End-Grain Chopping Board

This is an end-grain chopping board I made out of Cherry, Maple and American Black Walnut.

I didn't particularly enjoy this project and I'm not sure I'll make another one, but I thought I'd post it on here anyway.

I immediately made it hard for myself by deciding to make it in a pattern that seemed easiest when made out of individual blocks (rather than joining strips together, cutting the joined piece into strips and then gluing those strips together).

I started by cutting a bunch of bits of wood into strips and then giving myself a work-out planing them in a jig so that they were all square and the same size (any variation in size would mess up the alignment of the pattern). Here's another view of the simple jig:

That left me with a big pile of plane shavings and a stack of square-section wood:

With that done, I could chop them all up (with the cross-cut sled on the table saw) so they were all the same length and then do a trial assembly:

I spent an hour-and-a-half gluing 165 blocks together with Cascamite (chosen for its long tack time):

Once that had dried overnight, I ran over both faces with a router sled, taking 0.5 mm off at a time until the whole surface had been skimmed. I did the first side with wedges under the board to support it; once it was flipped over this wasn't required as it sat flat from the machining of the first side.

I then rounded the edges off (with a 3 mm arris trimmer router bit) and added some cut-outs (with an ogee router bit) to help get fingers underneath to lift it off the work surface. One side:

The other:

I then used a Record #80 to get rid of the router marks and then sanded the edges a little to tidy them up:

Finally, I poured mineral oil all over it until it stopped absorbing it and then left it for a while to dry. The finished board is shown in the photo at the top of this page.

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