Experience with my first cutting board - Router Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Default Experience with my first cutting board

I finished my first cutting board today. I did some research, watched some videos, and seen what other members of the forum have posted so I thought I'd give it a try. I wanted to use five woods. I had enough Purple Heart and Satin Wood on hand from prior projects but was short on Maple, Walnut and Cherry. I found the Maple at HD then decided to take a chance and order the Walnut and Brazilian Cherry on line from HD. I was totally surprised when it arrived. I couldn't have selected nicer wood from a lumber yard, if there was one near me. Not cheap, but worth the price.

I decided to do an edge grain board for my first attempt since I thought I'd have less problems with tear out on my planner. That was almost true. I cut the boards to 1 5/8" height so i could end up with a finished thickness of 1 3/8". Came pretty close to that. Rather than go on forever with a step by step, here are some bullet points of what I learned.
  • On the glue up I used a small sponge roller to spread the glue on one side of each board. I used Titebond III to give myself enough time to get all of the pieces into the clamps. I made cauls and covered the edges with packing tape. After clamping everything up the boards were almost dead flat. However, I didn't get much squeeze out which tells me I probably didn't use enough glue. I'll go a little heavier on my next one.
  • After the glue set up I ran the board through the planner. Set it to take 1/64" off. Had some tear out on the Purple Heart on both top and bottom. Ran it through several times, taking less than 1/64 and turning it end for end to change the grain direction. It helped but still left some indentations.
  • Finally broke down and bought the Bosch ROS20VSK Random Orbit sander on sale at, once again, HD. Also bought the Mirka Gold 5-Inch Sanding Disk assortment from Amazon. One of the best buys I've ever made. Starting at 80 grit, due to the Purple Heart dents, and ended up at 220 on the faces and long edges. I went to 320 on the end grain to try to reduce the color change when I oiled the board.
  • After looking at many of the cutting board oils one line I found a woodworker who simply uses mineral oil and little paraffin wax. I have blocks of paraffin that I use to lube screws before I drive them so, using his ratio, I mixed 1 cup of food grade mineral oil with 1/2 tsp of wax and heated it in the microwave until the wax melted. Let it cool and then applied it with a shop paper towel. It took 4 applications over as many hours for the oil to stop absorbing. Except for the maple, the other woods were happy after 2 - 3 coats but the maple kept drinking it up. Not sure why. Anyone know? Polished it with a dry shop towel this morning. It's still oozing a bit so I'll keep wiping it down over the next couple of days.

My wife wanted to keep it but I want to give it to one of my daughters. Since we already have two store bought cutting boards we agreed that I'd make a cheese board as my next project and we'd keep it. I'll be sure to use more glue this time.

I apologize for the picture. The colors are brighter than they appear but that's the best that my old cell phone camera can do.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 02:46 PM
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Nicely done, Barry! I'm guessing the other daughters are putting in requisitions...
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 06:26 PM
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Great result Barry.

Did you check grain direction before the glue up?

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 08:31 PM
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looking good...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 09:33 PM
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Nice job Barry. If one wood is soaking up more mix it's because it's more porous than the others.

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 #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 09:49 PM
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That looks like it turned out very well Barry , nice work

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Ok ,I never insulate
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jw2170 View Post
Great result Barry.

Did you check grain direction before the glue up?
James, I did and I thought I had the Purple Heart going in the same direction but I may have flipped one piece end for end. Grain direction is another thing I'll have to be extra careful of in the future along with the amount of glue I use. I just know that I must have some glue starved joints in there.

I have had this problem with Purple Heart in the past. I do the best I can with the jointer and thickness planner, taking multiple thin (1/64") passes and then sanding to get it smooth. The random orbit sander I just bought is a major help. Should have bought it a long time ago. As I've said in past posts, I have Arthritis in my hands so I use power tools as much as possible. However, I still like to hand sand the final piece. When I do I usually feel it in my hands the next day. The ROS will reduce the amount that I have to sand by hand.

I haven't had this problem with other woods so I accept that it's a characteristic of Purple Heart and I'll just have to keep on learning how to work with it. I have to, all the women in my family, wife, daughters and granddaughters, love purple.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 01:18 PM
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Wow that is beautiful Barry. I could only hope my first on in many years will look half as good as yours.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 04:25 PM
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Hi, Barry. I wouldn´t use something like your cutting board for cutting anything. Well done.

We, woodworkers are everywhere!!!
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