Planner bit for end grain cutting boards? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Default Planner bit for end grain cutting boards?

I've made a few edge grain cutting boards but have been reluctant to try end grain due to the finishing operation. I don't want to try putting the boards through my thickness planner. I do have a 1/4 sheet and ROS but that would take way too long and probably wouldn't come out flat. I don't have, and can't afford, anything like a drum sander. So, that's why I've stuck with edge grain.

I received an Ad today for a large dado & planer bit from Infinity tools
Dado & Planer Router Bits | Carbide Router Bits Does anyone have experience with a bit like this on end grain? Working with the usual suspects of Maple, Cherry and Walnut would it be prone to tear out?

I don't have a set of router skis but Harrysin and others have posted great information about how to construct and use them and i'd be willing to give it a try. Except for the hardware (rods, washers, nuts) I have enough wood to make them. But, before I spend the money on the bit and the hardware for the skis I'd like to know, from experienced router forum members, if this method is likely to work and, if so, what would be the likelihood of tear out?

Last edited by Barry747; 08-05-2015 at 10:59 AM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 11:53 AM
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I haven't tried it but I would suspect there is no comparison between the two methods. A planer blade rotates down, makes contact, and then lifts up. A router bit is continually cutting at 90* angles.The worst risk would be around the edges where the grain is unsupported laterally so if you skimmed around the edges and worked in a half inch roughly then you shouldn't have to worry about tearing chunks out. A set of skis will be more versatile than a sled but since cuttings boards are usually 2" or less thick then that will always be withing the working limits of a sled and it can be built out of plywood and/or mdf scrap for no cost. If you build a sled then you could try your largest straight bit and see how it works.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 02:15 PM
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Barry, you might want to check around for better pricing than those quoted in the Infinity ad. I'm guessing those are MSR prices(?).
Amazon.com: Freud 12-194 1-3/4-Inch Diameter by 3/4-Inch Double Flute Straight Router Bit with 1/2-Inch Shank: Home Improvement
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A2SQSE472W0BRT
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 06:47 AM
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Very sharp bit, slow advance, don't burn it. usually works for me but its is always a "suck it and see" operation.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 12:43 PM
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I have run several end grain cutting boards through my thickness planer. Yup, I'm a contrarian.

I found that if I rounded the trailing edge of the board with my ROS, then tearout was eliminated. Since I was going to round over the edge of the cutting board anyway, this was not a problem.

Common problems that are cited:

* dulls planer blades. True, but I have found in woodworking that when I use sharp tools, they will get dull. If I'm making good cutting boards, that's part of the process. Solution: buy more blades.
* tear out. Happens, but can be minimized. Not a huge problem, in any event. Solution: round over the trailing edge before running it through the planer.
* boards break. I've never had that happen. Solution # 1: I use Titebond III glue, which is stronger than the wood, so I've never had a joint fail after making a proper joint (Use wood that's properly squared up, follow the directions from Titebond, and keep the glue joint clamped for several hours while it dries thoroughly. Plane the board after the glue has cured *at least* 24 hours.). Solution # 2: I make boards in the "brick" pattern to maximize joint strength and minimize the wood shattering potential.

I have a DW735 planer, and it does very good work.

All of that stated, many woodworkers don't want to use a planer in this way. I totally understand and support their decision. Never make a cut that you don't feel safe making.

After making & selling cutting boards for a couple of years, I did buy a Jet 16-32 drum sander, and I have stopped using my planer to flatten the boards. Now, I'm just burning sandpaper, which hurts my wallet as much as buying new planer blades.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

Check out the boards I'm making, and selling primarily at Southern California pop-up events, here.

Henry
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www.MowryJournal.com
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 01:41 PM
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Nice website, Henry! All your own items there? Great stuff!!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry747 View Post
I've made a few edge grain cutting boards but have been reluctant to try end grain due to the finishing operation. I don't want to try putting the boards through my thickness planner. I do have a 1/4 sheet and ROS but that would take way too long and probably wouldn't come out flat. I don't have, and can't afford, anything like a drum sander. So, that's why I've stuck with edge grain.

