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Gents (and ladies),

I just made a few cutting boards a la the Wood Whisperer--end-grain checkerboard patterns that, considering it's my first real project, look pretty nice. On two of them, the glue-up didn't go so well and now I'm stuck with a board that needs some serious leveling/planing.

Not wanting to break the board, myself, or especially the planer, I didn't want to run it through my Craftsman--despite it being fairly capable. My attempts with a hand plane were alright but would have taken a while to complete. I elected to build a router sled jig with a double-flute straight bit and just smooth it out.

Amazingly the jig worked--the board is as flat as can be. However, the board is considerably marked up. I just moved the router back and forth (left to right) along the board and you can see a zig-zag pattern in it. It isn't burned or anything, and there were a few spots where I stumbled and the router took a little more bite out of it--but just in general it looks like a mowed lawn with alternating color patterns where I switched directions. Before it wasn't flat but it looked much cleaner/nicer.

What's the solution for this? Should I slow the bit down? I think I was on setting 4 out of 6--so not super fast (it's a Freud 2000E). I didn't take very much off and I didn't rush or linger...moved along at a deliberate but steady pace. Does it have to do with climb cuts/the direction the bit is spinning? I feel like the times I went left to right on the board instead of right to left looked better. Before I rout another board, I'd like to figure this out.

And yes, I took my ROS to it with 60 grit, even, to try and make the color contrast diminish--no luck. As such it's flat and smooth but kind of discolored. Any ideas? I might try going over it again tomorrow and only move the router left to right--it will take longer but if that's what it takes, I'll do it. Any advice is welcome and appreciated!

Ben
 

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John
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Gents (and ladies),

I just made a few cutting boards a la the Wood Whisperer--end-grain checkerboard patterns that, considering it's my first real project, look pretty nice. On two of them, the glue-up didn't go so well and now I'm stuck with a board that needs some serious leveling/planing.

Not wanting to break the board, myself, or especially the planer, I didn't want to run it through my Craftsman--despite it being fairly capable. My attempts with a hand plane were alright but would have taken a while to complete. I elected to build a router sled jig with a double-flute straight bit and just smooth it out.

Amazingly the jig worked--the board is as flat as can be. However, the board is considerably marked up. I just moved the router back and forth (left to right) along the board and you can see a zig-zag pattern in it. It isn't burned or anything, and there were a few spots where I stumbled and the router took a little more bite out of it--but just in general it looks like a mowed lawn with alternating color patterns where I switched directions. Before it wasn't flat but it looked much cleaner/nicer.

What's the solution for this? Should I slow the bit down? I think I was on setting 4 out of 6--so not super fast (it's a Freud 2000E). I didn't take very much off and I didn't rush or linger...moved along at a deliberate but steady pace. Does it have to do with climb cuts/the direction the bit is spinning? I feel like the times I went left to right on the board instead of right to left looked better. Before I rout another board, I'd like to figure this out.

And yes, I took my ROS to it with 60 grit, even, to try and make the color contrast diminish--no luck. As such it's flat and smooth but kind of discolored. Any ideas? I might try going over it again tomorrow and only move the router left to right--it will take longer but if that's what it takes, I'll do it. Any advice is welcome and appreciated!

Ben
Hi Ben - not sure what kind of rig you have but I suspect it is a sled built to straddle the work and carry the router. I use a planning jig which only allows router travel forward and backward and the the jig needs repositioned for the next cut.. Tedious but effective and LARGE bits are appreciated.
I think you are on the right track, just redo with a very light cut and all cuts in the same direction.
 

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I feel like the times I went left to right on the board instead of right to left looked better. Before I rout another board, I'd like to figure this out.
The wood is giving you feedback. Being wood, the grain direction matters. If the bit rotation is with the grain it will cut better than if the bit rotation is against the grain, which will have tendancy for tearout, hence the rough looking colour.

Try the scraper as Gilgaron mentioned, but have the strokes going with the direction which is giving the smoothest looking result.

ROS with 60 grit will work - eventually - but it can take a long time. The good news is that once the coarse grit has got things level, the finer grits do not take long.
 
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