Planing End Grain - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Default Planing End Grain

I've made several end grain cutting boards. After the final glue up, I use a portable belt sander, and get them pretty darn flat. But it takes a lot of sanding. I've been tempted to run it through the planer, but I worry it may tear up the blades, or worse. Has anyone tried this? My planer is the DeWalt 734.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 01:47 AM
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I have run end grain cutting boards through my planer but it has a Byrd insert head which does a much better job than the straight knife machines I have tried. See the link below for photos and a video of how it went.
I ran the cutting boards through the planer before trimming to the final size which is important because the trailing edge as it goes through the planer is going to blow out some. On mine that blow out was limited to under 1/8" in width so the trim cuts to square the cutting board more than cleaned that up.
With any planer light cuts and slow feed rates are going to be important as are sharp knives.

Building End Grain Cutting Boards - NewWoodworker.com LLC

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 01:04 PM
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Hello Rusty, This is one of those times that a radial arm saw is very handy, I use a sanding plate with 100 grit paper glued on, and stop the pulling of the saw. Just slowly move the piece against the blade lightly, and after a few times, you will have a nice finish. I think that you can go to 120, grit if necessary. If you don't have one, and your going to do a lot of sanding, you could use a thicker old blade, and do the same. However, you would need to use a fence attached to the saw fence, to make a backing plate, and cover the teeth, or a bad accident could result. Then , you could move it against the fence, to sand. Will work nicely if you use light pressure on the work piece, and keep the work moving. I haven't done it, but i have seen a person use the saw table for it. Just be very cautious

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 01:59 PM
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 08:33 AM
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 08:01 PM
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DON'T do it. A good way to wreck your planer. Find someone with a thickness sander or us elbow grease.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 07:47 AM
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I wouldn't try that on a bet! The nature of wood is to split into smaller sections. Those smaller sections become projectiles - which are extremely dangerous. I noticed you said these are cutting boards. I'm thinking you must be after some pretty nice-looking sandwiches to attempt precision better than you can get from that sander. Sure, flat and perfect is great, but this ain't piston rings you're milling. I can hear your wife now, "Rusty cut-off his finger making this cutting board and blinded the dog, but look at the flatness of your sandwiches - aren't they nice?" Do something safer, please........OPG3
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 08:30 AM
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End-grain through a planer is a bad idea. I would use a belt sander.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 07:40 PM
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I keep a couple of 24 grit belts for my belt sander and they cut mighty fast. You just have to keep the sander moving. This link is labeled as 1x30 but it has many sizes..

1 X 30 ZIRC 24Y SANDING BELT

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 06:53 AM
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Rusty:
I've made quite a few end grain cutting boards. The first one I flattened through the planer with some snipe but being a new woodworker, thought was ok. The next one literally exploded in the planer, discharging chunks of the board with great force. I learned my lesson. End grain in a planer is just plain dangerous. Sanding is a solution and a drum sander makes it quick and easy. Or, you could make a router sled, which also works great.
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