end grain cutting boards through the thickness planer...

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Forum topic by indplswoodworking posted 07-26-2014 11:06 PM 5746 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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325 posts in 2775 days

07-26-2014 11:06 PM

Hello everybody this is Gary from Indianapolis..

I am putting together an end grain cutting board and I am planning on running it through the thickness planer. I have read and watched many articles about the pro and cons of doing this. I am posting this question to get advice from other woodworkers about doing this. Please tell me about your experience!!

This is my pattern


20 replies so far

View EPJartisan's profile


1122 posts in 3607 days

#1 posted 07-26-2014 11:33 PM

Been no problem if your blades are sharp.. I helped a fellow woodworker get a board flat after a challenging glue up. ... keep on mind that some woods can tear a bit harder and leave furring which needs to be sanded, and it can help to tape on a sacrificial board to stop the back edge from breaking. If your board is un-even double stick tape it to a sled of melamine to flatten one side first. :)

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View rrww's profile


263 posts in 2595 days

#2 posted 07-26-2014 11:33 PM

It can be done – but I wouldn’t do it. Be prepared for blowout around the edges. Stay clear of the in and out feeds.

Do you have anyone with a thickness sander that can help you.

View CharlesA's profile


3386 posts in 2280 days

#3 posted 07-26-2014 11:56 PM

I assume you’ve seen this?

-- "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 Andre's profile


2754 posts in 2288 days

#4 posted 07-27-2014 12:46 AM

Yup, they told me that with my new Laguna Shear Tech Jointer I could joint anything even end grain! Of course I had to try it, I did stand out of the line of fire, bounced of the ceiling and wall and a change of underwear was in order!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3172 days

#5 posted 07-27-2014 12:46 AM

I wouldn’t do it. Too big a chance to wreck all the work you have put into that board (and maybe wreck your planer as well).

If you don’t have a drum sander, find a cabinet shop with a wide belt or drum sander and have them flatten it. Money well spent!

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

View English's profile


680 posts in 1959 days

#6 posted 07-27-2014 12:52 AM

You can have problems using a drum sander too. I had an end grain cutting board fly out of 5 hp double drum sander and bury its self into a sheet rock wall. Glue build up from the cutting board caused the drum to grab the cutting board and throw it out. I am glad I had moved around the machine. I guess I didn’t scrap off enough of the squeeze out be fore sanding so be careful.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View Mip's profile


454 posts in 2560 days

#7 posted 07-27-2014 01:24 AM

I just happened to finish up my end grain cutting board today and I did not send it through the planer. All that time and effort gluing it together and I did not want to blow it up at the last minute. I do have access to a shopbot and I had help programming it to to shave a small amount off both faces, kind of like a router jig for planing wide boards. It’s just not worth taking a chance with a planer.

View diverlloyd's profile


3598 posts in 2339 days

#8 posted 07-27-2014 01:57 AM

Glue sacrificial wood along the all the edges. Check out mtm wood working on YouTube he puts his through the planer and drum sander. If he would put his boards through I would try it to but I hand plane so there you go. Either way it is a learning experience and at the cost of a cutting board a cheap one if things go wrong.

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2031 days

#9 posted 07-27-2014 02:12 AM

I don’t think I’d do it. Planers aren’t really designed for that. A lot going on there. 3 blades spinning, cross-cutting different species all together, a lot of glue… It would be interesting to watch someone else do it though.

View oldnovice's profile


7498 posts in 3850 days

#10 posted 07-27-2014 03:49 AM

I would use my belt sander!
Rub some chalk on board, sand to find the high/low spots,repeat until satisfied!
Much safer for both me and the cutting board, and less chance of destroying the cutting board.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Sanding2day's profile


1015 posts in 2329 days

#11 posted 07-27-2014 04:30 AM

Not overly experienced but given the two I have made and sent through the planer one worked without issue and the other broke out a few squares from one corner which required a re glue. All in all I would do it again to save the time on sanding given that I do not have a thickness sander. Like Diverlloyd’s suggestion given that would have prevented the issue I had with the one… Looks like it will be one pretty board you’ve got going :)

-- Dan

View indplswoodworking's profile


325 posts in 2775 days

#12 posted 07-27-2014 06:00 PM

Thanks to everyone that posted a comment. I read every comment and enjoyed all the various points of views and perspectives. The subject of tool vs craftsman comes up frequently in my life and this is just another example. Just so everyone is clear I just have a hobby grade thickness planer but the following update shows my experience with the project. Check it out!!


View CharlesA's profile


3386 posts in 2280 days

#13 posted 07-27-2014 06:14 PM

I think everyone knows it works most of the time, perhaps even the vast majority of the time. It’s the consequences to project, machine, and operator when it doesn’t. Hope it doesn’t come back to bite you.

-- "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 Bill White's profile

Bill White

5225 posts in 4443 days

#14 posted 07-27-2014 07:00 PM

I would not put end grain of any type through my planer.
Nuff said!

-- [email protected]

View firefighterontheside's profile


20518 posts in 2339 days

#15 posted 07-27-2014 08:21 PM

Looking at the picture, it doesnt look like end grain. Looks like lots of pieces with side grain showing. If so, as long as all the pieces are running the same direction then you can do it no problem. As far as end grain goes, ever send a board thru with a knot. Hear how it struggles with the knot, now imagine a knot that is 12” wide.

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

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