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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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!