End-grain cutting board block alignment


I'm wondering if anyone who has made an end-grain cutting board with the blocks aligned in a simple grid has had any problems with it failing and cracking all the way across. I know modern glues (Tite-bond 2 or Gorilla are recommended I see) are said to be stronger than the wood, but it occurred to me that it might still be best to offset the blocks so there are fewer continuous glue joints edge to edge. This makes for some very finicky measurement, however, which I'd just as soon avoid. The scraps I have would make 2" x 3/4" blocks, at least 1" deep, fwiw.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I made one and it is fine after about a year; but I made it a bit differently. I made up a regular cutting board, and then cut it crosswise into strips. I turned the strips on end, mixed them up, and glued them together. So mine are effectively offset. Also, it makes clamping a lot easier.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I did about 25 years ago and after about 6 years the top failed. The glue joint was fine but the wood cracked all the way across. With natural liquids always soaking into the end grain the wood expanded too much and a crack opened up on the top. I later learned that the better brand butcher blocks use a threaded rod, washer, and nuts to keep every thing constantly clamped. The ends were hidden behind plugs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

Interesting. I'll consider that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Consider this. The wood will attempt to expand after taking on moisture, meeting the resistance of the rods. Since it can go no further unless it breaks the rod, it will take a compression set, which will make the rod loose after the whole loses moisture once again.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gordon Airporte wrote:

When I make butcher blocks I glue up a bunch of 3/4 x 3/4 pieces two or three feet long - whatever is the longest I can - in sufficient number to make one dimension of the block. When dry I crosscut them to the ultimate thickness of the butcher block. I then glue those strips together. Sometimes I offset them, sometimes I don't. When I do, it is solely to make an interesting pattern. I always use TiteBond II, I have never had a joint in them (or anything else) fail.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What you may want to consider, is gluing up strips of wood, say 1" square X the length of the board, in the conventional manner. Then cut them perpendicular to the glue lines, turn them 90 degrees so the end grain is facing "up", and glue the resulting strips together, for a cutting board with all end grain on the cutting surface.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lawrence Wasserman wrote:

The December issue of Canadian Woodworking covers exactly this technique. However, the last strip is half the width of the others.
When you turn the cut bits so the end grain is facing up, you also flip every other piece end for end. This way, the glue lines are offset.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, this is pretty much what I was thinking - where you only get continuous glue line along one axis. This is an easier way of putting it together than what I'd come up with so far, though. I'm considering some kind of spiral structure now, but I probably won't bother :-).
Chris Friesen wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The butcher block I've seen from Boos appears to be assembled in this manner, as the glue-lines are only continuous on one axis - but just barely. The stagger is only in the range of a sixteenth or less, from what I've seen.
JP
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.