Introduction: End Grain Cutting Board Plus Bonus

Picture of End Grain Cutting Board Plus Bonus


Hello Everyone,

First, I would like to thank you for viewing my instructable.
And, if you enjoyed it, please give me a vote!

I needed a $30 gift for my family gift exchange at our 2010 Christmas gathering.
I was reading through my Wood magazines and came across a wood end grain
cutting board.
I thought that would make a perfect Xmas gift.

The cutting board consisted of some hardwood scraps that I had lying around.
Of course, you will need some good water resistant glue.
And a weekend to complete the project.

I used several of my tools, to make the cutting board.
One, I would like to mention is my Craftsman Radial Arm saw.
The Craftsman saw is over 40 years old.
Still runs like a champ! (had only to replace the switch)

I started on this project, yesterday night. (Saturday)
It is about 7pm cst, and still waiting for the glue to dry.
Contest ends in about 5 hours.
Getting down to the wire...

Now onto the instructable...
Oh, the crackers are ash wood, by the way....

If you like my instructable, please take a second and vote for me!

Step 1: Finding the Correct Wood

Picture of Finding the Correct Wood

Choosing the correct wood.

I had a bunch of hardwood scraps lying around.
So, what I choose, was some closed grain hardwoods.
You do not want a soft wood.
The pieces I had were 35" long.
Yours will probably be different.

I chose:

Step 2: Cutting Board Design Software

Picture of Cutting Board Design Software

While figuring out what type of design I wanted, I came across
this fantastic program.
CBdesigner (FREE)

The designs attached is what I choose for my cutting board.
I imagine there are millions of different kinds of combinations!

I would like to give a BIG thanks to Jay for writing this great program.
It works fantastic!
Very easy to learn. It took me about 5 minutes to figure it out.
There is also a video on how to use the software.

Now, onto the next step...

Step 3: Cutting the Wood

Picture of Cutting the Wood

You will want to cut the boards all to the same length.
Whatever length you had in the Cutting Board Design software.
I used my 12" compound miter saw.

Joint any edges that need it.
That way you will get a better fit when you glue them.
No gaps is what your after.

Now, onto step 4

Step 4: Glueing Up the Wood

Picture of Glueing Up the Wood

Now that you figured out your layout, you will want to start the glue-up.

I find that doing it in threes, will make it much easier.
You will glue 3 boards together.
Then, when they are dry. You will glue up all the boards together.
3 groups of 3 boards.
That way you won't have any bowing in the boards on the final
glue up.

Step 5: While the Glue Dries...Part I

Picture of While the Glue Dries...Part I

BONUS Project
Part 1

Had some more hardwood scraps, so I thought I would do something while the glue dries.

You want to find some more hardwood scraps, at least 12" long.

I choose:

You want to end up with a square block of wood 1 1/2" x 1 1/4" x 12 long.
Or whatever size you choose....

I cut all my strips on my radial arm saw.

I did the same thing as on the cutting board.
I glued up the center first, then glued the edges.

Just follow the pictures. (pictures say a 1000 words)

Cutting board glue should be dried, so onto step 6...

Step 6: Planing the Wood

Picture of Planing the Wood

Glue is dried..
Onto the cutting board!

After you 3 groups of three has dried.

Next, you want to plane the wood.
You want to make sure all the boards are planed to the correct thickness.

This will also clean up the excess glue and even out the boards.
Then the 3 groups will be ready to be glued into one board. (12 boards total)

Step 7: Cutting the Strips

Picture of Cutting the Strips

Glue is dried..
Ok, now that we have all the boards glued up.
Time to cut the strips.

This is were we determine how thick we want our cutting board.
I am choosing to have a board that is 3/4" thick.

I will cut my strips a hair bigger to allow for sanding.
(It don't have to be perfect, just as long each strip is the same)
I did put a piece of wood clamped on the back rail of the Craftsman radial arm saw.
The wood is a stop, so I get my strips cut all even.

I choose to cut my strips on my trusty ole' Radial Arm saw. (40 plus years old)
The saw works perfect!

Step 8: Final Glue Up the Strips

Picture of Final Glue Up the Strips

Now you want to take every other strip and rotate it 180 degrees.
Make sure you flip the grain up, too!
Your pattern should start to take it shape.

Now, you want to glue up the strips.

Lets wait for the glue to dry...
So, we will go onto the BONUS project.

Step 9: While the Glue Dries...Part II

Picture of While the Glue Dries...Part II

BONUS Project
Part II

Now, that we have our block of wood with the different hard
woods, we are going to cut the grooves for the purpleheart.

Once we have the grooves cut, we can glue the purpleheart into the grooves.

