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wengang1 08-07-2012 02:13 PM

gluing/clamping end grain cutting board
I'm about to make a cutting board of end grain cubes. The cubes are all 1 inch. The reason the wood is cut into cubes is that i'm using two types of wood (maple and purple heart) to make an irregular pattern.

It's going to be big, 18 x 24, so I have 432 cubes.
What would be the best way to glue and clamp these cubes together?

Should I do like lines of 6 cubes? Should I build some kind of frame to fit x number of cubes in at a time? I see it's going to be tedious and problematic to glue the cubes a few at a time, but I'm concerned that building a box or frame to hold the cubes could cause the cubes to get glued into the box so that they have to be destroyed to get them out.

Any suggestions?

joecaption 08-07-2012 07:27 PM

Not a great plan to have the end grains facing up. It the weakest part of the wood and the most poris. Anything wet that touches it will stain it.

But if your going to do it anyway, with that many blocks the glue will start setting up before you are able to clamp it so concider build it in two sections.
Lay down some wax paper on your work surface and have some precut 2 X 4's, two cut for the lenght and 2 for the width. Wrap them in wax paper and use blue tape on the back side to keep it in place. Cut them slightly shorter then needed. Use Tite Bond II glue, apply the glue and set the blocks in place.
Once it's layed out use the 2 X 4's and pipe clamps or better yet Qwick Set clamps. Make sure to have plenty of clamps!

Millertyme 08-07-2012 08:05 PM

You should not cut them into cubes. This is not a good way to do will never get them to line up.
You need to make 1"x1"x24" strips of each wood. Alternate the wood and glue the rippings together. Once dried, surface flat with planer or sander. Then hold the end grain against the table saw fence and rip strips the opposite way at the desired thickness of the board. Now you can reglue these strips the opposite way. Use titebond 2 or 3

Keith Mathewson 08-07-2012 08:15 PM

I agree with Joe, if you make it then make it like federal period banding. It will save hours of work.

Keith Mathewson 08-07-2012 08:18 PM

Edit- Millertyme posted first. Same idea different description

wengang1 08-08-2012 02:51 PM

Thanks all for the input.

I got the idea after seeing several articles on end grain cutting boards being better for your knives and not scratching as easily.

The rock maple and purple heart are both pretty tight grained, and are supposed to be more resistant to food and bacteria getting in.

Millertyme, I can't do that because I'm making an irregular pattern. Also, it's all end grain, so I can't make 24" strips. At best, I could cut 6 or 8 inch strips. But again, I'm making an irregular design, so there's no way to do strips. The design is made up of the two different colors in 1" squares.

For finishing, I won't be able to plane (or so I've heard, the planer will not like the end grains). I guess I'll have to sand.

Millertyme 08-08-2012 03:49 PM

3 Attachment(s)
You can still do it with those lengths. You will just need more glue ups. In my last picture you can see how I glued up the strips. I then made 1" strips from this block ripped the opposite way. So you will now have 1"x1" strips of alternating species. Now you can flip these new strips end for end to make another pattern, and then revalue.

Keith Mathewson 08-08-2012 07:31 PM

This DVD will help you understand what to do.

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