End Grain Cutting Board
Last week was my father’s birthday and I decided to make him an end grain cutting board. This has always been a project I have wanted to build but just never taken the time. Now an end grain cutting board is not that complicated of a project and I was anxious to get started. So rather than do a little research on how others have built the project, such as Marc Spagnoulo’s video on The Woodwhisperer
site which is a great easy to follow step by step instruction, I decided to jump in feet first and started cutting. Besides how hard can it be? It’s just a bunch of blocks…right?
After ripping all of the boards to width and then cutting the blocks to length, I did a dry fit for the pattern and it looked great. I built a frame out of 2×4 blocks and clamped it to my bench to keep it square. To keep the cutting board from sticking to the frame during glue up I wrapped it in wax paper. Next, it was time to start gluing. I used a brush to apply glue to each of the blocks and then fit them into the frame one by one.
Once the glue up was complete and clamps were in place. I used saw dust and the excess glue from squeeze out to fill any holes or cracks. I allowed the glue to setup overnight before removing the cutting board for the clamps and frame. The wax paper worked great.
Next it was time to start planing. I used my #7 Lie Nielsen jointer plane, yes I know that it is probably a little big but I wanted to make sure I kept the top nice a flat. The plane made fairly quick work, even on the end grain. Once I had the block planed down I realized the faults of my method of building. Because I glued up the entire block at once and the glue line hid the intersecting joints, I didn’t realize that the intersecting joints did not line up perfectly. My wife said that it was fine and know one would notice, so I continued on by routing the edges and finish sanding.
|Glue up complete
We left the next morning heading to my dads in North Carolina, but the entire trip I kept thinking about how disappointed I was with the cutting board. By the end of the 3 1/2 hour drive I had decided that I had to fix it. I went straight to dad’s shop and started working. Since none of the joints were off more than the width of a table saw blade the fix seemed pretty simple. Just rip each joint length wise of the cutting board splitting each joint. Then reglue the joints with a now perfect fit. I repeated this on the width after the glue had set.
The end result was perfect fitting corners and I was surprised at how little sanding was necessary to get the joints cleaned back up. Making sure the top was even and flat paid off since there were no dips to contend with. Just need to put a few coats of mineral oil and it should be ready to use.
My dad and his new wife were very happy with the cutting board and so was I. The only problem is that my wife now wants 3 more built for other members of the family as Christmas presents. This time I will use the same method Marc uses and things should go a little better.
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