts.

Use 36G paper on your sander. HTH

-- Art

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3250 days

#3 posted 07-26-2014 01:00 AM

Or take it to a cabinet shop and have them run it through their wide belt or drum sander. It will take minutes to achieve a nice flat/finished surface.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View firefighterontheside's profile


20678 posts in 2416 days

#4 posted 07-26-2014 01:06 AM

I did my end grain board sanding with a hand held belt sander. They are not very expensive to buy and will remove way more material than a ros. Also the metal base of the sander will prevent the removal of one wood before the other. It’s the soft pad of the ros that allows that to happen.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3250 days

#5 posted 07-26-2014 01:24 AM

Bill is a WAY better hand with a belt sander than I am! I can ruin a project quicker with a belt sander then any tool in my shop!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bondogaposis's profile


5570 posts in 2911 days

#6 posted 07-26-2014 01:41 AM

I can’t help you here but in the future use high quality cross cut blade to eliminate the saw marks and save yourself all of this grief.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Brandocalrizzion's profile


29 posts in 2166 days

#7 posted 07-30-2014 08:06 PM

Thanks everyone! These are some helpful tips. I think I will pursue seeing if I can find a cabinet shop around town to help me out. That seems like the best means to resolve the conflict with this project and then apply some of this advice to my next cutting board

View CharlesA's profile


3387 posts in 2357 days

#8 posted 07-30-2014 08:16 PM

If the glue is primarily in depressions created by saw blades, then that is tough to get out. Sorry for that.

In addition to all the other suggestions, an inexpensive block plane can be quite handy for a lot of woodworking operations, including excess glue (though no help in the saw blade depression case).

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View waho6o9's profile


8799 posts in 3137 days

#9 posted 07-30-2014 08:20 PM

Hello scraper plane

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