How to Make an End Grain Cutting Board at Home - Top Chop Butcher Block
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How to Make an End Grain Cutting Board at Home


Dreaming to make a fancy end grain cutting board that your mom proud off? But the complications of making a butcher block are holding you back? No worries, things might look complicated to you at the front but DIY butcher block is possible if you have an insight into it. Since the cutting boards last for years, so having them in your kitchen is a homeowner’s dream. Having an end grain cutting block is a way far better than the traditional cutting board. It looks more patterned and grains are running vertically that makes it a more durable option.

make a fancy end grain cutting board

All you need is a step-by-step guide to reveal the crucial steps involved in the making of end grain butcher blocks. Before you begin with the DIY, arrange the materials and tools that you will need during the process and here’s the list:

Materials Checklist:

1. Hardwood With End Grains

2. A Strong Glue or Adhesive That Works With Wood

3. Wood Finish Suitable for Food

Material and tools needed to make end grain cutting board

Tools Checklist:

1. Table Saw To Cut Wood Into Strips

2. Planer To Smooth Out The Wood Surface

3. Router To Round Off The Sharp Edges

4. Clamps To Hold The Wooden Strips

5. Paper Pad and Pencil For Planning

6. Calculator To Do Quick Design Calculations 

7. Measuring Tape For Measurements

Step 1: Select Hardwood And Plan The Cuts

To make a perfect end grain cutting board, hardwood quality matters. Softwoods such as pine and cedar will not work. Pick anything from Teak, Mahogany or Oak that has better end grains and are the perfect choice for cutting boards. Now, plan your cuts. Decide the desired width, length and thickness of cutting board that you want to keep. Layout a rough sketch on a paper pad with the help of a pencil and calculator if necessary. Keep a little room in the width of the strips to accommodate planning at a later stage to clear off the defects.

Step 2: Cut the Wood Into Strips

Tear apart the hardwood into stripes with the help of a table saw as per the size that you have decided at the start of making end grain cutting board. Just before you start cutting it into stripes, better make sure that you are hitting the right math. This is just to ensure that everything is going as you have planned earlier. Check every piece as you cut it down to avoid ruining your calculations later. Making these strips of the same width is the trick of the trade during the DIY.

Step 3: Clamp And Glue the Strips

Place your wooden strips into clamps jaws keeping equal space in between them for a firm hold. Keep these strips aligned to ensure everything lines up. If everything seems fine, remove the strips from the clamps while keeping the same order for the ease of gluing. Put a generous amount of adhesive in a zigzag pattern on one side of each strip except the last one. Now, apply it uniformly on the surface and put the strips back in the same order in which they were removed. Make sure that one surface of two mating parts is covered well with adhesive before you tighten the clamps. Let it dry for 24 hours to glue it well.

Step 4: Plane It And Cut Into Strips

Once the glue has dried, run the plank with the help of a planer. The idea is to plane the whole flat surface to look smooth from both sides. Adjust the height of the planer to chip-off a small amount initially. Small cuts help achieve smoother surfaces. Gradually lower down the cut height of the planer until you achieve a perfectly smooth surface. Now, cut down the width of the plank into strips. Rotate these strips 90 degrees vertically and stacked side by side to form the largest part of the cutting board. Set the jig of your table saw to a fixed height to get the same cut at every stroke. Cut plank strips of the same size and keep them aside.

Step 5: Clamp, Glue And Cut To Size 

Put the strips face to face on the table to make the shape of end grain cutting board. Keep the grain of the wood in a vertical orientation to glue them all. Put an optimum amount of glue on each face and clamp them together. Let it dry for 24 hours. Now, be ready to slice each side of the block to make it perfectly straight. You might need to attempt multiple passes using the table saw to make it a perfect square.

Step 6: Rout the Edges and Sand Them Off

Use a router to round off each edge to your preference. Rounding off edges of end grain cutting board help avoid accidents, so you better take them on a serious note. Now, with the help of 200 grit paper and an orbital sander, keep sanding each surface of the butcher block until it turns out smoother. This process takes time but never compromise with the level of smoothness you want. Keep going till that glossy and finer surface appears that is worth appreciation.

Step 7: Finish It With Mineral Oil (Optional)

Since hardwood is a natural product, it’s a hygienic option and doesn’t come with threats for your food. You can even let the bare wood serve you without any health risks at all. However, if you are highly conscious of making it super-finish, you can apply mineral oil to its surface, let it be there for some time and then wash it off with vinegar to generate a highly smooth surface. Your cutting board is ready, cheers!

End grain cutting board - Top Chop Butcher Block

The Bottom-line

By now, you might have understood how to make end grain cutting board at home. The steps are easy and simple to follow. Make sure that you begin after arranging the prerequisite tools. You should also know how to operate them safely to make the most out of this DIY. Though the process may take some days to accomplish but the excitement of making your own butcher block pays it off at the end. So, let’s create something useful today with tips and tricks learned from here. Don’t hold your back!

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