Wood and glue

May 15, 2016

Wood and glue

I don't want to bore you with the mind-numbing details of cutting board construction - But here goes...If you have ever seen the old style chopping blocks that butchers used, you'll notice that they were end grain. There were several good reasons for this.   

To understand the benefits of end-grain cutting boards we must take a look at the simple and inherent characteristics of wood. A typical piece of wood has long grain (also known as edge grain or face grain) and end grain.  

As the drawing on the left shows, the long grain runs with the length of the log and the end grain is at the end or perpendicular to the long grain of the log. If we take a closer look at the construction of the wood grain ( and by closer, I mean microscopic level) then we have the following illustration.

The structure of wood is similar to a handful of straws. The lignum are long narrow straw like structures that are hollow and transfer water and food up the tree. The best glue joint is long grain to long grain because of the amount of surface area. But the best surface for cutting on is the end grain. The knife doesn't have to cut across the grain and the end grain is more gentle to the knife blade and will not show cut marks as dramatically.


The above demonstration shows the benefit to cutting on end grain. The wood grain has been replaced with spaghetti noodles, but the effect is the same. 

With all this in mind, I hope you have more of an appreciation for an end-grain cutting board. 

Take a look at our website at www.choppingblox.com

or our blog, https://www.choppingblox.com/blogs/news

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