Just finished up my first cutting board

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by NBrewster, Oct 6, 2018.

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  1. Oct 6, 2018 #1

    NBrewster

    NBrewster

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    Maple and purple heart end grain board. Just finished oiling it up and am feeling pretty good about it. Thoughts/suggestions?

    [​IMG]

    Took a while to figure out how to get the thing perfectly flat without investing in a drum sander. I do have a Dewalt thickness planer which struggled a bit with the end grain purple heart (extremely dense wood).

    Had a few spots where the glue seems to have squeezed out in such a way that it's preventing the oil to soak into the grain (you can see the 3 or 4 light spots in the maple). Seems to be more of a problem with the maple than the denser purple heart.

    Pretty pleased with how it turned out but plenty of room for improvement.

    Anyone else have experience making end grain boards? What strategies did you use to keep everything flat? How about preventing glue leakage soaking into the end grain?
     
  2. Oct 6, 2018 #2

    RDalman

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    Looks great, grats good job. I have no experience making or using them either really, but they don't have to be perfectly flat no? If someone is dead set on using dead flat profiled knives they would need to use some pretty damn stable cutting board material, which is not wood imo. Granite flat? :DMost knives do have a light curve even in the flat spot so they will "work right" anyway. Put some rubber feet on it and use it and see how you like it.
     
  3. Oct 6, 2018 #3

    Saul68

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    Very nice first work!!
     
  4. Oct 7, 2018 #4

    Lazyboy

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    Looks very neat. I've just started making some boards too, but haven't oiled them yet: I've used a numbers of Australian sourced timbers (Australian red cedar, cypress, rose gum, silky oak, tallow wood, blue gum, camphor laurel, have some mango ready to go too). I'll see if I can get pics up later.

    For tools, I joined the local Men's Shed (a great organisation, google it) where they had all the man toys necessary to turn big pieces of timber into small boards and lots of sawdust (yeah, I'm still learning!). I made several thicknesses of boards, and combinations of timber, and now I'm leaving them un-oiled through one annual cycle to see how they respond to the changing temp and humidity - not surprisingly there's not a lot of info on use of these timbers for end grain boards. I shied away for many of the different gums (eucalypts) available because they are HARD timbers (harder than purple heart) and think they might cause harm to knives. Even Purpleheart has its detractors for this purpose because of its hardness (but can't deny how gorgeous it looks). I did a fair bit of research on the relative hardness and shrinkage of each of the timbers. I think the rose gum is my favourite (about 1200-1300 lb ft hardness, cf maple @ 900-100, and purpleheart @ 1800-1900).

    I'm using Titebond III glue, and wiping off with damp cloth any squeeze out before it sets, haven't seen any glue artifacts, but then I've not oiled yet ...
     
  5. Oct 7, 2018 #5

    Nemo

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    Wow, where did you get Aussie cedar from? Pretty hard to come by these days.

    Aussie hardwoods work fine for endgrain. Mine is Jarrah but the same maker was making them out of even harder timbers like Bluegum and Ironbark as well.
     
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  6. Oct 7, 2018 #6

    Lazyboy

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    From the outside to the centre this is: Silky oak, white cypress, rose gum, white cypress

    Stripey one is Tallow wood (Eucalyptus microcorys) and (I think) blue gum (unknown offcut from the men's shed!)

    Edge grain is Australian Red cedar (Toona ciliata)

    Rose gum (Eucalyptus grandis)


    Just dabbed these with some water to show grain and colour. The Cedar was half a small stump a local mill had. Left it as edge grain for now, until I've improved my board design skills: it will make awesome accent. This board is 32x29x3.5cm ... I'm now looking to get some more (maybe getting some small pieces at from another source at $1500-2500 per cubic metre ... dirt cheap!).
     

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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
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  7. Oct 7, 2018 #7

    Devon_Steven

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    Pictures are just file names
     
  8. Oct 7, 2018 #8

    Lazyboy

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  9. Oct 7, 2018 #9

    Lazyboy

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    let's try this ...
     

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  10. Oct 7, 2018 #10

    Devon_Steven

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    That worked. Nice board too!
     
