One piece cutting board quandry

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Key to this question is *my MIL* wants a one piece cutting board, meaning not made of glued up boards. I guess because those she has had in the past have failed at the joints.
The monster she wants is not of ordinary size 30" x 30" would maybe be big enough. It should also have cleats on opposite ends and sides like a bench hook. So the question is IF I can find a slab of Maple or similar that size would it be stable enough with the cleats?
Maybe a better way to go would be to find a round picee cut off of the end of giant tree and cut it square then add cleats.
This will of course be subjected to moisture, knives and occasional shots from a cleaver.
Any advice appreciated.
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RayV wrote: > Key to this question is *my MIL* wants a one piece cutting board, > meaning not made of glued up boards. I guess because those she has > had in the past have failed at the joints. <snip>
As the old saying goes, you can't get there from here.
Machine some 3"-4" wide stock with tongue and groove construction, assemble with epoxy, and the gates of hell will freeze shut before a joint fails.
A piece of maple will split before a joint fails.
BTW, use 7/8" stock, assemble, then head to the top shop and let them run it thru the drum sander to bring it to size.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

The endgrain slab off a big old tree has possibilities. You'd probably want to go at least 2" thick though, and possibly more.

I've seen objections to using sanders on cutting boards, the theory being that it can leave grit embedded in the wood and this is bad for fine knives.
Chris
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No, it doesn't. It WILL crack, and crack badly, as it dries.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Wed, Feb 7, 2007, 8:31am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (RayV) hath been intimidated and queryeth: Key to this question is *my MIL* wants a one piece cutting board, meaning not made of glued up boards. I guess because those she has had in the past have failed at the joints. <snip> Any advice appreciated.
I would like to know exactly why she has decided she wants a one piece. How aboutasking here exactly what is her reason, rather than "I guess". I betcha any she might have fail in the past, and woodworking glue was used, it wasn't the joint that failed, it was the wood.
By the way, in case you can't talk some sense into her, and she still wants a one piece, I'd make her pay for the woo, because I betcha a chunk that size, and thick enough to hold up, isn't going to be real cheap. It'll be heavy too.
JOAT Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily. - Johann Von Schiller
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On Feb 7, 2:23 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Because she wants one piece.
Talk some sense into my MIL... Hmm, requires me to be smarter than my MIL and my lovely wife at the same time. Now I really need some advice.
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RayV wrote:

This once ... and maybe ONLY this once ... YOU are the expert here. You don't have to be smarter in all realms ... just this one.
Bill
--
Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure that there is one
rascal less in the world.
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Wed, Feb 7, 2007, 11:51am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (RayV) <snip> Because she wants one piece. Talk some sense into my MIL... Hmm, requires me to be smarter than my MIL and my lovely wife at the same time. Now I really need some advice.
If 'twas me, I'm thinking I'd tell her to track down a big enough chunk of suitable wood - something cutting board safe, to buy it, and you'll make it for her. I'd also tell her I didn't think it'd work out well, but it was her choice.
Or you could cut one out of plywood.
JOAT Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily. - Johann Von Schiller
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Assuming you can find a piece large enough, and thck enough, you can rout the cleats into the piece. No need to glue, screw, attach separate cleats/feet. Start with a piece 2" thick. Rout the middle section to 1.5" for instance. Leaving 1" on either end at the full 2" thickness. Built in cleats/feet. No attachment method to figure out or break. Now whether you can find a large enough piece for this project or whether the board itself will split, etc. is a different question with a different answer.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in wrote:

