New cutting boards
Last spring, I found a small quantity of walnut, oak, cherry and maple boards that looked like they might be combined into a couple of cutting boards. With that random thought in mind I stacked them in the corner and finished cleaning the shop. Fast forward a few months to the end of the lawn and garden season and the attached show the end results.
As these projects usually go, on completing the main course I had created several spare pieces that needed a home as well. Those were recombined along with some others into the board that became the “left overs”. In contrast to the main board in which all pieces are end grain, this one features 2 walnut cross pieces in the center that are edge grain oriented.
Sorry abut the orientation of the 1st photo.
My question to the Forum, is it reasonable to mix end and edge grain in the same cutting board or are the relative advantages/disadvantages of each design going to cause problems for the user down the road?
I've found it impossible to keep end and side grains level in circumstances like that. i have one box with 4 x end and 4 x cross grain in a sandwich. Despite hours of fine sanding, standing back and looking at the surface you can see the end grain boards sticking higher that the side grain pieces. you can even feel the different heights
I can't tell you if they will hold up, altho I suspect yes, with a decent wood glue. Regardless they really look good.
Interesting point. I ran the combo board through a drum sander with 80 grit followed by repeated passes with an ROS down to 220 grip. I inspected the board multiple times by feel while sanding as well as prior to applying the finish (Howards butcher block oil and bees wax combo) and was not aware of any height differences in the pieces. I'll check this more carefully on the next build.
I used Titebond III for the glue and the boards were clamped for 24 hours on each glue up. Hopefully that will hold.
You can just see the effect on this box
The walnut runs cross grain to the bubinga. The top wing surfaces were sanded repeatedly, in all directions, by everything from hand to 2 sizes of electric sander.
I'ts gotten worse since this pic was taken just after finishing. I will try to remember to take another pic so you can see the difference. The bubinga end grain is higher then the walnut edge, not much as far as a measurement, but noticable to the touch, and you can see it if you look for it.
One must be harder than the other Bob. That's sounds similar to what happens when you sand Douglas Fir. The early wood is much softer than the late wood is and it leaves ripples when you try to sand it smooth.
The bubinga is definitely harder than the walnut, but this was sanded repeatedly (I screwed up two finish coats and had to go back to bare wood each time), aas well as across the pattern. It STILL stood proud.
"...when you sand Douglas Fir."
I don't usually sand mine after I split it; it just goes straight into the wood heater the way it is... ;)
All kidding aside, D. Fir isn't much fun to do finish work with. Hemlock is far easier, assuming one wanted to work with construction grade softwoods.
D. Fir's big pluses are it's strength and durability; nobody ever mentions what a pleasure it is to work with (because it isn't).
Clear D. Fir ain't cheap either; $2.25 Bd.Ft and up (Cdn.)
Great job with the cutting boards Jon..
Long grain will typically "sand down" ALOT faster than end grain. Especially noticeable when combined on something like a cutting board. Achieving a perfectly smooth surface when hand sanding or using something like a ROS on a multi species end grain/long grain orientation is berry, berry dib-a-cult. My experience has been a half sheet of sand paper glued to a flat substrate (MDF) and a light hand works best, expecially on flat surfaces like a cutting board. You can try using a ROS using quick end to end motion across the surface, again with very light pressure. I've had good luck with the drum sander and the best has been a hand plane or even the planer. A well turned card scrapper will get the job done as well. IMHO woods of close hardness will typically leave a better surface than those of woods that are on either end of the scale combined. Even the finish will have varying effects on the different woods. Just ain't no gettin' round it.
Mixing the two ain't no big deal. as long as you done a good job with the glueup and nothing gets dropped from the 3rd floor :)
I was down in the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Tenn. area last week. Made it a point to check out all of the wood "craft" shops. It wasn't unusal to feel that little lip on alot of the cutting boards, no matter where ya went. Even in the 'better" shops.
that box is TOP SHELF! beautifully executed sir!
I don't think you'll have any problems with the glue holding because the cross-grain glue joints are small. You may be able to get it smooth today, but the joints will eventually become noticeable due to the wood moving more across the grain than it does with the grain.
Thank you one and all for the comments. Definitely solid points to consider going forwards.
Regarding your comment on being able to "see" the height change between the bubinga and walnut that may be more of a perception than reality. I say that based on the way the end and long grain pieces are placed on the "keyboard" version of a cutting board. That placement makes the black keys standout as though they are in fact raised as on a standard piano keyboard. However if you can fell it is definitely there. Great box as well!
Thansk. I used a 6" ROS with basically 0 pressure other than the weight of the ROS per se. Once I placed it on the board I simply hung on to the DC hose and let it walk itself around the board concitently moving L to R and then top to bottom.
Hopefully the surface area involved will keep movement to a minimum but I'll certainly keep an eye on that board. However if the owner doesn't keep the board oiled I can see that becoming an issue sooner than later.
You are correct, I made a sofa table for my daughter out of Douglas fir . If you like ripples.
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