George Vondriska

Single-Slab End Grain Cutting Board: Step-by-Step Guide

George Vondriska
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Duration:   15  mins

You’ve seen, and maybe made, end grain cutting boards. They are typically made from various hardwoods like walnut, maple, and cherry. That mix gives you kind of a checkerboard pattern of colors when the cutting board is complete. We’re going to do things a little differently on this project. Instead of using a bunch of different hardwood species, the entire end grain cutting board is made from one slab of wood. The result is visually striking! You’ll have a cutting board that’s FULL of end grain bookmatches.

Material choice

It’s best to use close-grained hardwoods for any cutting board. Close-grained means non-porous material. For example, red oak is a bad cutting board choice because of its porosity. Maple, walnut, and cherry (and many other hardwoods) are good choices.

Crosscutting your board

When you crosscut the slab, you’ll save a lot of sanding time by using a good-quality crosscut blade now. A good blade will leave your end grain cuts smooth, which means less sanding on the cutting board. Less sanding is always good.

Glue choice

Titebond III is a great choice for cutting boards. It’s waterproof and FDA-approved for food-related projects. If you have any tiny voids you need to fill, as I did, CA glue is a good choice for filling those.


Mineral oil works very well as a food-safe finish. If, over time, the cutting board gets a little “tired” looking, refresh it with another coat of oil.

Make a traditional end grain cutting board

If you want to make a multi-species, multi-colored cutting board, we’ve got you covered with a complete how-to video on the topic.

More info

For more information on Titebond products, visit the company’s website or call (800) 669-4583.

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13 Responses to “Single-Slab End Grain Cutting Board: Step-by-Step Guide”

  1. Brett

    Where it’s a single slab couldn’t you avoid an entire process of gluing and cutting and just go directly to the end grain and bookmatch it granted that would bookmatch the entire strip and not the smaller square sections like you have here. Great video love watching your content!

  2. Craig

    Why not use the planer for the final flattening? Also, the finish was too dark to see well in the video. Great project!

  3. Blake Dozier

    Good looking board. Probably my next board. Just have to decide which wood to use. When I make an end grain board I glue an additional 5-6" sacrificial board on each end, plane them flat, and then cut off the sacrificial section. This eliminates tear out and is a lot quicker than sanding. Again, pretty board.

  4. James Werner

    You seem to have some sapwood left on the two outside rips. Is this not a problem?

  5. KEVIN

    I'm surprised you didn't show off using the sliding crosscut table you have installed there. I find that is invaluable for those bulky and 'dicey' crosscuts.

  6. Rex

    I believe it makes an amazing pattern and I could almost see it. Holding the oiled board up to the camera would have allowed a much better view. Thank you for a great idea, I will be having a go myself.

  7. Bob

    You only showed rotating the reference marks rotated out. I'm curious what it would have looked like with reference marks rotated in... could you tear it apart and show the difference? LOL... Another great video! </strong>

  8. Steve August

    Nice video! Looks like you flipped that last strip the wrong way. Crazy how one minor boo-boo can send the whole project to the scrap bin!

  9. David

    When you said from fence to the outside of the blade for measurement, do you consider the outside of the blade to be the farthest from the fence. New to creating want be sure I am understanding you correctly Thank You

  10. Michael

    Excellent video, and I love the end result! Even better, super excited to see how you took a single slab of live edge and pulled off a decent-sized cutting board. I'm finishing my first (a combination of walnut and maple), and used longer and thinner boards. I love the thickness of the finished product and being able to use a single source, and I'm adding this to my list of near-term projects. One question, in two parts: how long was the original slab? And, what were the approximate dimensions on the final cutting board? Thanks for all of your great work and tutorials. Happy to be a new member and look forward to learning lots more!

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