Butcher Block Glue - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-26-2012, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Butcher Block Glue

Anyone have a good suggestion for a butcher block glue? We built one for a client that wanted end grain to be the surface. Bad idea. We should have talked them out of it. It cracked like crazy so we need to build another one. We will sure this one up with some inset steel underneath but I want to know the best glue. Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-26-2012, 03:34 PM
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Why would an endgrain butcher block be a bad idea? There are a ton of examples of end grain cutting boards on this site alone. As for glue, Titebond has worked fine for my cutting boards. Not quite as large as a full butcher block but size shouldn't matter in this instance.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-26-2012, 03:35 PM
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I guess, I'm confused. My understanding is that for eons now, true butcher blocks have all been end grain, so I'm not sure where the bad idea comes from? Could it be moisture content of the wood or other pieces glued in with a different orientation than end grain. None the less I would think TB2 or TB3 would be sufficient for gluing it up. If it's cracking, I would expect something other than the glue to be the issue. But, then again, what do I know, i'm not a professional. Someone with more experience will be along shortly. I'm interested in their thoughts as well!
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-26-2012, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankp View Post
Why would an endgrain butcher block be a bad idea? There are a ton of examples of end grain cutting boards on this site alone. As for glue, Titebond has worked fine for my cutting boards. Not quite as large as a full butcher block but size shouldn't matter in this instance.
A few of the Blocks started to split. I don't know if it was moisture content or the boards were cut too close to the ends of the planks. I just though we would have more luck with a side grain staying put.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-26-2012, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMcCoy View Post
A few of the Blocks started to split. I don't know if it was moisture content or the boards were cut too close to the ends of the planks. I just though we would have more luck with a side grain staying put.

Countertops are done that way...side/face. Cracking could be from drying too fast. TBIII works very well.




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post #6 of 6 Old 04-26-2012, 10:37 PM
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There is a little engineering that needs to be considered when building an end grain butcher block or cutting board. First, choose wood where the growth rings (viewed from the end) run as close to 90 degrees or parallel to one edge. Remember, the expansion/contraction is about double along the annular rings verses perpendicular to the rings. You've got to keep the grain running in the same direction as you glue up your strips. In other words, don't glue a flatsawn edge to a quartersawn edge.

Next, the way butcher blocks are made is to glue up strips of wood like you were making a laminated type cutting board. These laminated panels are then run through a planer to flatten them and bring them to equal thickness. Then the panel is crosscut into strips of blocks equal to the thickness that you want the butcher block to be. These block strips are then glued together again keeping the grain running in the same directions.

Not paying attention to the grain orientation will lead to the block cracking and/or joints being pulled apart. This sounds like your problem.

A type II or Type III adhesive will work just fine however, you need to be sure you do everything right to get good adhesion. Your glue faces should be flat and freshly cut. It they were cut more than a few days earlier, freshen them up with about three swipes with 320 sandpaper and block to keep the faces flat.

Generally, threaded rod is not used as hardwoods like maple have quite a bit of movement when it's moisture content changes. Threaded rod would restrict this movement and either deform the block or pull the nut/washers into the wood when it expanded leaving the rod performing no function when the wood later shrinks. Proper gluing, tight clamping and proper orientation of the grain will keep the block together.

Finally, it always much cheaper, and a lot less aggravating to purchase a butcher block than to make one. The firms that specialize in end grain butcher blocks have specialized equipment to apply the necessary clamping force, plane the initial boards exactly correctly, plane the first glue up and then clamps to make the final block.

Howie..........
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