End grain chopping board

December 2014

Shortly before embarking on our usual end of year holiday I decided to take the incumbent chopping board in our kitchen along to the beach house. This meant that I needed to replace it in a timely fashion for fear of life threatening marital discord. Therefore I started on this improved version even before we left the tropics.

As you can see from the pictures below, I went for contrasting colours in choosing Witpeer (left) and Kershout (right).


Here you can see both boards ripped on the table saw and the resultant strips cut to length by hand.


The first glue-up.


I removed the excess glue with my shop made flush plane …


… and fed it to the planer.


The board was then chopped in halve and glued again. The reason for this way of doing it was to make it possible to feed the first glue-up (250mm or 10″ wide) through the planer as the second glue-up (500 mm x 500 mm) would have to be done by hand. One of the end grain edges were then flatened by hand in order to have a perfect reference surface for the table saw.


I then ripped the second glue-up, turned each strip by 90º (end grain thus facing up and down) and flipped every second strip head over tail in order to end up with a chess board appearance. The third glue-up followed the mentioned procedure. You can see that I used shop made cauls to cut down on the amount of end grain planing post glue-up.


I used my Lie-Nielsen bevel-up Jack plane with a toothed blade for the bulk of the end grain leveling. With such incredibly hard wood it took quite some time to get it flat.



Once back from holiday I dug out a piece of Oregon pine I nicked out of someones rubbish skip. It looks like it might have been a roof beam of some description in a previous life.  It worked perfect as a jig (for lack of a better word) to draw a particular curve on each side of the chopping board.

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I then prepared some thin strips of Witpeer and Kershout. The bandsaw got rid of the unwanted side of the curve, after which I used a block plane and my shop made sanding planes to smooth it out.


My Oregon jig was then used to bend the strip around the curve while gluing it into place. The same process were followed for each of the other edges.


Some more flattening work followed. You can see the tools used, as well as the specific order in which they were used in the pictures below.


A couple of block planes and a few sanding planes were then employed to shape the four edges.


I use liquid paraffin (also known as paraffinum liquidum) a highly refined mineral oil on chopping boards as it is apparently safe for this purpose. Please do not quote me on that and do not try this at home kids.


These Kershout strips are supposed to keep the board flat and off a potentially wet surface. The final product made all the effort worth while (I felt).


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