Questions on Cutting board types - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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Questions on Cutting board types

We see all types of cutting boards made and sold. Wooden boards are sold from Cracker Barrelís to Bass Pro Shops. But Wooden board sales are losing ground fast to plastic type boards because the plastic can go in the dishwasher.

My questions below are to gather your opinion on edge grained boards verses end grained boards. Iím eager to hear the opinions from you who have made a lot of cutting boards.

Wooden cutting boards are made in 3 styles:

Flat faced boards (maybe more commonly called cheese boards) these are the simplest form and are usually the thinner type boards. Some have handles or are cut in designs such as rectangles, ovals, circles, etc.

Edge grained boards: usually larger, heavier, thicker boards that show the color variations of more than one wood. Rectangular and square being most common but can be cut into designs also.

End-grain boards: allow the most pattern and color variations and are more time consuming and expensive to make. Rectangular being most common but can be cut into various shapes.

Questions: Knowing that edge grained boards can last many many years, is there any reason an end grained board design is superior over an edged grained board other than variations of color and pattern choices?
Between edge grain and end grain is one more durable than the other?
Will one outlast the other in normal use?

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 07:58 AM
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The main difference is that end grain is self healing and doesn't show knife marks as much. So I guess in that sense they can keep their 'new look' longer.

You can be creative with all of them but it's probably easier with end grain. We've made about 40 or so end grain and 1 edge grain, largely because that's what folks wanted. I think if you use Titebond III and the boards are taken care of properly they'll all last quite a while.

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 08:43 AM
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The kitchen knife fanatics claim that an end grain board doesn't dull knives as quickly as flat grained wood. I personally think that's urban legend perpetuated by a popular board maker, to justify the expense of their boards. As for plastic vs wood, there are studies published on the web that show wood is superior to plastic in terms of bacteria hiding in the scratches. Popular belief is the opposite of that, and health rules for restaurants reflect this fallacy.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
is there any reason an end grained board design is superior over an edged grained board other than variations of color and pattern choices?
Well, some end grained cutting boards retail for about $400. (look up John Boos)

Doesn't really answer your question directly, but if I were to get into the habit of making cutting boards . . .
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 09:38 AM
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Good topic, as I want to get into making cutting boards.

I don't necessarily want to make anything fancy as the OP describes (that is fancy to me) - but knowing about the 3 styles seems important?

Parked and reading
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 10:57 AM
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If you want to see some really nice boards in a shop well equipped for making them, check out MTM Wood. He's Russian but you can turn on close caption to get a pretty decent translation on the few in which he speaks. Most of his videos are just shop noise and background music. Seems like he provides English text on some.

David

PS - it's also interesting hearing him refer to Black Walnut, Black Cherry, and Maple as 'expensive foreign woods'. They're pricey enough here so I can't imagine what they cost in Russia.

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post #7 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Well, some end grained cutting boards retail for about $400. (look up John Boos)

Doesn't really answer your question directly, but if I were to get into the habit of making cutting boards . . .
Edge grained boards are much simpler to make. Easy in fact. Millions have been made in wood shop classes all over the world by students. I have edge grained cutting boards over 40 years old that have been used regularly. Originally glued up before biscuits with white Elmerís glue. Washed in hot water over the sink.

The end grained boards are much more time consuming to make. The cuts must be more precise. There is more waste involved. Not an easy project compared to the edge grained boards.

But Iím interested in hearing about durability. Titebond lll wasnít even available 40 years ago. Does anyone have end grained boards that are old?

Iím considering making some boards as gifts. I know the end grained boards can be more dramatic in design but are they as durable when made 1 3/4Ē thick?

