Cutting Groove in Cutting Boards

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rick7938

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Rick
I am starting my annual Christmas projects. This year I am making hard maple cutting boards with cherry trim. The trim consists of splines of cherry pegged into grooves at the end of the butcher blocks. One is flush with the end of the cutting board; the other has a finger or hanging hole in it.

The plans call for cutting a 3/8-inch groove that is 2 inches deep on the end of each cutting board to receive the splines. The ends will be curved and profiled after the grooves are cut.

I have a Delta Contractor saw with 1 1/2-hp motor. I can't imagine that it will cut a groove the size required with a dado stack.

My questions: What is the best way to cut the groove? What is the best blade to use - combination or ripping?

I am thinking about using my tenoning jig with a single blade raised to 2 inches and slowly widen the groove to 3/8-inch by flipping the board side-to-side to ensure that the groove remains centered and flatten the bottom of the groove with self-sticking sandpaper on the edge of a board.

Thanks for any advice or feedback.
 

DaveO

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DaveO
To start I am having a hard time picturing what your project is supposed to be. I am guessing that you are wanting to do a bread-board type end on the end grain cutting board. If so, then a 2" deep spline tenon is overly excessive, you would get by just fine with a 1" or less. Even if you decide that you want to do the full 2" that cut can be easily done with a dado stack by progressively raising the blade for each cut. Or it can also be accomplished by using a router with a up-spiral bit and a jig to support the base on the narrow edge. Or if you're Jeremy a Multi-router would make quick work of this :wwink:
If you do decide to go with a single blade and sneak up on the width I would recommend a rip blade as they have a flat top grind which would leave you with a flat bottomed groove.
MTCW,
Dave:)
 

rick7938

New User
Rick
No, Dave. It is almost the reverse of the breadboard edge. The groove is centered in the end grain on each end of the board. The 2 inch groove sounds like a lot, but the ends are curved so that the groove is only about 1/2-inch deep on each side after the ends are cut to final shape. It is just much easier to cut a groove while the stock is still square that after the ends are shaped.

On one end the cherry spline is flush with the curved end of the cutting board and is secured with cherry dowels. On the other end the spline extends beyond the end of the cutting board sufficiently to allows a finger hole or hanging hole to be drilled and is also held in place with cherry dowels. The project is in Vol. 29, No. 174, page 16 of Woodsmith magazine.

Thanks for the input.
 

Howard Acheson

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Howard
Like Dave, I am a little confused about how you board is constructed. Let me ask this; the spline you refer to will go into the end grain of the board and be solidly glued? If so, you are headed for trouble. That construction will create a cross grain joint and restrict the expansion/contraction of the wood. Something will break. The only way to do what you want to do is to use a real breadboard type of construction. The center portion of the cutting board must be free to expand and contract.
 

JohnW

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John
Rick,

You're talking about the cutting boards in Woodsmith Vol 29 /No 174. I would build the sled they describe on page 30 and use a dado blade. I agree that it would be a big bite considering it's maple and one of the slots needs to be 2" deep. If you think your saw would bog down, make several cuts with your standard blade to take out the middle...then make the last cut using the dado stack. You'll want to make all the slots exactly the same width so your splines fit snugly. That is why your last cut on each board should be with the same dado stack.

FYI...make the maple board a bit wider than the plans....You can trim them to proper width AFTER the slots are cut. It is likely that you'll get some chip out when making the slots. It's a good idea to have it a bit too wide at first so the chip out can be trimmed off.

Also...sharp blades are a MUST when making the slot cut.

Good luck and post finished pics.
 

rick7938

New User
Rick
Great idea, John. Thanks.

Ref. the spline and the cross-grain situation, the spline is pegged and all but the middle hole is elongated in the spline to prevent its splitting as the boards move.
 

JohnW

New User
John
Rick...it's the outer holes that are elongated. The 2 inside holes are drilled for a tight dowel fit and the two outer holes are elongated a bit....Another way to deal with the wood movement would be to glue up some cherry wide enough to use with the grain running in the same direction as the maple boards. This eliminates the cross grain situation...but will give you end grain on the top edge of the cherry, which is OK but will get darker than the face when oiled or finished.
 
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