&@$# Cutting Board - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-14-2011, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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&@$# Cutting Board

The cutting board is not working out for this old man. Therefore I need to ask - -

What are the ramifications of planing the cutting board in the end grain configuration?

Alas, hard to teach old dog anything these days.
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-14-2011, 12:11 PM
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If you are asking about running the board through a powered planer, I would advise against it. I was told that it would ruin the board, the planer or both.

My suggestions would be, in no particular order.

Look up a local cabinet shop and see if you can convince them to run it through the belt sander.

Handleld belt sander, start out with something like 60 grit belts.

I am thinking of trying to make a frame that would lay around the board on the bench. Then making a fixture to attach a router to with a one in straight bit. If I cleverly set the depth, I could use the router to flatten the top of the board and finish with a random orbital sander. I saw something like this made in an issue of Wood magazine.

Hope this helps.

Andy
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-14-2011, 01:51 PM
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I did a lot of research on running and end grain board through a planer and the majority of opinions is that it's dangerous. Some people say they do it all the time with no problems, others wrecked their planers and had cutting boards fly out at high speeds.

So I did it anyway. I have a 733 DeWalt and I took very small cuts - 1/128" at most - and stood well to the side. I also glued a sacrificial end on the CB as it absolutely will chip the back end off. All went okay.

I'm building another end-grain CB soon and am going to be careful gluing it in the hope of being able to finish it with my belt sander. If that doesn't work I may cautiously go to the planer again with very small cuts.

Adillo's advice is good. If available, have someone run it through a wide belt sander.
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-14-2011, 02:22 PM
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Hey! I make a lot of these. But I'm a little confused about the question?
What didn't work? Why? What's left?
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-14-2011, 03:05 PM
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I had a similar problem recently and as it was the only tool I had that could take it down in a reasonable amount of time, I used my orbital sander to even out the pieces. It didn't work too well as I can't get it really flat that way. It's not bad, but not great either. As for running them thru a planer, I've seen lots of photos of end grain boards broken in two or more pieces trying that.

e r i c
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-14-2011, 08:45 PM
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I might suggest one of these guys, especially if you do a lot of cutting boards. I don't do cutting boards but had about 15 solid wood cabinet doors to plane or sand and couldn't afford a wide planer or large drum sander. Filled the bill very nicely for under $200.
Just a suggestion.
http://www.amazon.com/Woodhaven-3000-27-Planing-Sled/dp/B002UZGUSY
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-14-2011, 09:28 PM
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I have sent many end grain cutting boards through the planer. It sure does make a lot of noise, but it does the job fine. The only thing that it does is chip the crap out of the last end that does through. I just make mine a little bit bigger and then cut that off on the table saw after it is nice and flat.

JSCHABEN,
That looks like a good idea, but it seems like you could build your own for a lot less money. Sometimes it's easier to just buy what you need rather than make it.

Nick
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post #8 of 25 Old 04-14-2011, 09:53 PM
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 09:52 PM
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I also sent my cutting board thru a Dewalt planer recently. +1 on the noise, +2 on chipping out the last row, and +3, it works. I cannot imagine how it would be dangerous, or wreck the planer. I can easily imagine how it would dull the blades quicker. as a side note, if one side is not totally flat, you will probably not get either side flat doing it this way. BUT, it worked OK for my 1st one, and I will do it a different way for all the following ones.
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post #10 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 10:14 PM
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If just one of your blocks is not glued well and the planer tears that loose and it kicks up into the rotating cutterhead, stand clear! And be ready to buy a new machine.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #11 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 10:49 PM
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I haven't made one, but have a question that might also be a suggestion for you.


Can you run end grain threw a jointer?

If so you could just glue up small sections and send them threw the jointer.
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post #12 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 11:03 PM
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end grain boards confound me too - mainly in lining everyting up. flattening tho,when i do the first glue up in the edge grain configuration, I run that through the planer till its perfect and then I use a belt sander after the second glue is complete. Just enough sanding to get rid of the high/low spots. I use 120 grit belts to minimize how much gets taken off. I would not use 60 or 80 grit.

after the 120 grit belt sanding, I go 120 with the ROS, 180, 220, 320 and oil.

leveling isn't difficult unless you have major movement during the glue up. in that case, do what I do - make like a form with mdf or 3/4" plywood. lay your bar clamps down and place one piece of the mdf or ply on the clamps. wrap the glued up board in wax paper and place it on that ply surface in the clamps. tighten the clamps just a little and place the top piece of ply or mdf on and start putting c clamps all aroud. not a huge amount of pressure but enough to keep movement inside to a minimum. then tighten the bar clamps. wait a few hours as air really isn't circulating inside so the glue will take a bit longer to dry.

hope this helps. you might know all this already.
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post #13 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nblumert View Post
I have sent many end grain cutting boards through the planer. It sure does make a lot of noise, but it does the job fine. The only thing that it does is chip the crap out of the last end that does through. I just make mine a little bit bigger and then cut that off on the table saw after it is nice and flat.

