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help using a router

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  • help using a router

    I'm making cutting boards for a craft fair. The design I have for many have strips underneath partly for show, but also to help prevent the lamination from separating. See the images below. I use a 1in x 1/4in roundover router bit to round the edges of the board and the end of the strips. Typically, I glue the srtips on, then trim the edge of the board on the TS. Then go to the router table and put the round over on the edge of the board and then the ends of the strips. The problem I have is that routing across the grain has caused some tearout on the edges of the narrow strips. What can I do to prevent or reduce this? I've tried make several very shallow passes, but still got some tearout. A little is OK, but not large chips.

    Thanks Dennis
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  • #2
    Re: help using a router

    Of course you would have to do this prior to attaching the narrow pieces to the cutting board, but have you tried using a piece of scrap as a push block? Or, you can rip the pieces extra wide, shape the ends and then rip them to width, cutting the tear-out off in the process. Either way I would use the sacrificial push block for the "zero-clearance" benefit.

    If you prefer to attach the narrow pieces prior to routing them, (I see your point being to ensure they are flush), perhaps you can try placing a filler board behind the narrow piece that is the same thickness, giving the same benefit of a push block. Possibly a piece or two of hardboard carpet taped to the bottom of the cutting board next to the narrow piece.



    • #3
      Re: help using a router

      Routing issues aside, you have a bad "cross grain" problem there. The idea that the narrow strip across the bottom exactly backward. It will make matters worse. As the lighter wood (maple?) moves (expand/contract) it will either warp because it is restricted by the crossing rails or it will break the glue bond....probably both eventually.

      If the board is really going to be used, the washing will accelerate the problem. End grain is your friend in this case. You still need to pay some attention to mixing species of wood because they move at different rates, but your chances are far better.


      • #4
        Re: help using a router

        Here is a little history that drove the design. About 13yrs ago we were given a nice cutting board as a wedding present. It looked like it was made from walnut, maple, padauk, and maybe something like cherry. After about 10 yrs of medium use, but no proper care or oiling, the board split into two along a glue joint. Most of the strips were starting to pull apart somewhat. I think it split because it had four small rubber legs in each corner and my wife was cutting and putting pressure on it along the glue joints, not accross them. 10 yrs is pretty good use, especially without oiling the board.

        I still have the board and wondered how to design a board that would not split or break like ours did.

        First I decided to use this strip to as a way to hold the laminated stripes together so they woudl not separate. I wasn't sure how good a solution it would be, but I thought it looked attractive and my plan was/is to add a silicon cord to this strip to stop the board moving on the counter surface as I didn;t like the rubber feet on most of these boards. It also gave the board so dimension and thickness. I am concerned with this strip comming off however!! So thought about cuting a very shallow dado and glueing the strip in the dado. I've not tried this yet.

        Next I decided to use splines in the glue joints which you can see in the picture. I felt this should be stronger than a normal glue joint over time and reduce the laminated strips from separating over the long haul and they look really sharp. But I still liked the look of the strips under the boards and thought it would be easier to incorposate the silicon cord into the strips vs the under side ofthe board.

        I'm not sure how effective this design will be, only time will tell - about a decade I guess. I have a feeling that unless the board is oiled on a regular basis, there is nothing that will stop the laminating comming apart. That said, I do like the look, and it makes them different to other boards that I have seen.


        • #5
          Re: help using a router

          The cross grain is the problem. If it is purely for looks, you could make the strips run along the length of the grain. As far as strength, I would say that maybe the addition of splines, and keeping all of the grain running the same direction along with a more modern glue and better care..."Oiling,etc." should outlast your original.