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End Grain Cutting Board Project

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Weird Wood Pusher
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I am making a couple of end grain cutting boards. One for myself and the other to go in our gallery here at It's a Burl. This thread is not to sell these. I need to make something other than knife handle blocks once in a while to maintain my sanity. So for me, making these boards is therapy.

The wood I am using is end grain maple cut from the heart of a large maple stump burl that I cut about 5 years ago. One will be freeform in shape (for me) the other a large rectangle.

These are the chunks I will be working with.
So far they have just been drum sanded flat and even thickness.



 

The hekler

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I love the free form piece, is there any drawback to using solid boards as opposed to a bunch of blocks glued together?
 

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This is the freeform piece after I finished shaping how I wanted it.
I will be using it as a cutting board sometimes and the rest of the time it will go on the dining table like a trivet.



As Marko said, an end grain single piece board is prone to cracking.
This can be avoided with proper handling and preparation of the wood.
For example with this piece. I cut it into slabs about 5 years ago.
After that it was dried slowly indoors.
Early in the summer I put it into a dehumidification kiln to take the moisture content down from 12% to under 8%.
While I am working it will be kept in a warm dry area.
In the end It will be oiled over all surfaces with multiple coats.

You can still make it crack after all that.
.... you will just have to try a lot harder
 

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SNAP ... 5 years.
Do you mean 5 years from when originally cut?,
or 5 years from when cut into slabs?,
or 5 years from when I finish the board?

Whatever your answer........I'll take that bet.

I will show more reasons why after I go farther with the board.

+1. Cool project, Mark. I didn't know you made other stuff. Do you have a gallery of your own work?
The main purpose of the place here (It's a Burl) is to make things from burl and figured woods for the 2 galleries we have on the grounds. Most of my time is taken with the knife handle woods, but I still make stuff for the galleries. Mostly weird boxes.
 

Eamon Burke

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No, I meant "OH SNAP". 5 years is a helluva long time to wait for a piece of wood to dry out. I suppose the REAL reason why people don't make one-piece boards isn't because they *always* crack, it's because most folks don't want to spend the better part of a decade making a suitable chopping block. You, as usual, are the rare exception.
 

Ratton

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Very interesting looking board! I bet when it is finished and all oiled it will look spectacular!! :ggodjob:
 

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Not all of our wood is treated like this piece was.
I was processing it under the direction of a Luthier who makes high end acoustic guitars.
This was some of the wood that will be resawn thin and bookmatched for guitar backs.

Eamon,
I misunderstood your comments. My apologies.

Here is how it looks after the first coat of it's finish (beeswax and orange oil)
There will be several more coats over the next couple days.
Looks like I don't get to keep this one.
My Boss keeps saying how much he likes it.
I'm kind of slow but I can take a hint.

 

RobinW

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Beautiful piece! Almost a shame not to use it as a everyday cuttingboard.
Question, the orange oil, what does it contrubute?
 

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Beautiful piece! Almost a shame not to use it as a everyday cuttingboard.
Question, the orange oil, what does it contrubute?
The orange oil is a food safe oil and it smells good.
It is mixed with the beeswax and helps it to penetrate into the wood.
Gives a nice finish and helps to repel water and protect the wood.
Basically an alternative to mineral oil.
 
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