Introduction: Making a 3D End Grain Cutting Board #1

Picture of Making a 3D End Grain Cutting Board #1


My name is Andrei. I live in Russia and run my small business. I am the only woodworker in the shop.

I make only end grain cutting boards. I've been making end grain cutting boards for years.

You can check my YouTube channel -

Sometimes I make 3D end grain cutting boards. I want to show you how to make simple and good looking 3D end grain cutting board. I called it a 3D end grain cutting board #1, because I have about fifteen 3D boards and it is not easy to give name to each board.

You can download FREE PDF-plans and SketchUp model -

Let's start!

Step 1: The Drawings

Picture of The Drawings

This pattern is based on old well-known optical illusion. The diminishing black and white rectangles create the illusion of curving lines.

I made the drawings of the board with the use of SketchUp. All dimensions are in mm.

First you should make two initial wooden panels. Each panel consists of maple and walnut strips. The 2nd panel is a "colour negative" of the 1st panel.

Step 2: Making Wooden Panels

Picture of Making Wooden Panels

I used maple and walnut for this project. You may use other contrasting wood species. You need two types of wood: light wood (maple, hornbeam, birch) and dark wood (makore, padauk, walnut, sapele, purpleheart).

Saw off the maple and the walnut strips at the table saw for both panels at once. Make them 1.5 mm thicker than at the drawings.

Make the needed thickness of the strips at the planer. It is very important to plane all strips of the same thickness from both panels at one time at the same level of the planer.

Assemble two panels.

Glue the panel and wait a night.

Step 3: Preparing Wooden Strips to Make 3D Pattern

Picture of Preparing Wooden Strips to Make 3D Pattern

Next day plane the panels. Don't worry about the same thickness of the panels.

Saw off 42-43 mm wide end grain strips. Usually 4-5 strips are enough to make one board.

Rotate each strip 90 degree end grain up.

Make the thinner end grain strips at the table saw or band saw according to the drawings.

Make the strip thicker 1 mm than at the drawings. You will remove the excess at the drum sander later.

Step 4: Assembling and Gluing the Cutting Board

Picture of Assembling and Gluing the Cutting Board

Use the drum sander to sand the strips. Check the thickness.

Assemble the cutting board.

Glue the board. Use Titebond III glue. Wait 24 hours.

Step 5: Planing and Sanding the Board

Picture of Planing and Sanding the Board

Next day plane or sand the board.

Make the finger grips at the shaper or by the router.

Sand the edges of the board along the grain and slightly round the corners.

Sand the board at the drum sander.

Sand the board with the rotary sander.

Step 6: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

Treat the board with the mineral oil. You should firmly close the pores of the wood and prevent the ingress of moisture into the grains. I use mineral oil bath for 10-15 seconds. Then I dry the board during 6 hours and repeat the oiling.

Apply the hot mineral oil/beeswax mixture (4:1 ratio). Dry the board during 24 hours. Remove the excessive oil/wax mixture with the rag.

Also it is possible to use linseed or pure tung oil. Sunflower, olive, and other food grade oils cannot be used for treatment, because after a while they become bitter and will transmit this taste to foodstuff.

Screw the rubber or silicon feet with the stainless steel screws.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Cutting Board!

Picture of Enjoy Your Cutting Board!


CraigS73 (author)2017-10-25

It is very cool to read some of your story, very interesting. Your work is amazing and very inspirational. Thank You!

stump725 (author)2017-05-19

Why can I not download pdf file for cutting board #1

CarlTheDabbler (author)2015-08-13

I too have watched several of your videos in the past. You do great work. It's good to see you posted here as well.


HappyVegan (author)2015-07-26

Impressive! Thank you for sharing. :-)

AndyG8 (author)2015-07-08

I love the craftsmanship! Thank you for sharing! What kind of glue do you use?

Andrei Muntian (author)AndyG82015-07-08

Only Titebond III - food safe and D3 water resistance

NorbertR1 (author)2015-07-08

One of the most impressing woodwork art I have seen! Treating the finished product with mineral oil? Is this like motor oil?

Andrei Muntian (author)NorbertR12015-07-08

No, no! Use only food grade mineral oil - You can find it in pharmacy or local store. Oil, then oil/beeswax mixture -


geppetto425 (author)2015-07-06

Very nice work and thank you for sharing!
I've made a few 'free form' cutting boards like these:
Just wondering if your planer has a spiral cutting head??
Thank you,
Jeff in Washington state

Very nice boards! I use JET JWP 209HH. Yes, it has "helical" cutter head.

