Introduction: How to Make an End Grain Cutting Board

About: Hi there everyone! I have a huge passion to design and build things, preferably out of wood. And of course I love to share my projects on both Instructables and my YouTube channel so make sure to follow and su…

Hi everyone! In this post I'll show you how I made this beautiful cutting board out of walnut and maple. I started off with a walnut board that measured 36" long, about 8" wide and 1.75" thick. I also used a small off cut of maple to make the stripes. The finished board came out to be 14.5" x 11.5" x 2" which includes the rubber feet.

The piece of walnut I got lucky and found at a local second hand store for only two dollars! At normal and current prices as of this posting date it would cost roughly $32.00. The maple cutoff came from a larger 8' long board that cost a total of $18.00. So in wood cost you might be around $50.00 depending on where you get your wood.


Wood. I used walnut and maple.

Table saw.

Diabo by Freud D1060X 10" x 60 Tooth Fine Finish Saw Blade

Incra T-RULE06 6-Inch Precision Marking T-Rule

Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue

Cutting Board Rubber Feet w/Stainless Steel Screws

Cutting Board Oil

Butcher Block Conditioner

Soft Towels


I use these 3/4" pipe clamps but these 1/2" pipe clamps will work just fine.

3/4" x 36" Black pipe for the clamps or 1/2" x 36" Black Pipe

Screw driver

Power drill

Small drill bits

Bosch Plunge Router or a Trim Router will work just fine as well.

Cove Router Bit to make the juice grove.

DEWALT Benchtop Planer

Belt Sander - I use a second hand sander but if you need a new one the one listed is a good option.

80 Grit belt sander paper

DEWALT Random Orbit Sander

5-Inch 8-Hole Hook and Loop Sanding Discs, 40/80/120/240/320/600/800 Assorted Grits Sandpaper - Pack of 70

A jointer or hand plane

The above links are affiliate links which means if you purchase anything through the links I will receive a small commission but there is NO extra charge to you. Just a small way to support my woodworking:)

Step 1: Break Down the Lumber.

I started by sending the piece of walnut through my jointer to get a nice flat edge. This flat edge will later be referenced against the table saw fence to further cut the board down.

From that point I took it over to may table saw sled ( sled build video ). I just wanted to cut it half to make it easier to send through the table saw in the next step.

Now referencing the flat edge from the first step I proceeded to cut the boards into roughly 1.75" square lengths.

I also took a length of maple and cut it down on the sled and then ripped two pieces down to just over 1.75".

Step 2: Rotate and Glue Together.

Taking all the pieces I laid them out and made sure to rotate the grain patterns.This is one for looks and two it helps out with the expansion and contraction of the wood fibers.

Once the pieces are rotated correctly I set them in my clamps and applied a generous amount of Titebond 3 wood glue. From there I just tighten the clamps and set aside to dry. Oh and be sure to wipe off any excess wood glue before it dries with a wet rag.

Step 3: Smooth Out Both Surfaces.

Once the glue has dried I sent the piece through my power planer the get both top and bottom surfaces smooth.

Step 4: Cut the Board Down Again.

Back at the table saw sled I cut the board down into small pieces again. I cut them again roughly at 1.75" square lengths.

Step 5: Glue and Clamp Again.

Back to the clamps again. From here the goal is to have the end grain facing up. So to start rotate the boards so that the end grain is facing sideways. Now apply a liberal amount of wood glue, rotate the pieces back up again and carefully tighten down the clamps making sure to apply equal pressure. And again, don't forget to wipe off any excess glue with a wet rag.

Step 6: Flatten Both Surfaces.

Their are several methods to flattening the surfaces at this point. Some of them would involve drum sanders and power planers. If you use the power planer method please do so at your own risk as it can be dangerous and ruin your board at the same time. So do your research first if you go that route.

I simply choose to use a belt sander. While this method works well, it may not guarantee getting both top and bottom surfaces co-planer to each other 100%. But with some time and effort you will get very close.

Step 7: Square Up All Edges.

Back at the table saw cross cut sled I started with one flat surface against the back fence and made one cut. Then I continued to rotate the board after each cut until all edges were square and flat.

Step 8: Cut Chamfers.

After first marking out where I wanted the chamfer to end which was basically half way up the edge I carefully snuck up to that line and made the cut with my table saw blade at 45 degrees. Then followed by cutting the rest of the three edges.

To add a small chamfer to the top edges I used my ol' trusty Stanley block plane. Another option would be a chamfer bit on a trim router or simply use some sandpaper on a block of wood.

Step 9: Rout the Juice Grooves.

To start I had to build a jig around the cutting board. This comprised of scrap two by fours secured down on top of a piece of scrap plywood.

From that point I measured the distance from the center of the router bit to the outer edge of the router base.

Taking that measurement I determined where I would install the guide rails for the router to follow while cutting the juice groove. These guide rails were made from more scrap pieces of plywood cut into inch wide strips.

Then all that's left is to rout out the juice groove. I set the depth to cut 1/8" deep as I felt this was plenty deep.

Now do take your time as you do not want to make a mistake as I did which I point out in the build video.

Step 10: Sand.

Starting with 120 grit sandpaper I sanded all edges. A little trick is to mark your surfaces with a pencil and sand till all lines disappear. This ensures that you do not leave any spots un-sanded.

I repeated the process with 220 grit sandpaper as well.

At this point you will want to lightly spray the board with water. This will raise any grain that has laid down while sanding.If you haven't done this step before you will be amazed how the boards feels after the water dries and you thought is was already silky smooth. Once the water has dried, go back over all surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper until silky smooth.

Step 11: Apply Oil and Wax.

This step also has a wide range of options. I simply used food grade mineral oil for the first step and the a mix of mineral oil and wax for the second step.

After cleaning off the board of any dust apply a generous amount of mineral oil. At the very least allow this to soak in for 20 minutes. I ended up leaving it there for a couple of hours checking on it periodically checking for any "dry" spots and adding oil where necessary.

Once it has soaked in enough wipe off any excess. Now the mixture of oil and wax can be applied. Just as before apply a generous amount and let dry.

Once dry, take a small clothe and buff out the wax till you have a nice smooth and shiny surface.

Step 12: Add Rubber Feet.

Mark out your hole locations, pre drill with small drill bit and install the rubber feet. Take care not to over tighten the stainless steel screws .

Step 13: Enjoy!

All that's left is to enjoy your cutting board for many years to come!