This is the End…Grain Cutting Board I Just Finished
As we enter the last few days of December 2012, I have found myself with more spare time than I can stand (a good thing by the way). Luckily this spare time lends itself to building and creating out of wood. In the process of building furniture one ends up with many scraps of wood. Lots of these pieces are long and slender, which is perfect if one wants to make an “end-grain” cutting board. This is done by first gluing up a panel about 11 inches wide, 35 inches long and 3/4 of an inch thick. This panel is then sliced on the perpendicular into 1.5 inch strips. The strips when stood on end can be glued together in an alternating fashion to make a cutting board of great visual interest. The end grain makes for a very durable cutting surface that doesn’t dull knives the way long grain does. As one chops on end grain, the edge of the knife fits between the wood fibers in a wedge like fashion instead of severing the wood fibers as in a conventional long grain cutting board. This also has the advantage of preserving the surface of the cutting board and preventing it from being hollowed out, which makes chopping a pain as the middle of the knife is no longer able to reach the board surface. The finish on this cutting board is a linseed and beeswax blend I use on all kitchen ware for its lack of toxicity and ability to bring out the beauty of the wood.