Face Grain, Edge Grain And End Grain Cutting Boards Lake Michigan Wood Works

Ipe Seal from DeckWise® is a wax emulsion sealer proven to increase the structural integrity of hardwood decking. The approach to engraving on endgrain is quite different and necessitates both different tools and wood. Endgrain flooring at present is an expensive product outside of most people’s budget. All three sides of that mahogany board were sanded to 320 grit and I have a nice, even, uniform color on the face grain and the end grain. Toward the outer wall of the trunk, the density of the wood is the greatest, and gradually becomes lighter, softer, and weaker towards the soft core. When you cut a board across the grain (perpendicular to the grain direction and the growth rings), you reveal end grain.

Second, thickness planers are intended to be used when one side of the wood is flat, (most end grain cutting boards are not after the second glue-up). The chuck is made of any soft wood and should be cut in the end grain, which will insure equal pressure on all sides. Edge grain construction can make for very nice products and other than scratch marks being more visible on these then the end grain varieties, make excellent cutting boards. Excessive MC in the wood can also interact with the adhesive itself to erode the bond.

I’ve tried taking infinitesimal amounts off the endgrain with my Dewalt 13″ planer, but even that left scars on the wood. I’d love to buy a quality end grain piece, but cost is always a problem for me. I think I’ll just have to keep my eye out at yard sales and flea markets. The only downside to this design is that they are typically much more expensive and are often four to fifteen times as expensive as a face grain unit. I don’t have indexed knives so it’s easy for me to sharpen the knives before using on end grain. I’ve heard of others who use washcoats and others who sand the end grain to finer grits.

Instead I suggest flooding the end grain with an excess of glue and rubbing it in to saturate the cut ends of the pores as far as possible while gluing up the joint. I included a section on fiinishing the board and recommended mineral oil, sorry if you didn’t see it. Mesquite trees yield a finished wood with warm red, brown, tan, or yellow tones and swirling grain. In order to see the cell structures in the cross sectional end (end grain), you must first make a very clean cut that does not tear the fibers.

End grain boards are made by cutting the piece of lumber into blocks, and gluing the blocks together with the end grain up, forming the top surface of the cutting board. After making a cut, when the knife is lifted, the wood fibers spring back into place, leaving fainter scratches compared to face grain and edge grain cutting boards. Many wood professionals recommend sealing end grain wood to slow down the absorption even before beginning a project. The type of wood used to construct your butcher block has some impact on both the appearance, sanitation, and its ability to help keep your kitchen knives in tip top shape.

Edge Grain boards will be tougher than the a face grain board and is a good first step into wooden cutting boards. While Raw Edges used the tiny tubes that make up the wood to transfer coloured dye through sections of the material, Qiu focused on the wood’s natural patterns and translucency. The upside of end-grain flooring is its toughness and durability as well as its visual appeal.

Since wood cells hold MC in their nuclei and cell walls, end grain cuts naturally react differently to moisture interactions between the wood and the ambient relative humidity (RH) of the surrounding air. Fortunately, there’s an (easy) extra step you can take to guarantee even color and tone anywhere on the wood. In a living tree, these cells actually run perpendicular to the rest of the wood fibers, and serve to channel nutrients between the cambium, sapwood, and pith. This tool while very serviceable for cross grain is especially advantageous for the end grain of the wood.

I offer at this time a Board Butter which is more wax than oil and is applied like a paste wax over a mineral oil coating. For these reasons only wood cut and prepared from the endgrain of a surprisingly small number of species will be suitable for wood engraving. Simple solution – clamp or tape a piece of wood to your table saw fence in front of the blade, and use that as your measuring stop. Of course, the 50th is Purple and Gold” so I’m excited to present this cutting board to my parents for their special day!


Within an individual tree, the variation in wood density is often as great as or even greater than that between different trees (Timell 1986). The end of the wood can also be sealed using polyurethane to make it easy to look after. However, even though my few experiences with this technique were successful; and the cutting boards were beautiful, I decided long ago not to continue doing this mainly because of the potential damage to my planer. Pavé End Grain panels are also available in the following species: Oak, Tigerwood and Wenge. My board soaked up an entire bottle of the oil I got from Catskill and wanted more.

