Instructables

DIY End Grain Cutting Board (supplement)

First and foremost, I should say that I learned how to do this originally from taking a Techshop Workshop from the man who wrote this instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-an-end-grain-cutting-board-I-made-it-at-T/

This guy runs a Techshop Workshop for making end grain cutting boards, and having taken his workshop I highly recommend it: 
WKS100: Two-Tone, End-Grain Cutting Board Workshop

This instructable should act simply as a supplement to his instructable. As a newcomer to end-grain cutting board making I made a few mistakes and observations that should hopefully make anyone else willing to tackle this project even more informed and prepared. 

Full Discloser: I made it at Techshop and I highly recommend anyone near one to check them out.

Materials List: 

Some nice pieces of wood (the cutting boards you'll see here are made with maple and cherry)
Glue: I used Titebond II. Just make sure it's food safe and will hold up ok when wet. 
Clamps
Table Saw
Finishing Oil
Orbital Sander
Lots of sandpaper
Heat gun (not necessary unless in cold environment)

 
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Step 1: Design and First Cut

1. Design your cutting board
CBdesigner is the tool that is awesome for taking the headache out of checkered end grain cutting boards. I would highly suggest fully mocking up your design in this program before buying a single piece of wood. It will save you a lot of hassle. Here you can see the design I was shooting for. 

2. Cut the first set on the table saw
Word of advice: be absolutely meticulous with your table saw cuts. I made the mistake of applying too much pressure against the fence, which pressed the wood against the blade, which meant that I cut away more material than desired. This ended up creating small gaps when I fitted the pieces together, which I was luckily about to close when I glued it all together. More on that in the next step. 
lime3D1 year ago
The ShopBot would probably work to even out the surface, but perhaps the planer would be better.
robertdavidmartinez (author)  lime3D1 year ago
That's a great point, and I think ShopBot may very well be the route I go for my next cutting boards. I've been told by the instructor for this workshop and Techshop DCs that only very high end (read: non-Techshop) planars can handle the end grain without either damaging the wood or damaging the planing bits. This link seems most helpful for learning how to use a planing bit on a Shopbot: http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4869