I show it -

MikeJ24 (author)2015-07-05

I discovered your videos on YouTube a while back and always wanted to tell you how AMAZING your work is.

Ilan Voyager (author)MikeJ242015-07-05

Mike, I agree with you; the work is top pure beauty of creation and realization. The channel very instructive. Bravo Andrei.

I am a former teacher in economics.:) Maybe this helps me.

Certainly a lot. Looking at the design of some of the boards, which requires a genuine understanding about the use of symmetry, mirroring, translations and rotations in the space of the pieces of wood to obtain the final effect, I always thought you had a knowledge of mathematics, or a very sure instinct as Escher had.

Even your catalog list of prices betrays you a bit, as the prices are visibly determined by a calculation sheet of materials, amortizations, miscellaneous, and work.

The videos are made without any babbling, straight to the logical order of the operations (with excellent light and focus). I love the animations also.

I do hope you are make a living with your work as it's not very easy in the middle of the political and economical turmoil.

I am PhD in economics, not maths.:)

Of course, I make calculations for every board I make. I guess that the prices are high, but these boards are not easy to make. I made enough money during my previous life, but I think that any work should be properly rewarded. I watch the market. If people don't want to buy expensive cutting boards I do not make them. I don't want to make thousands of ordinary bamboo boards.:)

You are very modest. Economics need a very good level in maths, I do remember that some friends suffered with econometrics calculations, for example with the good old Andrei Markov and his chains.

But more it's the spacial representation of the board with a complex 2D design and the series of "translations-transformations" needed to make it from planks in a systematic and fast way, that asks a solid sense of 3D geometry. I think it's may primarily a gift as I saw many intelligent guys unable to do it. I guess they had not the good wiring in the brain, or were blocked somewhere.

The boards are not too expensive, you use very exotic first grade woods, have complex designs and need very good (and expensive) tools plus a lot of work. I sure that most of the boards never see a knife, as people see them as art.

Thank you very much!

Andrei Muntian (author)MikeJ242015-07-05

Thanks a lot!

zacker (author)2015-07-06

its beautiful! awesome Board... Thanks for Sharing!

Andrei Muntian (author)zacker2015-07-06

Thanks for watching!

TamS1 (author)2015-07-06

Love the look of this piece of art for the kitchen. Excellent craftsmanship !

JeffS2 (author)2015-07-05


Andrei Muntian (author)JeffS22015-07-05


pattiemelt (author)2015-07-05

I love your work. It's so nice to see professional craftsmen share their hard work & plans with others.



Azzurro (author)2015-07-05

make a 2D cutting board. i dare you! :D

this is brilliant, i'm considering making one as well. thanks for the instructable!

Andrei Muntian (author)Azzurro2015-07-05

I have a lot of 2D boards and no one 4D.:)

You can see my other plans -


Azzurro (author)Andrei Muntian2015-07-05

very cool! i like this one the most:

plantprof (author)Andrei Muntian2015-07-05

That is an impressive display of your other plans and your ability!! Thanks for the link. Do you sell many of them and do you keep a supply of them on hand, or make them when an order comes in?

Andrei Muntian (author)plantprof2015-07-05

I make boards for my webstore - Also I make custom boards if the customer wants something special. Most of my boards at YouTube are custom.

Laral (author)2015-07-05

That looks fantastic!

Andrei Muntian (author)Laral2015-07-05


bd5 (author)2015-07-05

That is SO COOL!

Andrei Muntian (author)bd52015-07-05


SherpaDoug (author)2015-07-05

That would make for a mind-bending chess game!

tesla1893 (author)2015-07-05


Andrei Muntian (author)tesla18932015-07-05


Beslar (author)2015-07-02

Thank you for sharing this wonderful project with us. It is fantastic.

Victorrr (author)2015-07-02

Супер! Надо себе такую сделать.

buck2217 (author)2015-06-30

That is great (if a bit mind bending with the pattern)

Andrei Muntian (author)buck22172015-06-30

Did you saw my "Butterfly" board?:)

buck2217 (author)Andrei Muntian2015-07-01

AAArrrgggghhh I think I'm having a brain haemorrage!!+ That is brilliant!

CraigRJess (author)2015-07-01

Very nice. Love those optical illusions. Where did you buy the rubber feet?

We buy the feet wholesale in China. Check or Ebay.

raptor_demon (author)2015-07-01

this is cool!

Stark Ideas (author)2015-06-30

Watched many of your videos in the past.. Always good work!


droyer2 (author)2015-06-30

It's a pretty sweet piece! i will try my hand at one in the near

Andrei Muntian (author)droyer22015-06-30

Good luck!

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