How to Create a Stunning Brick Wall End Grain Cutting Board
Lately I’ve enjoyed playing around with different patterns I can make with different colors of wood. I had some hard maple, black walnut, and cherry wood just waiting for a project that would highlight their different colors, and this brick wall end grain cutting board was the perfect fit. I decided to do one using the hard maple and the black walnut, and the other using the hard maple and the cherry wood. This is a fun project that isn’t too hard to do at the end of the day, but does require some power tools. I’ve broken it down into a step-by-step guide so that you can now make a brick wall end grain cutting board yourself! Check it out!
Tools and Materials
- Hard maple
- Black walnut
- Wood glue
- Small paint roller
- Table saw
- Cross cut sled
- Drum sander
- Random orbit sander
- Hand sander
- Sandpaper (150, 220, and 400 grit)
- Mineral oil
- Rubber feet
To save time, I already jointed, planed, and cut my wood to size, so if you haven’t done that already, start there before doing this step.
I cut the black walnut into boards that were 1 ½”x2” and the hard maple into strips that were 1 ½”x 3/16”.
These strips would serve as the “grout” between the “bricks” of black walnut.
I arranged my board in the order I wanted the wood to be, with the thinner hard maple pieces in between the thicker black walnut pieces. Then I flipped the boards on their sides so that the sides I would be adding glue to were facing up. This made it easier for me to get it all done at once, without having to worry about accidentally applying glue to the wrong side.
Using a roller, I applied wood glue to all of the pieces, then I flipped them back to standing and stuck them together.
I did this on a vise so that it would be easy to clamp them in place once I was done. This also gave me the benefit of a flat back to push up against as I glued the pieces together.
I repeated the process with the other cutting board I was creating, using cherry wood in place of the black walnut I had used in the first one.
Using a T-square and a circular saw I cut the glued boards into equal sized strips. As always, practice proper safety measures whenever you use power tools. The size you cut these strips may vary depending on the brick size you want to achieve, however make sure that all the pieces you cut are of equal size.
I lay out the strips I had just created so that the end grains faced up and the bricks were staggered. I used more strips of hard maple to imitate the mortar of a brick wall between each piece.
Then, as I did in step one, I glued them all together. I used a board as a straight edge on one side to keep the boards in alignment as I clamped them.
Using my cross cut sled I trimmed the edges of the boards. A cross cut sled makes it easy to cut the piece evenly. I took off just enough to make sure everything was even. Make sure not to take off so much that the hard maple “grout” is on the outside, ruining the brick effect.
Once I had the cutting boards cut to size, I put them through the drum sander. I learned the hard way on this project to go with very light passes and at a slow speed. The first time I put one of these through the sander actually stopped partway through and I had to release it and start all over again. Remember, you can always take off more if needed, but if you take off too much you can’t put it back.
I was so excited to get to use one of my new toys! This brand lets everyone know who made this beautiful product, and I think it makes it look pretty professional as well. It took me a while to learn how to properly brand without burning the board, so if you’re new to it practice a bit on some scrap wood before using it on a project you’ve worked hard on.
Using a router table I rounded the edges of the cutting board. Make sure not to miss an edge, there are eight in all that you need to do. I was debating going with a chamfer edge, which is a little more angular, but I decided to go with a rounded edge in the end. If you prefer a chamfer edge then go for it!
Using a random orbit sander and 150-220 grit sandpaper I sanded the entire piece. Make sure not to miss any spots.
Once I was happy with it I continued sanding with a hand sander and 400 grit sandpaper.
I flooded the boards with mineral oil. It’s important to really flood it, keep drizzling more on until you see it start pooling on the surface. Once that happens, let it sit on the boards for ten minutes and then wipe it all over the surface. Repeat this process as needed until the wood no longer sucks the oil in. Not only does mineral oil preserve and protect the wood, but it also repels bits of food and liquid that end up on the board, preventing bacteria from building up.
I wanted the board to sit nicely on the counter and not slide around when being used, so I added rubber feet to the bottom. I drilled a hole 1 ¼” from the edge of the cutting board, and screwed the foot on.
I repeated this on the three remaining sides. Make sure that the brand is on the bottom, as you don’t want it to get destroyed by all of the chopping that will happen on the top of the board.
They turned out beautiful. I love the ways the different colored woods contrast each other, and how the end grain is highlighted in the finished product. How have you used different types of wood together in your projects? Let me know in the comments below!
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Kathleen D McPherson on Jun 09, 2020
how much would you charge to make one,simple one...they are so nice!!
Do you sell them? And how much would they cost?
Loved the project. The only thing for me is the cost of all the tools to make this cutting board. Nice to do if to have a few thousand £££ of equipment laying around. I would make these and sell them. You would make a fortune. The shops would buy these to sell as well. Thought of starting up a little sideline?
Nice work and good instructions. Would make a nice coffee table too. I admire your vision.
How much are you pricing these to sell?