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).

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

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The first glue-up.

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

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… and fed it to the planer.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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6/1/2014

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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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