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Edge Grain Cutting Board

Cutting the maple to rough length

And edge grain is very durable because of the hardness of the edge grain. However, it's a little harder on the knives. 


I made this cutting board with some leftover pieces of hard maple and sipo. I started by cutting the maple to the rough length of the cutting board.

Jointing the face of the maple

Then I jointed one face of the maple so that it would be flat.

Jointing the edge of the maple

And then I jointed an edge so that I would have a straight edge that was 90 degrees to the face to run along my table saw fence.

Planing the maple

Next, I planed the maple down to the desired thickness.

Ripping the maple into thin strips

Then I cut the maple into strips that were about 1 1/2" wide. When turned on their edge, this would be the thickness of the cutting board.

Cutting the sipo

Next, I cut the sipo to length.

Ripping the sipo into thinner strips

I took one of the pieces of sipo and ripped it into two thinner strips.

Gluing up the pieces

Now it's time for glue-up. It's important to use plenty of glue because squeeze-out is not really a problem at this point.

Clamping and wiping up the glue

I clamped it up and wiped up all of the excess glue to make it easier to clean up the next day.

Trimming the ends of the cutting board

After the glue had dried, I trimmed the ends of the cutting board.

Then, I ran the cutting board through the planer to bring it down to the final thickness (probably about 1 1/4").

Drilling holes for dowels

Next, I drilled holes along the edge for dowels to be inserted. I used black walnut dowels for a nice contrast.

Cutting the dowels into short lengths on the band saw

I cut the dowels using my band saw.

Tapping the dowels into the edge of the cutting board

Then, I put some glue in each hole and tapped the dowels into place.

After the glue had dried, I used a flush cut saw and then sanded the ends of the dowels to be flush with the edge of the cutting board.

Routing finger slots into the ends of the cutting board

I used a 3/8" round nose bit in the router to cut slots for fingers to make it easy to pick up the cutting board. I used stop blocks to accurately position the slots.

Then I used a 1/4" round over bit to round over the edges.

Sanding the cutting board

Then a final sanding prior to finishing.  I began with the random orbit sander and then finished up by hand.

Applying mineral oil

After sanding, I soaked the cutting board in water, let it dry, and then I sanded it. This helps to raise the grain so that the cutting board remains smooth when it's washed. I did that a couple of times.


After the cutting board was completely dry, I applied a couple of coats of mineral oil.

Photo of the finished cutting board

The finished product looks pretty good!

To watch the video, click here.

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