After the glue dries, I cut the excess of the purple heart on my 9" bandsaw.
We then, can plane all the edges.
Then sand all the edges with some 220 to 400 grit.

I also put a 1/2" round-over on the edges.

Now, to take it to the radial arm saw and slice it.
Like, you would slice salami.

You can decide on the thickness, but I went for 3/8".

After they are sliced, you want to take them to the drill and drill
a hole in the slice. (the hole will be for the chain)

Then you want to take the slice to the router table and put
a slight round over on the edges.

Then take some 220 sandpaper and sand the slice.
After it is all sanded, take some mineral oil and rub on the slice.

Now, add the chain and you have yourself a key chain...

Back to the cutting board, lets hope the glue is dry...

Step 10: Plane the Cutting Board

Picture of Plane the Cutting Board

Glue is dried..
Onto the cutting board!

Once all the glue is dry you want to run the board through the planer.
You can also use a belt sander or orbiter.
I feel, since it is end grain we are sanding, I would send mine through the
planer, taking very tiny cuts.
As, in the end, I will be squaring up the board with the radial arm saw.
So, a little bit of tear out won't matter.

Here it is, already squared up and ready for the edges to be routered!

Step 11: Router the Edges

Picture of Router the Edges

I choose to use a 1/2" round over on the cutting board.
There are many options, this is just the one I like.

If you get burn marks, I just used my orbiter with some 220 and
it took it out pretty good.

Ok, let's go onto step 12...

Step 12: Router the Handles

Picture of Router the Handles

I did all handles with my CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) software.

I used a Sherline Mini mill to CNC the handles
I used a .25 Ball nose compression router bit..
Sherline Products

I engraved my name in the back, also.
I used a .25 60 degree V-bit.

Alright, lets put some oil on it, and wrap it up!
Oh, will have to put some rubber feet on the bottom.
Keep the board from slipping!

Step 13: Adding the Finish

Picture of Adding the Finish

The finish is the last step.
There are many different types of food safe finishes, but I prefer plain ole mineral oil! (baby oil without the scent).
I found this Butcher Block oil at my local home store, thought I would give it a try.
Apply the oil liberally to all surfaces and let it soak in for 5 minutes.
Wipe off the excess.
Repeat this for a week or so, and whenever the board starts to look dry.

As, you can see in the picture, it really brings out the colors in the wood.

Step 14: Adding the Rubber Feet

Picture of Adding the Rubber Feet

Last step is to add the rubber feet.
As, we don't want the cutting board to be moving around as we
cut our goodies.

That should wrap it up!

Maintence of the Cutting Board
1. Never wash in the dish washer.
2. Hand wash with warm soapy water and wipe dry.
3. Store the board on edge to allow air flow.
4. Wipe with mineral oil whenever the boards starts to look dull or dry.
5. If the surface becomes heavily marred, simply re-sand and reapply some mineral oil.

If you decide to make one, please post a picture!
I did put the oil on the Bonus project too. (key chain)

I hope you enjoyed my instructable!


That is super nice, keep it up!

Bushcamp (author)2014-08-27

Any idea where I can get this program? The website is no longer available.

Greasetattoo (author)Bushcamp2014-08-27

Just google cbdesigner.
I found this link...

Bushcamp (author)Greasetattoo2014-08-27

Thanks Greasetattoo but that's the website that's no longer available ...

Greasetattoo (author)Bushcamp2014-08-27

Hmmm, worked fine for me.
Must be on your end.
I downloaded the software. Very small file.
here is my email:
Shoot me a email, and I will reply with the attachment.

didipeter (author)Greasetattoo2017-05-29

Good job, man!

Do you still have the downloadad software? And would you send it to me?

My email:



SteveG53 made it! (author)2016-02-02

I use CBdesigner software Version 2.0. I've made several boards using this software and I like it a lot. I'm going to try to post a picture of one of my boards here as an example.

redbeardworkshop (author)2014-11-12

That is amazing! tip of my hat to you sir.. Is there a program like the CBdesigner for a Mac?

You know, I am not sure if CBdesigner for the mac is available? Thanks for the kind words.

dméssem (author)2014-05-12

Made one, thanks

Greasetattoo (author)dméssem2014-05-12

Wow, very cool..
Your mighty welcome!

RnP (author)2013-07-25

the pattern is awesome. I love the color pattern!

fast and cheap (author)2013-02-16

Very impressive! I'm gonna start planning one of these very soon!

PurpleJ3nn (author)2011-12-29

Thank you for your instructible. I have looked at a few tutorials for cutting boards and I have found yours to be the most informative.
Your writing form is very easy going and friendly too, I appreciate that.
I hope to get started on my cutting board soon!

