More cutting board action

I can’t put all the cutting boards I’m working on online because some of them are gifts, but this particular one is for us so it’s safe. It’s also my first end-grain (butcher block) style board which has its own set of challenges.

My original design turned out to be a bit more ambitious than my skill set would allow (you can see an illustration in this post). Trying to figure out how to get the inlay look was feasible, but I realized it was more than I could do as I ended up burning through some expensive walnut trying to get the blocks laid out right. Plus, I was having bad tearout issues on my table saw with the walnut forcing me to use some more hard maple to make a full size block as well as building a new cross cut sled.

Unfortunately, the plans for the cross country sled fell through

This one is ‘accurate enough’ in the fact that a single cut was good enough to clean up with a quick run through the planer or the jointer & left the edges much, much cleaner.

My daughter helped me last night cut the strips for the board.

The Wood Glitter Fairy

Then I glued them together once again using a neat trick I saw on the Interweb tubes where you put down PVC pipe to rest the boards on & let the pipe clamps sit slightly below. Keeps the wood level & out of contact of the black pipe which can stain the wood. I also put some cauls on the top to prevent vertical shifting & it worked fantastically. The wax paper between the cauls prevented me from gluing them to the board :)

Wood sandwich anyone?

After the glue dried, I scraped off most of the drips & did my best to wipe off as much as I could so that it wouldn’t gum up the planer & fed it through to level the whole thing out. Then it was off to the crosscut sled to slice them into 1.25” thick strips.

Unfortunately, the plans for the cross country sled... wait, did I already use that joke?

You can see in the image I have a block of wood clamped to the sled. Is is a ‘stop’ so I could just slide the wood over until it hit, push the sled through, pull back, take off the 1.25” piece that was just cut, slide the block over & repeat. It almost worked perfectly, there seems to be about 1/16” variance in the new strips, but that’ll get taken care of with sanding.

I really butchered this one. Get it? Butchered? Fine, don't laugh.

The end result is stunning. I can’t believe it looks this good & it’s not even glued together. The joints appear to be very tight & I’ll start gluing them up tonight, but only 3 or 4 at a time so I can ensure they stay perfectly aligned. The slightest offset will be visible & my OCD won’t be happy about that. Then, I’ll either run it through a borrowed drum sander or just start working it with a sanding block & 60 grit to level out the height differences before I attack it with 120 & 220 on the random orbital sander plus round over the edges.

This is gonna be amazing!

posted by by Robb Allen @
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