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  • Planning End-Grain

    Is it generally a bad idea to run an end-grain cutting board through a planer? Are planers typically meant just for long grain?

    I been making a couple of cutting boards and have a very hard time keeping the whole thing square during glue-up. When I take it out of the clamps it does not lay flat. Last time I used a belt sander and while it worked it took a long time and still didnt sit perfectly flat.

  • #2
    Re: Planning End-Grain

    If your blades are sharp and you take light cuts (1/64 if you can advance it that slow) you will probably be okay. I have never tried it , tho, so take this as "theroretical" as to practical observation. I would scrape/sand off any glue squeeze-out first to prevent a nick in the blades.

    Go
    Practicing at practical wood working

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    • #3
      Re: Planning End-Grain

      I have done it before and seem to work out ok but didnt leave the surface as smooth as it looked. And I think it did a number on the blades. I was more curious if its a no-no in the woodworking world.

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      • #4
        Re: Planning End-Grain

        Try a thickness sander or a woodmaster type planer with the sanding head in it.Glue and end grain is pretty hard on planer blades.I've never read nor been told or taught that its a no no to do so can't comment on that side of it.
        Sam

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        • #5
          Re: Planning End-Grain

          It's generally not a good idea to plane end grain with a benchtop planer. It dulls the knives rather quickly and can also result in some tearout. I'm not saying that you can't do it but it can cause some problems.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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          • #6
            Re: Planning End-Grain

            Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
            It's generally not a good idea to plane end grain with a benchtop planer. It dulls the knives rather quickly and can also result in some tearout. I'm not saying that you can't do it but it can cause some problems.

            You are not kidding about tear out. The one time I did it really roughed up the edges of the cutting board. Luckily I account for this and make them oversized.

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            • #7
              Re: Planning End-Grain

              I've run a couple of end grain cutting boards through a planer with no problems.
              Then also I have had 3 of them explode in the planer, which is why I don't do that anymore. With the cost of underwear going up I can't afford it since retirement! ;-)
              Poplar Branch Wood Crafts

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              • #8
                Re: Planning End-Grain

                Originally posted by KenM View Post
                I've run a couple of end grain cutting boards through a planer with no problems.
                Then also I have had 3 of them explode in the planer, which is why I don't do that anymore. With the cost of underwear going up I can't afford it since retirement! ;-)

                Thats excatly what happened to me last night and I will never do this again. I was amazed at how the planer destroyed the cutting board, peices were flying everywhere. One got me in the arm pretty good, might need to get x-rays. As a novice woodworker I sure am learning everything not to do the hard way.

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                • #9
                  Re: Planning End-Grain

                  Originally posted by Pez View Post
                  Thats excatly what happened to me last night and I will never do this again. I was amazed at how the planer destroyed the cutting board, peices were flying everywhere. One got me in the arm pretty good, might need to get x-rays. As a novice woodworker I sure am learning everything not to do the hard way.
                  Just shows that you are smarter than me, Pez! It took me 3 to learn my lesson. Hope your arm is o.k.
                  ken
                  Poplar Branch Wood Crafts

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                  • #10
                    Re: Planning End-Grain

                    Good news - the arm is not broken. I was pretty sure it was a hairline fracture but the x-rays came up negative. Also had an x-ray of my butt - broke my tail bone in Nov 07 and still bothers me. Wanted to make sure it did heal funny. This whole aging thing stinks - seems like I am always hurting something and do not bounce back like I used to.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Planning End-Grain

                      Hey Pez, this just came to mind. If you were to build a jig for a router which would hold it flat and make it as wide as the widest dimension of the cuttingboard + the width of the router base. Center the c.board under the jig and insert,say, a 3/4" bit the router and run it back and forth across the board. It would definitely take some time. You would also have to shime the board into a level position so that the router can create a flat side. Flip and repeat. It does sound like a lot of work, doesn't it - sigh!
                      Later,
                      Chiz

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                      • #12
                        Re: Planning End-Grain

                        Originally posted by ironhat View Post
                        Hey Pez, this just came to mind. If you were to build a jig for a router which would hold it flat and make it as wide as the widest dimension of the cuttingboard + the width of the router base. Center the c.board under the jig and insert,say, a 3/4" bit the router and run it back and forth across the board. It would definitely take some time. You would also have to shime the board into a level position so that the router can create a flat side. Flip and repeat. It does sound like a lot of work, doesn't it - sigh!
                        Thats not a bad idea, will keep that in mind for next time. Will take a little longe but is much safer.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Planning End-Grain

                          As others have said, planning end grain is generally a bad idea.

                          This may not help now, but in the future gluing a little differently could help. I may be mistaken, but I'm picturing your problem as the cutting board bowing or at least not being completely flat after glue-up. Is this right?

                          If this is your problem, I'd suggest clamping it up like normal with bar clamps, but then sandwiching the whole clamp job together with some scraps running across the strips on top and under them. Put wax paper on the strips so they don't get stuck to the board by the squeezed out glue.

                          Hopefully this is your problem and you understand what I mean. Maybe a picture would help.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Planning End-Grain

                            Originally posted by jamesmyname View Post
                            As others have said, planning end grain is generally a bad idea.

                            This may not help now, but in the future gluing a little differently could help. I may be mistaken, but I'm picturing your problem as the cutting board bowing or at least not being completely flat after glue-up. Is this right?

                            If this is your problem, I'd suggest clamping it up like normal with bar clamps, but then sandwiching the whole clamp job together with some scraps running across the strips on top and under them. Put wax paper on the strips so they don't get stuck to the board by the squeezed out glue.

                            Hopefully this is your problem and you understand what I mean. Maybe a picture would help.
                            I know excatly what you mean and this was a contributing factor. I think I had a lot of things go wrong. Besides the bowing while clamping my saw was not aligned that well. I am about to start another cutting board and have addressed all the things that went wrong the last few times. This one should come a lot better.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Planning End-Grain

                              Planing end grain can best be done by firmly clamping a scrap piece of wood on both sides of the piece to be planed. Both sides are necessary, as you wan to alternate ends as you put it through the jointer. I agree with the post who recommends 1/64th inch cuts. as shallow as you can get is best. Also, this is not a task for dull blades. Good Sharp cutterheads will clenly slice through the wood fibers and give a nice clean surface

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