Lesson #1… End Grain Cutting Board.


I know that this has been long awaited.. and I hope that the delay has not caused some to drop out of the class… NO.. I am sure that is not the case… one things that woodworkers have…is patience…

Miss Debbie wrote in the latest copy of Lumberjocks e-Mag…

“Patience is a virtue” they say, and a woodworker often has to use patience while working on a project. I’m picturing the time spent sanding an item, taking the sandpaper to finer and finer grits, waiting for that perfect smoothness. And in the end, the patience and the work all pay off and those admiring the project appreciate the efforts.

Well I thank you for your patience.. the wait if nearly over.  First off we need to select the timber for use in the project.. As stated in the original post, there will be a beginner and an intermediate board.. They will be similar in the use of timber and for these I have selected 3 woods,

One black, one white one and one with a little… oops wrong song..

One light one dark and one kinda in the middle… I suggest for you that the timbers be tight grained hardwood.. Of course timber selection will differ amongst the various countries that this class is reaching…for some this process will be quite straight forward… for example in the US…Cherry, Walnut, Maple..seem to be the staple although I have heard that some will be using Jotoba, Bubinga and PurpleHeart…This is purely personal preference and also about availability.. If you do not have access to these timbers use what is handy…

With regard to over all size I will be going for around 405 mm by 325 mm and 35 mm thick [for our American cousins roughly  16 X 13 X 1 1/2 inches]

To understand the next process we need to understand just what a End Grain Board is and how It is made…

We take strips of timber and glued them together [laminating] and then cross cut the wide glue up into strips, rotate them 90 degrees and glue up again…that is it in a nutshell..

To work out the length of stock required we look at the thickness of the stock.. in this case 45 mm dressed [1 3/4 inches] and if we crosscut 9 strips after lamination we get 405 mm [just over the 16 inch mark] We will in fact cut 12 strips just in case there is a defect inside the timber we can’t see…and we will need a little extra length for safety… to be able to keep our hands and fingers clear of the very sharp spinning thing in the table saw…

Then to work out the actual length you multiply the number of pieces by the depth of the finished board..[not forgetting the Kerf … the thickness of the cut .. usually about 3 mm [1/8″].. Lets call it 40 mm [1 5/8″] therefor the timber needs to be at least 480 mm .. call it 500 [20″]  and a little extra for safety… say 550 mm [22″]

If your timber is not that thick the same rules apply :

For example… only 25 mm [1″] then you would cut 16 pieces with 4 or so extra if needed…so to end up with 400 mm [16″] you would be looking at 800 mm plus… say 900 mm [or nearly 3 feet…] This will give a much tighter pattern than using 50 mm or 8/4 stock..

This is where your personal choice comes in.. you can follow exactly or you can choose to use a different thickness to either of the two mentioned so far… up to you…

Next is the width part… we have decided on 325 mm [13″] again up to you.. wider or narrower..personal choice… I just like even numbers .

As popular as the chess board style is, I personally like the “bricks” to overlap on each course… just like laying bricks… the one above holds the edges of the two below..For this board [beginners] we will be using straight rip cuts…There will be 5 boards..the outer boards will be dark [or light if you choose] one will be 75 mm [3″] wide and the other will be 50 mm [2″] .. next in from the edge will be 2  boards [opposite colour to the edge board… if the edge boards are dark use light coloured timber… and vice versa.. yes I know this is not supposed to be a latin lesson] each 75 mm [3″] wide

The middle one will be in between in colour… and will be 75 mm [3″] wide. Again you can change these dimensions.. just as long as the “bricks” overlap!

So to recap … you will need

1.  Dark timber..1 x 75 mm x 50 mm x 550 mm long…[3x2x22″]…1 x  50 mm x 50 mm x 550 mm [2x2x22″]

2.  Light timber..2 x 75 mm x 50 mm x 550 mm long…[3x2x22″]

3.  Inbetween  timber..1 x 75 mm x 50 mm x 550 mm long…[3x2x22″]

For the slightly more difficult ”intermediate” level board please note the stock has to be 25 mm [1″] WIDER on the outside pieces and 35 mm [1 1/2″] wider for the inner pieces…

We will be bevel ripping these… more info in the next post..

I appreciate that this is rather long winded and a lot to read but the next lesson will include a video and some pics.. and less words…

About Lazy Larry

Just a woodworker sharing some of the things learnt the hard way... so you don't make the same mistakes...
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One Response to Lesson #1… End Grain Cutting Board.

  1. Sounds good, Larry, and I look forward to seeing your ideas come to life.

    Funnily enough, I’ve been meaning to make a couple of these for about two-months, now! I also like the ‘brickwork’ pattern. The fact that there’s no continuous joint line along the length of a board instils confidence in that the joints should remain strong if the board was dropped on a hard floor… I think so, anyway. 🙂

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