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End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

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  • End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

    I am beginner woodworker and I am getting ready to finish my first end grain cutting board. I used purple heart and hard maple for this project. I donít have a jointer and a thickness planer, so I created a router flattening sled to face joint the first glue up. Problem is I believe there is something wrong with my setup because the jig didnít plane the first glue-up perfectly flat. I believe the sled/gantry and the rails it sits on are flexing. I will reconfigure. However, I went ahead and did the second glue-up. Obviously, the boards donít sit flush with one another. The attached photo was taken before I glued and clamped the pieces, so the gaps in the final product will be smaller, but I still expect them to be there, so I need to be ready to fill them before final flattening and sanding. My plan is to fill the gaps with ether an food safe epoxy or glue + saw dust once the glue-up drys. Which of these two options would work best for this type of problem? Are there additional solutionís? Please advise. Thanks
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  • #2

    Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

    If you are saying they are not glued together you should do that first before flattening.
    "Do it Right!"

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    • #3

      Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

      I started the second glue up (end grain showing and checkered pattern). My concern is when I go back to the shop to finish the project I'm certain there will be gaps between the boards once the glue is dried. Should I fill the gaps with wood glue + sawdust or should I use a food safe epoxy? Or is there another option?

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      • #4

        Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

        The glue will most likely fill the small gaps. I'm not sure i'm following what you're saying though. Are you saying you glued the blocks into a strip and now you want to glue the strips into a board shape?
        "Do it Right!"

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        • #5

          Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

          You need to find a way to get those strips all the same thickness & flat. Don't do the glue up knowing that there will be gaps. That will just lead to a poor finished product & you won't be happy with it.
          nnieman likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

            Originally posted by drzaius View Post
            You need to find a way to get those strips all the same thickness & flat. Don't do the glue up knowing that there will be gaps. That will just lead to a poor finished product & you won't be happy with it.
            Agreed

            Nathan

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            • #7

              Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

              Originally posted by drzaius View Post
              You need to find a way to get those strips all the same thickness & flat. Don't do the glue up knowing that there will be gaps. That will just lead to a poor finished product & you won't be happy with it.
              I appreciate the replies. I've already glued all the strips together. That's what I was trying to say in the original post. I'll be back in the shop on Saturday, and I expect there to be gaps between the strips. I'm just looking for ideas to fill the gaps. Wood glue + sawdust? Epoxy? Thanks again.

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              • #8

                Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

                Saw cut on the glue line gap and reglue. Itíll be the fastest and strongest way.

                Trying to to fill the gaps may be frustrating.
                Wood Grower and nnieman like this.
                Egon
                from
                The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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                • #9

                  Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

                  Originally posted by Egon View Post
                  Saw cut on the glue line gap and reglue. Itíll be the fastest and strongest way.

                  Trying to to fill the gaps may be frustrating.
                  I was thinking I could do this. Problem is I would have to re-cut each strip on the table saw. I'm thinking once I re-cut, I can flatten and square each strip on the table saw using the table saw milling method that John Heisz demonstrates in the linked video. The only thing I dont like about this is that the board is not that big to begin with it's only 12x12 (inches) and recutting plus milling will problem cost me close to another inch.

                  The other option would be to fill the gaps using the method that William Ng demonstrates. Fill the gap with wood glue and than sand the area while the glue is still wet.


                  https://youtu.be/KgS09hx7kmk (John Heisz Milling with a table saw)

                  https://youtu.be/gyHtW_x8Y64 (William Ng filling in gaps with glue + sanding)

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                  • #10

                    Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

                    I think I'm lost. Is anyone thinking with me? The original post talks about 2 glue ups being done. What exactly is done?
                    Wood Grower likes this.
                    "Do it Right!"

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                    • #11

                      Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

                      use more clamps than what's shown and alternate top and bottom placement, be generous when applying glue.
                      sigpic
                      hobby woodworking since 1972

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                      • #12

                        Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

                        Okay, let me get this straight. The pic in your 1st post is already glued up? If yes, then don't do that again. Always do a dry fit before gluing & if things aren't right, then you have a chance to fix them. That being said, there is a time fix things & there is a time to start over. This time is the latter. You could partly salvage it by doing as @Rusty suggested & cut it apart along the glue lines, rejoint and then reglue.

                        As for just filling those gaps, don't do it. If the board is for someone else, they're gonna take one look at it, pretend it's beautiful, and then never want to use it. If it's for yourself, you'll not want to be looking at those filled gaps every time you're in the kitchen.

                        Please don't take offense at my comments. Believe me, I've screwed up projects much worse than that, spent untold resources trying to cover up the mess, and then just tossing it anyway. I may not seem like it now, but this is a great learning experience & is just part of the journey.
                        the_other_ken and nnieman like this.

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                        • #13

                          Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

                          I've made a number of end grain cutting boards and they require that you can flatten and thickness the wood in the various steps of the process. In your case, it looks like the first glue-up where you glued the maple to the purple heart went well since you don't mention that you had gaps at that stage. That is typically the easy part since you are edge gluing. After this step, you need to flatten both surfaces of the glued up board so it is consistent thickness. It appears this is where things went wrong. If you see gaps when you layout the cut strips as you show in the photo, than you are asking for trouble down the road since those joints won't likely hold. You can try to close the gaps with more clamping pressure, but I'm not sure if that will work. Having said that, you have come this far so I would recommend finishing the board and use it as a learning exercise. I've got a few end grain boards on a shelf in the basement where things didn't go as planned.

                          As far as the difference in height between the strips in the second glue-up, that is not a problem since no matter how hard you try to align all of the strips, you will still need to do some flattening of the top and bottom surface. This is most easily done with a drum sander, but a belt sander, random orbit sander or a sharp handplane will also work.

                          Good luck and post some photos of the finished board.

                          David

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                          • #14

                            Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

                            I apologize for the confusion. Allow me to clarify. The photo in the original post is the dry fit / before the strips where glued and clamped together. I already wen't ahead and glued the strips together. I dont have a photo of the glued up strips at the moment. I will be back in the shop on Saturday. I'll have a better idea of how the final glue up turned out on Saturday. My expectation is there will still be gaps once the glue is dried because of how strips fit together during the dry fit (original photo). That's why I started this thread. Given my situation it sounds like I should re-cut, flatten / square the strips and re-glue.

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                            • #15

                              Re: End Grain Cutting Board - Gaps After Second Glue up

                              Originally posted by CLS1989 View Post

                              I was thinking I could do this. Problem is I would have to re-cut each strip on the table saw. I'm thinking once I re-cut, I can flatten and square each strip on the table saw using the table saw milling method that John Heisz demonstrates in the linked video. The only thing I dont like about this is that the board is not that big to begin with it's only 12x12 (inches) and recutting plus milling will problem cost me close to another inch.

                              The other option would be to fill the gaps using the method that William Ng demonstrates. Fill the gap with wood glue and than sand the area while the glue is still wet.


                              https://youtu.be/KgS09hx7kmk (John Heisz Milling with a table saw)

                              https://youtu.be/gyHtW_x8Y64 (William Ng filling in gaps with glue + sanding)
                              Forget about trying to get a flat surface on the table saw. Saw cut the glue lines with gaps and reglue. For flattening go with a belt sander.
                              There just ainít no easy quick way for a fix!
                              Egon
                              from
                              The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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