Greasetattoo (author)PurpleJ3nn2011-12-29

Thank you very much!
Glad you liked it!

Have a great New Year!

euphemism (author)2011-03-20

Quick question, how does a board like this hold up in the long run, with so many separate pieces held together with only glue? Is it likely to fall apart in future years?

Greasetattoo (author)euphemism2011-03-21

It will hold up GREAT!
As long as you don't soak it, or dish-wash it!

The wood I use is Gorilla white glue!
Hope this helps!

euphemism (author)Greasetattoo2011-03-21

Good to know. I've gone out and bought some Purpleheart and Padauk, but am still debating on what to pick for the lighter two. I'll post a picture when I finish it so you can see how it turned out.

jreidy1 (author)euphemism2011-12-08

Rock maple and walnut look good with purpleheart and padauk

Greasetattoo (author)euphemism2011-03-22

Sweet! Love to see some pictures when you get it done!
I'm going to make another one, as when I made the first one, I had some
glue-ups left over.
Just working on other projects, right now!

jreidy1 (author)euphemism2011-12-08

Those four woods will last forever, and if you glue them with Titebond II and clamp them within an inch of their lives, they will last forever.

If you're worried, use biscuits between pieces, or if you have a drill press, a couple of dowels will make the join as permanent as the pyramids.


Kenn513 (author)euphemism2011-03-25

it very much can if the project is from air dryed wood. But usually wont if you have a good kiln dryed hardwood.

robbs (author)2011-01-18

Beautiful work!!

Wasagi (author)2011-01-18


Goodhart (author)2011-01-17

That is absolutely Fabulous ! And beyond anything I have ever been "able" to do.

tomblik (author)2010-12-30

The animated GIF is mesmerizing.

Greasetattoo (author)tomblik2010-12-31

Yes, very Hypnotic!
I caught myself watching it over and over....

laxap (author)2010-12-25

Very, very nice!

And oh, how I envy you for all these great woodworking machines.

Greasetattoo (author)laxap2010-12-26

Thanks for subscribing!
Glad you enjoyed my instructable!
Happy New Year!

Shades of Grey (author)2010-12-20

It looks like you wiped off the excess here, (step 4) but the less glue that squeezes out, the less glue there is to gum up your planer blades. Overall this is a great 'ible and my comments have been sharpshooting little things. I am in no way trying to offend. I just feel like pointing out these small things will help someone else in the future if they attempt this project. Again, great 'ible and very nice cutting board!

Thanks for the kind comments.

Yeah, I wiped off the excess glue.
Tried to fill in the voids.

It was getting late, last nite.
I still have a little bit of editing left.

I also want to rout end handles on the back, too!

Was not sure what picture you were talking about using the clamp.
Was that the one next to the router bit.
Showing how to round over the keychain?

I was referring to step 7, in the second pic w/ the saw. You have a stop there to insure each cut is equal width. Sorry for the confusion. I like the idea of routing end handles too, might be tricky when/if you get into the end grain but I am not experienced with routers so I can't say for sure. (That is on my list of toys to buy)

Yes, I figured that out, after I posted my comment.

I will try to router the handles today.
Check back...

The handles look great. I was thinking small with handheld type router when I was talking about end grain problems. You obviously have a way cooler toy to play with, and I was wrong about the problems! Again, very impressive project.

Handles have been added..(see pictures above)
Gives it a nice touch..

Marsh (author)2010-12-21

Nicely done!

rimar2000 (author)2010-12-21

Very nice!

Greasetattoo (author)rimar20002010-12-21

Thank you, Mr. Rimar2000!!!

Shades of Grey (author)2010-12-20

It would help if you explained what you are using the clamp and piece of wood for (stop) that is in this picture. You and I know what it is, but someone who is doing this for the first time might not!

Diabloscope (author)2010-12-20

i so want to make one , i need a bigger garage and tablesaw ? Keychain is a Great Idea For aspiring cooks all round !!

seamster (author)2010-12-20

This is really neat looking! I especially like the keychain.

caitlinsdad (author)2010-12-20

Very nice. Are any of the more exotic woods toxic as you work with them or bad when you cut into the finish and it comes into contact with food? I guess you could dye some pieces of hardwood for the same effect but that might not be too good either. It looks so fancy you wouldn't want to chop on it.

The Walnut and Paudauk can cause some issues with dust, but in bulk form most all woods are safe.

Except poison oak, poison ivy.

Just make sure and wear a dust mask.
No problems, here..
Glad you liked my instructable!

jdege (author)2010-12-20

Nice job, and good 'ible.

Only thing I'd do different is to route a groove in inch or so in from the edges, so that juices in whatever you're cutting don't run off onto the counter.

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