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=
PS - it's also interesting hearing him refer to Black Walnut, Black Cherry, and Maple as 'expensive foreign woods'. They're pricey enough here so I can't imagine what they cost in Russia.[/QUOTE]

If our government gets involved we probably ship them wood for free.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 02:12 PM
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I have made some edge and end grain cutting boards that are over 40 years old, I used urea-formaldehyde glue it comes in powder form and you mix it, it was the most waterproof glue back then and it still might be

I think the main thing about end grain boards are if you play with the wood some to make the grain book match they look fantastic. The one I made out of the cherry sink cutout on the cabinets I made looks very cool
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
PS - it's also interesting hearing him refer to Black Walnut, Black Cherry, and Maple as 'expensive foreign woods'. They're pricey enough here so I can't imagine what they cost in Russia.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
If our government gets involved we probably ship them wood for free.
[BEGIN BAD HUMOR]
That's what those secret backroom campaign discussions were about: black walnut, black cherry, and maple.
[/END BAD HUMOR]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
We see all types of cutting boards made and sold. Wooden boards are sold from Cracker Barrel’s to Bass Pro Shops. But Wooden board sales are losing ground fast to plastic type boards because the plastic can go in the dishwasher.

My questions below are to gather your opinion on edge grained boards verses end grained boards. I’m eager to hear the opinions from you who have made a lot of cutting boards.

Wooden cutting boards are made in 3 styles:

Flat faced boards (maybe more commonly called cheese boards) these are the simplest form and are usually the thinner type boards. Some have handles or are cut in designs such as rectangles, ovals, circles, etc.

Edge grained boards: usually larger, heavier, thicker boards that show the color variations of more than one wood. Rectangular and square being most common but can be cut into designs also.

End-grain boards: allow the most pattern and color variations and are more time consuming and expensive to make. Rectangular being most common but can be cut into various shapes.

Questions: Knowing that edge grained boards can last many many years, is there any reason an end grained board design is superior over an edged grained board other than variations of color and pattern choices?
Between edge grain and end grain is one more durable than the other?
Will one outlast the other in normal use?
Serious Comments:

I don't see a real difference between "flat faced boards" and "edge grained boards". If you glue the edge grain pieces together, you have a flat faced board, right? From a cutting board functionality perspective, they work the same, no?

As others have pointed out, end grain cutting boards are supposed to work better and hold up better than edge grain cutting boards. By "hold up better", they are supposed to look nicer and require less maintenance (re-sanding and refinishing) over the years. End grain cutting boards are supposed to be gentler on your knives as well.

I just built an edge grain cutting board (and gave it away, so I don't know how well it is holding up). My next cutting board project will be an end grain cutting board from maple and walnut. I called it "edge grain" but I meant, "end grain" in the following thread:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f9/he...ension-183586/
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 04:29 PM
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the wood pieces on a face board design are (much) wider and cupping can be an issue.
the edge grain design does not cup so easy as the faces and glued together, and hooking/warping/twisting is also difficult.
the end grain approach is historically cited as dimensionally the most stable.

a warped/cupped/dished cutting board is not a ideal kitchen work surface.

I had an edge grain maple in daily use for 40 years; it became dished from wear - gave it to a guy for pen blanks - after 40 years one could think it stable.
replaced it with an end grain from The Boardsmith. maple&walnut; veddy pretty.

it is true that knives 'part the grain' on the end grain design - frankly I find it annoying! the knife tends to 'catch' much more than the edge grain style.
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-28-2017, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Serious Comments:

I don't see a real difference between "flat faced boards" and "edge grained boards". If you glue the edge grain pieces together, you have a flat faced board, right? From a cutting board functionality perspective, they work the same, no?
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f9/he...ension-183586/[/QUOTE]

Flat faced boards are usually thinner 3/4Ē or so. Usually made from a single board so maybe no glue-up required and no color contrast.
Edge grained boards can be made as thick as you want. You can also glue up many different woods to make a very colorful board.

There are some great examples of cutting boards here in the forum and also on Pinterest.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-29-2017, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Cutting boards

I thank everyone for the input on this.
I purchased wood today to make several cutting boards. I got to pick out my lumber.
I chose Hard Rock Maple, Walnut and Paduak.
I bought enough to make at least 4 edge grained boards and 3 end grained boards.
So I bought each of the woods in both 4/4 for the edge boards and 8/4 thickness for the end grained boards.
Iím committed now.
I still need to buy some Titebond lll glue.
I havenít decided if I will use butt joints only or if I will use a spline or biscuits.
The 40 year old board Iíve mentioned above was only butt jointed with white glue.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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