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

I made this cutting board a year ago. It is one of my most famous 3D end grain cutting boards. It looks simple, but you must be very precise making this board. Otherwise you will not get correct joints in the ready cutting board and will break the pattern.

You can watch the video about this board at YouTube

I made a lot of cutting boards and made a lot of mistakes. So after many years of work I wrote the tutorial


I think almost every woodworker can find something useful there.

You can download it for FREE -

Thank you!

Andrei Muntian,

Step 1: The Drawings - 1

This pattern shows a 3D optical illusion of the zigzag wall lit by the sun.

It is not a large board. The dimensions are 360x360 mm. You can make it smaller or larger. The dimensions of the sides should be multiples of 90 mm. So you can make it 180x180 mm or 900x900 mm.:)

This pattern consists of only one type of square. But you need two types of square block to make the pattern. To get the 2nd type you should rotate the 1st type twice – by 180 and then by 90 degrees in different coordinates.

Step 2: The Drawings - 2

The most complex is the middle part of each type. It is the same in both types.

To make this part you should glue maple and walnut panels, cut off the parts at table saw at 45 degrees and then cut off the corners.

Step 3: Wooden Panels

I used hard maple, black walnut and black cherry for this project. You may use other contrasting wood species. You need three types of wood: light wood (maple, hornbeam, birch), dark wood (padauk, walnut, sapele, purpleheart) and middle tone wood (movingui, cherry, oak).

First you should make two maple panels and two walnut panels and then two sandwich panels. We need 16 middle parts for all blocks, so it is necessary to make two 300 mm wide panels. The length of the panels should be about 400 mm.

Glue the panels. Use Titebond III glue or another type I and food safe glue.

Next day plane the panels and make two walnut-maple sandwich panels.It is important to glue the panels well in the center. So use large F-clamps for this purpose. First clamp the panels in the center to squeeze out the excess glue, then clamp at the edges. Wait 24 hours. Glue dries for a long time in the middle without air access.

Step 4: Making Middle Part of the Square Blocks

Set the 45 degree cutting angle at your table saw and cut off sixteen strips.

Plane them.

Cut off the corners.

Step 5: Assembling the Blocks

Make sixteen maple strips and sixteen cherry strips. Make them a little wider for future planing.

Assemble eight 1st type blocks and eight 2nd type blocks.

Glue three parts of each block.

Next day plane the blocks. Pay attention to the walnut corner.

Step 6: Making Two Boards

The next step is making two boards. These boards consist of two types of the blocks you just made.

Glue the boards.

Next day plane the boards. Pay attention to another one walnut corner.

Step 7: Assembling the Cutting Board

Cut off four strips from each board.

Rotate all strips 90 degree end grain up.

Assemble the cutting board.

Glue the cutting board.

Glue also sacrificial rails. These rails will protect the cutting board edges while planning. Front rail is necessary to ensure a smoother entry the board into the planer. Back rail is needed in order to prevent tearing out the grain at the exit the board from the planer.

Step 8: Last Operations

Plane the board.

Sand two edges of the board at the belt sander.

Saw off the sacrificial rails.

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

Sand the edges along the grain.

Sand the board at the drum sander.

Sand the board with the rotary sander.

Step 9: Finishing

Finally 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. You should treat the board with the food grade mineral oil to prolong service life, to protect against bacteria and to make beautiful appearance of a board. Mineral oil is tasteless and odourless. 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.

I use mineral oil bath for 10-15 sec.

Dry the board during 6 hours.

Then apply the hot mixture of mineral oil and beeswax (4:1 ratio)

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

Step 10: Enjoy Your Cutting Board!