Finding the wood is no problem. You just need to find the wood dealer first. And look through his 'specials' area. And be prepared to part with a few pictures of Benjamin Franklin.
Not something I'd do. Get her a copy of the Williams-Sonoma catalog, or one from Sur La Table, and point her to the Boos Brothers work. Smile.
Patriarch
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No matter how you go about building this, you're going to be in BIG trouble.
If you make it the way she wants, and it fails, you are a lousy woodworker. If you make it the right way with many small pieces of maple glued together so the surface is end grain, you are in trouble, because you didn't make it the way she wanted it made. If you don't make it at all because you can see what's about to happen to you, you're in trouble with both the MIL and SYMBO. No matter what, you lose. It's one of those times in life when no matter what you do you're going to be the bad guy.
When put in this situation I always try to stall and educate the consumer before proceding. (don't stall too long though). Try to explain why cutting boards are made of short pieces with the end grain facing up. Show them (MIL and SYMBO) how butcher blocks are made that way and explain why. Also try to explain why cutting boards can't be put in the dishwasher or soaked in the sink. Hopefully they will begin to understand why their cutting boards have failed in the past. If you succeed in this, then you can build one the right way and it will last a long time because they won't abuse it trying to get it clean.
My wife ruined 2 small cutting boards with the dishwasher shortly after we got married 42 years ago. She also insisted on scouring cast iron frying pans no matter what I said, until my cousin (the professional chef) agreed with what I was telling her about the proper way to clean them. I haven't (and won't) ever make her a cutting board because she still insists on scrubbing them (even though she has learned not to put them in the dishwasher). She buys a new cheap chinese cutting board every 3 years or so when her's begins to come apart, and I let her buy it because it's the safest way to live with her. I would love to make her a nice one, but I know she'll ruin it, and then there will be many heated words said by both parties. For mutual survival, it's just not worth doing it.
--
Charley


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Charley wrote:
> No matter how you go about building this, you're going to be in BIG trouble.
<snip>
Words spoken by a smart man.
These days, you can buy an FDA approved polypropylene cutting board for about $5 and be done with it.
Life is too short to get the bad juices flowing.
Lew
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Sounds like a material I once read about somewhere. It's on the tip of my tongue...
NO! It was the tip of a MOTHER-IN-LAW'S tongue! :-)
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With "specs" like that, your best bet may be going to a Counter Top shop and inquiring about a "sink cut out". Then epoxy the required cleats where you want them. That's an expensive route to take I realize, but may satisfy the MIL and the SWMBO both. .
Bill

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My sympathies go to you...
I would start by asking her to find a picture from a catalog or the internet of what she has in mind. It may dawn on her that it really isn't done.
Short of that, tell her you will make a smaller version of a glued up cutting board for your wife and demonstrate (over 5 years) how glue really can hold nicely if done right. If it falls apart after 5 years, tell her you will make one to her specs.
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RayV wrote:

Here is one site that may be able to have a slab of maple. But as someone else noted.... bring money. http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/index.html
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The lady wants a one piece cutting board give it to her. The one who stated to use a slab of maple large enough was in the right frame of mine. I would find a maple log that was just cut down in the past day or so thats the right diameter thats larger than what she wants.Have 2 "rounds/slabs" that are about 2-3inchs thick cut from the log. Put out in an unheated garage (you do not want it to thaw out too quickly if its frozen) and paint some poly or someother sealer on the tops and bottoms but DO NOT SEAL THE BARK SIDES. Every few days go out and put some more poly sealer on it.Repeat until the sealer doesn't penetrate anymore. Wait a few months to a year and if it was done properly you will have a airdryed nonsplit "round/slab". Once its dry cut and plane it to the size you want. I have done this myself and it comes out just fine. Didn't make a cutting board but a coffee/end table that had some great bug marks scars from where the bark was.

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wrote:
How about buying her a big Epicurean brand cutting board. Dead flat, will survive the dishwasher with no trouble.
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My choice for a 30 inch square cutting board that was going to be used with a cleaver would be to make it at least a foot thick.
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Wait a sec... 30"x30"?? Assuming you could find a slab that square (or round) that was maybe 6/4 thick so it would stand up to a cleaver...
...she'll almost certainly never be able to lift it.
Are you sure she's really not asking for a nice butcher block top on a rolling stand of some kind?
J.
RayV wrote:

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