I want to make a chess-board style end-grain cutting board. I only have a bandsaw, a Jointer and a Planer. The first step is easy: I cut strips of two wood species and joint and plane them so they are 40mmx40mm. I then glue them together to get a striped board. Now I need to crosscut that into strips again (each strip is then striped).

All the tutorials I found use a table saw for this, which creates a glueable surface. I don't have that.

I can do these cuts on the bandsaw, but after that, the strips need to be planed to create a gluable surface. I cannot just run them through the planer lengthwise, because that would be across the grain. I also cannot run them through the planer width-wise as they are too short (40mm).

Can I maybe clamp these strips together and run them through the planer as one piece? With F-Style clamps?

  • The only workaround for this type of problem that I know of is to glue pieces shorter than the equipment can handle to longer sacrificial strips of the same thickness, to artificially give you a long enough planable piece. But for a number of reasons the best way to do this really is with a hand plane. A block plane will do nicely for this scale of work.
    – Graphus
    May 27 '17 at 22:18
  • Previous Question showing the thing I was talking about: woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/703/…
    – Graphus
    May 27 '17 at 22:19
  • It is generally risky to run an end-grain cutting board through a thickness planer.
    – rob
    May 28 '17 at 3:24
  • @rob I read this as the OP asking about smoothing the sides of the blocks (the glue surfaces) not their ends.
    – Graphus
    May 28 '17 at 7:18
  • @Graphus Thanks, I think I understand the question now, but those should have been smoothed after the first glue-up and before the final round of cuts. For an end grain cutting board, the final round of cuts will expose the top and bottom surfaces of the cutting board, not the final glue surfaces.
    – rob
    May 28 '17 at 14:43

If I understand correctly, you are missing a step. You should plane the "striped" board after the first glue-up but before the final round of saw cuts. The top and bottom of the striped board will form the glue surfaces after making the final cut and tipping each final striped strip onto its side to orient the end grain facing toward what will ultimately be the top and bottom of the cutting board.


I think it would be dangerous for you to run multiple, clamped, boards, that are too short for an electric thickness planer, through that planer. I could be wrong, but you probably have to use a hand plane now.

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