The idea for this build came after wanting to make something special for my wife. Being a Piano player I though this would be the perfect gift.
Step 1: Wood Selection and Making the First Blocks.
The wood needed for this build is 1" thick Maple for the white keys, 1" thick Walnut for the black keys and the dividers between the white keys, and 1" thick Cherry for the other side of the board.
Being an end grain cutting board this requires you to preset all your cutting tools to perfect 90 degrees. Just this step will ensure that the alignment between the blocs is flowing properly.
1 - Cutting the material
The white keys are 7/8" wide and the Walnut strip between them are 1/16" thick. For the white keys you will need to make a 3 strip block around 18" in lenght, this will take care of the snipes from the planner, and blade kerf for every cut. You may end up with one extra piece. You will also need a 4 strip block, at 14" long .
Now for the walnut keys, the sharp and flat keys are 9/16 thick and the Maple in between them will be different between the block. I had set mine at 5/8 for both blocks and I ended up with the lines not aligning properly on the F# to Bb block (or the wider block). In order to compensate the 2 Maple strips between the 3 walnut keys needs to be 7/16" instead of 5/8". The block for the 2 black keys needs to be about 2 feet long and the one for the 3 black keys needs to be 18" long.
If you watch the video, You might notice that mine are longer. The reason for that was that I wanted to make sure to have extra in case something happens, and while cross cutting those block I had one that got damaged and I was really happy to have spares.
For the glue up I used Titebond 3 because it's food safe and also because it's water proof. ( for when ever you use a damp cloth to clean your board).
Step 2: Cross Cutting the Blocks
When the first glue up is dry, we can cross cut our parts to make the board. I set the fence at 2 1/8" and cross cut every pieces. You can see in the picture how they go together. There is 2 cross cut blocks for the white section of the keys and 3 cross cut block for the black section of the keys.
This leaves you with 5 glue ups and once again I used Titebond 3 for the same reasons.
Step 3: Getting Both Sides Ready.
Now that each block are glued it's time to glue them together. Here you may notice that the walnut separating the keys is only on one side. so when the block are put together there isn't a double strip in between the blocks.
At this point the Cherry block is ready for glue up. The cherry block is pretty straight forward, and depending on the size you want you'll have to count your material. I made a mistake that I explain in the video while estimating this side so I don't have the exact amount needed for it. This side is also 2 1/8" thick...
When both sections are dried, I clamp them together and match their edge on the beltsander for the following glue up.
And Finally another strip of end grain cherry is added to each ends of the board to finish the board.
Step 4: Cleanup and Shaping
I use my planer to thickness the board.. I know it's not the safest way to do this and you need to be aware of this.. If you decide to go ahead like I did , Make sure you take extremely small amounts of material each pass. Also I added sacrificial blocks at both ends to prevent blow outs and take care of the snipes.
Dimensioning the board is done on the miter saw and then table saw, lots of sanding....and Mineral Oil (Heavy) to seal the board.
Also added some rubber feet with stainless screws.
My wife and I were really happy on how it turned out...
Thanks for reading this throught...
Link to the video build: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5--q60JdDJ0&t=25s