I received an Ad today for a large dado & planer bit from Infinity tools
Dado & Planer Router Bits | Carbide Router Bits Does anyone have experience with a bit like this on end grain? Working with the usual suspects of Maple, Cherry and Walnut would it be prone to tear out?

I don't have a set of router skis but Harrysin and others have posted great information about how to construct and use them and i'd be willing to give it a try. Except for the hardware (rods, washers, nuts) I have enough wood to make them. But, before I spend the money on the bit and the hardware for the skis I'd like to know, from experienced router forum members, if this method is likely to work and, if so, what would be the likelihood of tear out?
Barry, you might shop around for a used 3"-4" belt sander. A lot of table tops were flattened in the old days with a beltsander. I got one on Craig's list for $50.

I was looking at that Infinity bit too and think I will get the large one, they look interesting .


Herb

Read Henry's post, a lot of good advice in it too.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your input. It seems that a number of you lean towards the router solution. Herb, my concern with a belt sander is that I wouldn't end up with a really flat board. I'm not that good with hand held belt sanders.

Henry, those are some beautiful boards and very similar to what I'd like to make. I'm glad to see that you've been able to sell them. I'm contemplating a move to Florida and I'd want to do the same thing hoping to cover my costs to support my hobby. I see that you have a nice mix of edge and end grain boards. My planner is a DW 734. When you used your DW 735 did you run it at the higher or lower speed? The thought still kind of scares me but I could always start the board then run for cover

I still kind of like the Infinity bit. It has 4 blades, 2 at a positive angle and two at a negative angle. I'd think that would make for a nicer finish and be able to handle difficult figure better.

I'd like to extend this question in terms of how to use the bit if I decide to buy it. I much prefer routing on a table rather than using the router in a jig or hand held. My question is, is the following method a good idea or suicide? I'd like to mount the bit in the table. I'd glue scrap runners on the edges of the board and set up stops so that I wouldn't cut into the runners. Then I'd run the board over the cutter head in the same way as if i was making a very wide and shallow dado. I do have very good under the table dust collection and i'd take relatively light cuts. Then i'd just cut off the runners. So, a good idea or a very bad idea?
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 01:38 PM
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Definitely an option for flattening end grain cutting boards. There are so many ways to do things ... I'd file this under "another way." I'm not sure it's better; I think I would feel like I was growing old doing all of those blind "dado" passes underneath the blank. Lots of resetting of the fence. Lots of passes ... which is why I don't think I'll use this method.

You would have trouble with tear out unless you round over or do sacrificial boards on all 4 sides. That seems pretty labor intensive, honestly.

In answer to your question, Barry747, I always use my DW735 at high speed. When the blades are sharp, the finish is VERY smooth.

If you're going to make cutting boards for sale, here are 3 tidbits for you:

1. Make a huge variety of boards, all colors, shapes, sizes & thicknesses. And everyone will want something different.
2. People ask for big boards, so I carry them ... to and from every event. I hope you don't have a back problem.
3. Figure out a way to use your cutoffs & end cuts profitably. With volume, you will soon be *swimming* in boards that are too short/too thin/flawed.

I use my router table on just about every board (edge rounding & finger holds), and my handheld for juice grooves. If you figure out how to easily route finger holds on an end grain board without tear out, please tell me!

Henry
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www.MowryJournal.com
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Henry, thanks for the additional information. As you indicate, there's a lot of ways to skin a cat, although, to be honest, I've never had the need to skin a cat. In the end, i'll probably just make a prototype board out of several species of scrap wood and test different options to see what works for me. At least i'll have two sides to destroy. Finger holds, as you point out, will also be an interesting challenge.

As you pointed out, one of my concerns about selling the boards at craft fairs is variety. Will a booth just selling cutting boards attract enough customers to be worth while or do you need a variety of object to sell? I'm really only interested in cutting boards at this time. Depending on where I end up (PA or FL) I will go to all of the craft fairs that I can find and see what's offered for sale along with the pricing. My biggest cost concern is the price of wood. I'll have to find a source that's affordable.
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