Iuliancezar cezar writes: Grain patterns describe indeed how strong is the wood and it is important if you are working in this field to learn these patterns. Using both together allows the cut off wood to get trapped between the blade and the fence – very bad news. Each of these characteristics is pointed out on the image and described to hopefully facilitatea positive identification.

Distancing your wood block flooring from any other ongoing wet remodels will prevent the wood tiles from absorbing damaging amounts of moisture. As always, do a LARGE sample of your finish from start to end before starting on your actual piece(s). This can change due to the length of time the wood has been cut before kiln drying. Apply some glue to the end grain and let it dry, then actually do the glue up job. Maple is beige in color, and Beech is not too dissimilar but is distinct with warmer hue and speckled grain. Edge grain or flat grain tend to be less costly as they are less labor intensive to make. Stiffness and elastic strength are more dependent upon the sound wood than upon localized defects.

Once such example of end grain construction is the Catskill Craftsmen Super Slab pictured above – a very nicely made four inch maple end grain block for a relatively low price and with very positive reviews at Amazon. I was planing my first glue up (before turning it on its side to the end grain), but because I was using up scrap, I had odd dimensions. Recently I repeated the end grain gluing test, this time making various configurations of test samples using oak and epoxy resin adhesive. Our Parquet End Grain is made up of small blocks of White Oak or Fumed White Oak.

Cut it parallel to the grain direction but through the radius of the growth rings to see quarter grain (also referred to as radial grain). Preservation Solutions’ End Grain Sealer is a non-toxic wax emulsion that is applied to the end grain of green wood or the face grain of turning blanks or carvings. Gregory M. Vaverchak of the SUNY Ranger School and Bret Michalski of Central Oregon Community College for supplying some of the wood specimens photographed on this site. This warping effect is caused by the movement of wood as it releases and gains moisture.

In this sample, I was experimenting with different solids contents of the washcoat to find the thickness that provided the most color and grain definition with the least amount of blotching. In terms of the differences between face grain and end grain on the effects on the edges of you kitchen knives, I’ll give you a comparison. All cutting boards and butcher blocks sold on certified sustainable or renewable, but other vendors are not as careful about their sourcing. WARNING: End grain wood is also not ideal for installation directly atop concrete, even if it’s fully cured. DeckWise® has made it easier for lumber mills and yards to protect their wood inventory.

But bear in mind that different species of wood react to humidity and wear differently so keep the different species as close to the same hardness as you can. Stevens estimated 20-year savings of between10% and 30% where wood blocks were substituted for granite. First, most thickness planer manuals caution against throwing short pieces of wood through the planer, ex. cutting boards! Equilibrium moisture content (EMC) is achieved when the MC in the wood is balanced with the ambient relative humidity (RH) of its environment. Wood toxicity can take the form of irritation, sensitization, and even poisoning.

The wood that comprise these examples are joined together so the end grain faces the work surface. All wood has some movement due to its ability to soak up airborne water or shed into a drier atmosphere – this typically occurs in different rates in various portions of the board(s) due to the differing density of cellulose fibers that makes up the composition of a tree. Though gorgeous, cutting boards made from reclaimed lumber may not be food safe.

I have a Veritas bevel-up smoother (wood show impulse buy — I am such a sucker for those) and I’ve never really used it. Maybe now’s the time. I REALLY enjoyed this instructable and am now trying my hand with making an end-grain cutting board!! This short video teaches viewers how to use Ipe Seal to protect exposed end grain cuts on their deck boards from the damaging affects of the climate such as end checking. Now that I have been making them for some time I tend to buy better wood because I don’t mess up very often.

Woodworkers that handle a lot of Teak generally go through a bunch of carbine blades trying to shape this material – you may consider what that does to your edge of your kitchen knives before adding a cutting board made of this material to your shopping list. The drying time for the sizing may be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on wood species, the glue used and local conditions (temperature and relative humidity). Cuts and scratches from knifes cause an uneven cutting surface, allow for bacteria and water to enter the board, and can be unsightly. After each wash, the board should be dried immediately and stored in dry conditions.