35

There is also a bit for routers that can make what is called a finger joint. It makes many narrow interlocking 'fingers' to increase the gluing surface area. This was designed for joining boards end to end.


27

You can use a long lap joint here, but one of the standard ways to join two boards like this when cutting by hand is to form what's called a scarf joint. This is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration so if it is strong enough for airplanes it probably will suffice for your use as well. The key for FAA approval is 12x to 15x angle measured as length/...


26

Dowels and biscuits are length-preserving, cheap and common ways of generating some long-grain glueing surface. They're not quite as strong as other solutions, but usually entirely sufficient. For dowels, you only need a drill and transfer plugs (or a dowel jig, which is more expensive). If you don't even have transfer plugs, you can improvise them with a ...


20

In Western woodworking at least low-angle block planes are favoured for planing end grain. These will generally give the best result, but any plane can do it if the iron is sharp enough and you take a very light cut. Terminology note: a plane's blade is traditionally referred to as an iron, in older books sometimes as the cutter. are there any gotchas ...


11

There are grain fillers which are often used on open grained wood like red oak to make it take a stain more evenly, using this on the end grain of a board should do the same thing. What you are needing is a way to make the end grain absorb about the same amount (which is much less) as the face. Using finer sandpaper on the ends will help a small bit, but ...


9

For end grain a razor-sharp blade is most important, and you can skew your cut to slice the fibers rather than chop them. The type of plane isn't particularly important, but one with a low cutting angle works best. For instance, you can use a low-angle block plane or a bevel-up jack plane with its blade sharpened to a low angle. You can also convert a ...


9

it sounds like the consensus is that gluing end-grain just doesn't work well. It has long been acknowledged to be the weakest joint. However, that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't do it, ever. The issue is actually whether it's strong enough, not strong per se. In a picture frame for example a simple glued mitre is not considered strong enough, and for ...


8

Edge and face gain are both longitudinal grain, where grain runs along the surface. Long grain = longitudinal grain, just less of a mouthful, much easier to type quickly too! The structure of wood, its grain, can be visualised as being like a bundle of straws tightly packed and bonded together. In longitudinal grain we're seeing the side of the straws. ...


7

If you really want strength, you could cut a Kanawa Tsugi! It's a keyed scarf joint taken from the timber framing tradition of Japanese temple builders. There are examples where this joint has held up for thousands of years. Cut both of your boards so that they have the following profile. Apart from the slanted cuts in the middle, all angles here are ...


7

I've heard (but haven't verified) that if you sand the end grain with a higher grit it will match the stain of the face grain (can't confirm). So, if you sand to 220 on the face grain, sand to 320 on the end grain.


7

The physical qualities of end-grain that make them desirable over side grain in a cutting board relate to the structure of wood itself. Viewed under a microscope, end-grain looks like a series of straws. A knife cutting against this surface is likely to spread the fibers apart rather than dislodging fibers or completely cutting them as can happen with side ...


7

One of the disadvantages is that end-grain absorbs moisture very well. This means that meat juice will seep in and not come out. Which makes it important to never use your meat board for vegetables. (Good advice for any type of cutting board) Also if you leave it standing in a puddle of water at its center, the center could expand while the edge wouldn't, ...


7

Is this process mandatory or cosmetic? Well for that style of board it's mandatory for the cosmetics :-) Apart from allowing smaller offcuts to be used up, the standard board construction using small blocks of wood does have a structural reason: each glue joint make the board stronger. But there's no technical reason you have to make an end-grain board ...


7

I've read about branches having internal stresses and twisting/warping. The main reason not to use wood from branches normally is that it's full of reaction wood, wood that has internal stress from its original orientation of the branch where it was under stress, supporting the weight of the branch and its foliage. When the branch is sawn into planks the ...


6

Everything I've read says you need to clamp a waste block on the end of your board to prevent the tear out. It is even recommended to do this if you are using a router or jointer. By keeping the pressure on with a waste block it won't be able to splinter down the board. Source Of course the other option would be to plane toward the center from both sides....


6

He also covers gluing end-grain (starting at ~5:20) and suggests making a "seizing"(at ~6:00), which is basically wood-glue mixed with some water to "seize" the wood before the actual glue-up. That's "sizing" and "size", see Gluing end-grain. To me it seems this seizing is just sealing up the end-grain pores with wood-glue. Yup, as you'll read in the ...


6

In the woodworking industry, we have this type of joint very often on countertops, and other field joint scenarios. We usually use a combination of biscuits, for alignment, and tite joint fasteners, to pull the two pieces together.


6

Notice how many of the answers include the word "router" :) If you can lose as much on each end as the thickness, a box joint works. If one or the other side isn't visible, a board alongside the joint works. If you can't lose any length, and need both sides visible? Well... I think what I might do is a really thick spline... That is, basically, cut a ...


6

You could make a lap joint with a router, then put a few dowels of appropriate size through the joint at right angles to the boards to tie everything together so you're not counting on the shear strength of the glue to hold it all together. IMO this is much easier to put together than a scarf joint as long as appearance is not critical, and as long as you ...


6

I just hand-planed several dozen blocks for an end grain cutting board using my shooting board. It worked pretty well, there was minimal tearout on maybe 10% of the blocks. I could have improved on this with a sharper blade and tighter tolerances on the shooting board. A temporary shooting board is pretty easy to make, might be worth a shot!


5

Almost identical to Alexander Gruber’s answer, this design is from the great Roubo. It’s a matter of taste but it has fewer lines and uses diagonals for friction joints. Elegant solution.


5

The end grain always absorbs more finish because of capillary action in the fibers. The only way I can think of to prevent this would be to coat the ends in something that would block those fibers, but that too would change the appearance of the end product.


5

plane inwards from edges. chamfer the far edge and angle the plane. support the edge with sacrificial wood. use a shooting board.


4

I have read that some will prep the end grain with a pre-glue job. apply some glue to the end grain and let it dry, then actually do the glue up job. However, you still have the issue that the structure of end grain is not an ideal surface for glue. I never leave a corner as a glue only joint. There are many different kinds of joinery out there to ...


4

This question is a week and a half old but I'll answer with what helps me. I put thinned shellac onto the end grain of my projects which does a good job of sealing it. It slows the absorption of stain enough to even up the color. When I say "thinned" I mean a "one pound cut". This is an arcane measurement of shellac concentration that means one pound of ...


4

The resistance of screws to being pulled free has been studied widely and for a long time (1920s or earlier), both by individual companies testing their own and competitor products and by government bodies doing work for the benefit of their industries. Perhaps most well known of the latter is the USDA's Forest Products Laboratory, the FPL. In their (primary?...


3

End grain absorbs more stain/finish due to the capillary action of the wood fibers. In red oak they act like straws and just suck up a large amount of stain/finish. Sealing the end grain with various conditioners (glue size, thinned finish) works, but it is difficult to get the liquid on just the end grain, resulting in a blotchy look. Sand the end grain ...


3

The more I read about it, the more I'm frustrated by the options, and I'm thinking about things like sealer, washcoating, grain filler, etc. This is part of the problem with finishing when you're starting out, all the many options. It's the same starting out in most areas, where you have to learn about lots of things knowing that eventually you'll use just ...


3

Applying a sealer before staining will discourage stain from spacing into open grain more than closed grain. Using a tinted varnish rater than a true stain will also help achieve an even wash of color across the surface if that's what you are going for. Reminder Always test on scrap pieces of the same wood(s) before finishing your actual project, to make ...


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