JSCHABEN,
That looks like a good idea, but it seems like you could build your own for a lot less money. Sometimes it's easier to just buy what you need rather than make it.

Nick
But that's not all it can do. We had another member a while back who we warned and warned against doing stupid crap like running end grain boards through planers. Did he listen? Nope. Was his result devastating? Yup.

To the original poster: I strongly urge you NOT to do such a thing. But if you choose to ignore voices of reason please post your bad results here so we'll have yet another person to make an example of so that maybe one day people will listen when warned against eminent dangers. Please be smart and safe.
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post #14 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJoe16 View Post
I haven't made one, but have a question that might also be a suggestion for you.


Can you run end grain threw a jointer?

If so you could just glue up small sections and send them threw the jointer.
Absolutely not!!! NEVER power joint end grain! It is extremely dangerous.
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post #15 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaincarver Steve

Absolutely not!!! NEVER power joint end grain! It is extremely dangerous.
Thanks for answering. That's what I was thinking. I wasn't going to try it with out asking or seeing a good video where they do it.
But what happens? Does it tear it apart? I would think it would rip the grain out and blow the wood apart. Unless you had super sharp blades, but i still didn't think that would work.
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post #16 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 12:41 AM
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End grain cutting boards I have made a few. And yes learned the hard way and got lucky. I caught a board in the stomach and no injury by luck. After that I learned remove very little wood at a time. Takes longer but I have had perfect results. Just ensure that u have fresh sharp blades. Currently I use a ridged 13 inch. But have a 15 inch Grizzly just have to get a outlet wired. Will let I know how this one works this one even has anti kick back prongs on it.
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post #17 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 12:46 AM
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Planing end grain is not inherently more dangerous than other grain orientations assuming that you know your machine, know the material, and have some experience. For an inexperienced woodworker or a lightweight machine, it may not be a good idea.

I've done it a lot. Sturdy machine, sharp knives, light cuts, and some provision to avoid trailing edge tearout. Here's an example:

http://bullfire.net/Furniture/IMG_0738a.JPG

It's an 11 x 2 (that's feet) x 3 inch endgrain maple countertop. Since my planer at the time was only 8" wide (but stout), 8" wide sections went through the planer, and were then carefully aligned and glued together.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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post #18 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJoe16 View Post
Thanks for answering. That's what I was thinking. I wasn't going to try it with out asking or seeing a good video where they do it.
But what happens? Does it tear it apart? I would think it would rip the grain out and blow the wood apart. Unless you had super sharp blades, but i still didn't think that would work.
Thank you for having sense. Don't listen to the guys who claim it's ok or that it's safe as long as you "know your machine and material and have sharp blades" and blah blah. I'll be so bold as to call BS on them. I believe that it indeed IS inherently more dangerous. Regardless of the few lucky times they may have tried.

Plunging high speed spinning cutters into end grain - especially on something really wide, like a cutting board - IS a bad and unsafe practice. With a router you can get away with it. Even though the piece will still be prone to tearout out chipping at the trailing corner. Precautions must be taken.

But power jointing or power planing end grain add a whole new level of danger, from flying shrapnel bullets to entire workpieces flying across the room at high speeds. And from "exploding" workpieces to fingers thrust until jointer knifes because the workpiece suddenly disappeared.

Every power tool is dangerous. And using a dangerous power tool in a way it was not meant to be used - in a way that is, in fact, inherently much more hazardous - is dramatically raising the stakes against you. Owners manuals warn against such practices for good, sane reasons. A jointer is an upside down surface planer in fundamental ways.

Short answer: Don't be foolish. Exercise safe shop practices and you'll get to
enjoy your hobby longer.

Last edited by Chaincarver Steve; 08-17-2012 at 01:18 AM.
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post #19 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 01:20 AM
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Sorry, it reposted my post when I edited my last post to correct errors the auto spell correction created. Can't delete... Bah.

Last edited by Chaincarver Steve; 08-17-2012 at 01:24 AM.
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post #20 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 02:02 AM
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As with any machining operation, if you don't feel absolutely comfortable with it, don't do it.

There are also those who say to absolutely never climb cut with a router.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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