  11. Oct 7, 2018 #11

    Nemo

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    Nice work
     
  12. Oct 7, 2018 #12

    Lazyboy

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    Here' the first one I did from camphor laurel, before I got access to all the tools. This I flattened using a jig I made for my router. A bit like in the link ...
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntX6TEyb4Rg
     

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  13. Oct 7, 2018 #13

    Devon_Steven

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    I see them all now. Good work.
     
  14. Oct 7, 2018 #14

    97knives

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    What oil do you use? I picked up some Fractionated Coconut Oil to try out on a couple new boards I just bought
     
  15. Oct 7, 2018 #15

    NBrewster

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    @Lazyboy those are great! Do you have photos

    It's especially fun to these in woods we in the north eastern US don't have access to. I'm really jealous of the variety of wood you have access to. Around here we're actually quite limited unless go to a handful of specialty lumber yards where they're going to charge you $10-$15 per board foot on South American woods.

    The grain on this one you attached is really stunning!
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately I live in NYC and have very limited access to the family wood shop so putting these together takes forever.

    @97knives I've just been using straight mineral oil for my boards. Tried a final conditioning with a blend of bee's wax and mineral oil but I have mixed feelings about the finish that leaves. I have limited experience using tung oil on boards, but when I give them as gifts I prefer to use an oil that's approachable and easy to access for the recipient.
     
  16. Oct 8, 2018 #16

    Chefgibson

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    Looks killer!
     
  17. Oct 8, 2018 #17

    Bensbites

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    I have don’t a few end grain boards. I thought I would sell them, but the market seems more limited than I expected.

    Back to your question about glue absorbing into the grain, I wash the squeeze out off with a damp paper towel. Then I flatten the end grain with a router sled removing any any glue soaked material.
     
  18. Oct 8, 2018 #18

    Lazyboy

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    Of the hundreds of Eucalypt species, and other species available, few are actually used. And like for you, anything unusual would normally cost $$$$ from specialty timber merchants. All these bits of wood I got from Gumtree (kind of like Craigslist) from small local people. That one is Rose gum, I agree, I love that timber.

    Yup, I did what Bensbites said on glue, and used router sled (before accessing the Mens Shed). I'm going to keep playing as I get more offcuts and bits of wood, hope you are too Brewster!
     
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  19. Oct 16, 2018 #19

    Devon_Steven

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    So you bought bits of gum tree on Gumtree. Nice.

    Maybe that's why the service was originally set up...?
     
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  20. Oct 22, 2018 #20

    mfishsauce

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    Great job! Very nice work!
     
  21. Jan 12, 2019 at 5:19 AM #21

    Lazyboy

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    here's latest, Tamsanian Oak (un-oiled so far). 33cm square-ish, 2.5cm thick.

    Brewster, made any more yet?

    IMG_20190112_144136.jpg
     
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  22. Jan 12, 2019 at 5:27 AM #22

    WAVERY

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    I really like that layup Lazy!
     
  23. Jan 12, 2019 at 6:05 PM #23

    Interapid101

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    Awesome work. Subscribed
     
  24. Jan 14, 2019 at 2:19 PM #24

    NBrewster

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    Yea that is looking awesome! I've been on a bit of a hiatus from making anything due to the holidays, work, and the fact that my (father's) wood shop is an hour away from my tiny apartment in NYC.

    I was running into a problem finishing my last board where the dust from the purple heart is so fine that it actually embeds itself in the end grain of the maple. Haven't found a particularly good way to clean it out. If anyone has any bright ideas here I'm all ears.
     
  25. Jan 14, 2019 at 9:31 PM #25

    Matus

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    I have no experience with this kind of work, but could sanding the board with some oil on help to mitigate the 'cross contamination' issue?

    BTW, awesome thread that I somehow managed to ignore until today.

    @RDalman - Robin, you want the cutting board to be fairly flat. I have one that has a 2D wavy pattern to it that deviates from a perfect plate by about 1-2 mm. It drives me crazy at times.
     
  26. Jan 15, 2019 at 3:46 AM #26

    Lazyboy

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    Dang it, real life getting in the way of playing with wood!


    I've not seen that problem, and don't know the solution, so I'll be interested in any suggestions. Is it obvious dark specks, or more of a "dulling" of the paler maple?
    I'd have thought that oil might make it sticky? ie the drier the dust, the less sticky? but I dunno.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019 at 8:09 AM

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