First project: An end-grain cutting board - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Default First project: An end-grain cutting board

I've attached finished shot of a cutting board my son and I made out of Padauk and Tigerwood. It is our version of a design posted and shown in a "how to" video on Marc Spagnolo's web site www.thewoodwhisperer.com
I'm posting it, warts and all, to inspire and beginners (like me)

Although I didn't think about taking pictures until I was well into the project I decided to start as soon as I did. My next post will give the first pics and explain how I got to that point.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Once the 8/4 thick stock was selected, we cut a piece off each about 6" wide and 15" long. One face and one edge were jointed on each to give a 90* angle to work from.

They were then planed smooth. They were fed alternately through the planer until both were smooth. By doing this, both pieces ended up the same thickness.

The wood was then taken to the table saw and one piece was ripped to 1/2", 1", 1-1/2" and 2". The 2" piece was cut last; otherwise the last cut would have been made from very narrow stock.

The pieces were then layed out in the alternating pattern shown in picture 22.

I did not take pictures until after this was glued up but you will see the glueing / clamping process in the next post, when we cross-cut the glued-up board to make the checkerboard pattern.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Default Oops.. wrong picture!

Here's 22..
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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The next step was to cross-cut the laminated board into sections so the pattern could be made and end-grain turned upwards.

The first step was to cut the end smooth and flush using the miter gauge. Once that was done, the fence was set to give an odd-number of slices. This isn't necessary. It's the call of the maker whether it will be better ending with a strip that looks like the first one or with the opposite, like a checkerboard. We chose 11 strips and my son set the rip fence to that setting, allowing for the 1/8" kerf of the blade. Picture 23 was staged; you can see that the leftover piece was less than 1/4" thick!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Picture 27 shows the beginning of board assembly. The boards are placed across the clamps with waxed paper protecting the grooves in the clamps from dried glue. Every other board was flipped to give it the checkerboard pattern. Then each was rotated 90* to aim the end grain upward. The first piece gets placed against the clamp and every other piece gets glue on one side.

During the first glue-up the pieces were of different thickness so each had to have glue applied separately but for the second glue-up they are all the same thickness so you can apply the glue en-mass. See pictures 27 through 33.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 12:21 AM
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Nice work Jim! Great write up too! Thanks for the pictures, it looks like a fun project. I like the wood choices as well!

EGO postulo , EGO venalicium , EGO incidere.
I measured, I marked, I cut.
Latin instructions for firewood.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Prior to tightening the clamps, ensure the pieces are aligned (#34). Focus on aligning the inner portion, as you can trim the outside if necessary. Add a third clamp parallel to the others, facing the other way.

Trim 2 cauls from scrap about 1/4" short of the board length. Place these parallel to the two outer clamps (with waxed paper in between) and attach several clamps as shown in #35. Let dry overnight.

The glueing process shown should in the last few posts should be performed during both glue-ups. Unfortunately I only got pictures of the second one.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Sand (or plane or scrape) the top and bottom surfaces (through 120 grit) as shown in #37 - 39. You will notice my son is wearing a P100 respirator despite the 6" DC chute next to him and the Jet 1100 room filter (running on high) behind him. The sander catch bag would be on too but it was letting so much dust through that we finally removed it and aimed it at the DC inlet. Despite all of this, when we were done I still had a light coating of dust all over the shop, even though the garage door was open. That's what air compressors are for.

The board was then taken to the table saw and trimmed lightly to remove and glue press-out on the sides. This was then also sanded. IN hindsight, we'd have trimmed first and sanded all at one time.

We used the sander on the sides also, not worrying about slightly rounding over the corner since we were going to hit them with a roundover bit anyway.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Marc use a 1/4" roundover on the top & side edges and a 1/8" on the bottom. We chose to use the 1/4" all over.

Prior to doing the roundover, use a straight bit to cut finger-holds one the bottom of the ends. Ours were about 1/2" deep, about 3/4 wide and about 4" in length. Precise dimensions are not important, just that they fit your fingers and are symmetrical. We used a straightedge to limit the length and a router edge guide to control width. The depth was cut in several passes with the first and last cuts very light to minimize tearout. In our case the roundover was too deep to fit in the finger cutouts, so it was sanded by hand. You can see the cutouts in the pictures. The roundovers were lightly sanded to ensure smoothness.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Marc explains the use of (1) mineral oil, (2) mineral oil and wax and (3) a dilute oil-based poly. We went for the latter since it requires less maintenance. He calls for an oil-based wiping varnish mixed 50/50 with mineral spirits. That wasn't available locally so I researched it and found out wiping varnish is regular varnish mixed 50/50 with mineral spirits. Therefore I mixed poly about 25/75 with MS. I know this sounds impossibly dilute but the idea here is to soak as deep as possible into the wood, not build a film coat on the surface.

We then flooded the surface, spreading it with a piece of t-shirt, letting it soak in for several minutes, adding more as it soaked up. Then we wiped off the surface with the squeezed out cloth and let dry. We repeated this until all surfaces were coated and left it overnight to dry. The next evening we repeated this process.
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