Milling the Boards
the Long Grain Slab
Arranging the Strips and
Drilling Dowel Holes
Sanding or Hand Planing
the Final Slab
Routing Decorative Chamfers
Levelling an End Grain Slab
with a Router Jig
A Hand Made Gift is Special
End Grain Table Tops & Cutting Boards
Author: Hendrik Varju
Hendrik Varju / Passion for Wood / August 2015
6 hours, 33 minutes on 3 DVDs
Price: Cdn. $79.95 + applicable taxes
+ shipping and handling
Ontario residents pay 13% hst. Canadian residents outside of Ontario pay hst at their own province’s rate, or 5% gst if in a non-participating province. Residents outside of Canada pay no tax.
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2015 rounded out Hendrik’s instructional DVD offerings to a total of sixteen titles, releasing two new productions. “Handcut Dovetails” is the second DVD newly released in 2015, but let us first hear about the long awaited production: “End Grain Table Tops & Cutting Boards”.
Previous videos have covered machinery and tool skills, wood science, joinery methods, finishing and more. They have also covered how to build drawers and frame and panel doors. But for the first time, Hendrik shows you how to complete one simple and complete project from start to finish, allowing you to build a beautiful cutting board or butcher block. Or you can build a stunning show piece of a table top using the same methods. Add some table legs and aprons and you have an heirloom piece of furniture that will be the talk of your family and friends. This production includes footage spread over more than 6 1/2 hours on 3 disks. As is Hendrik’s usual style, this DVD set is a detailed step-by-step course – not the “usual” DVD fare that may have disappointed you in the past.
The DVD starts by reviewing some of the more common uses for his methods, such as cutting boards, butcher blocks or even countertops. He even shows you a completed coffee table design using the same construction for the table top and gives you all the dimensions you need to know to build something similar. The coffee table example is sure to inspire you to get to work in your own workshop at home.
Chapter 2 covers how to choose the wood species you’ll use for your own similar projects. And using his easel, he discusses in great detail how to decide on the number of wood strips to use and their sizes. Like all worthwhile projects, there is a lot of planning required before you make your first cut if you’d like everything to go smoothly.
In chapter 3, Hendrik reviews how to mill the lumber, including face jointing, edge jointing and then planing opposite edges and faces in the thickness planer. Hendrik’s first DVD production called “Jointer and Planer Secrets” covered these techniques in extreme detail, but in chapter 3 he gives you a quick overview and shows you how it’s done.
Chapter 4 shows you how to glue up the initial “long grain slab”, using clamping cauls and F-clamps to ensure everything stays aligned. Then chapter 5 shows you how to clean up the slab after the glue-up, using hand planes and the thickness planer.
In chapters 6 and 7, Hendrik shows you how to cut the long grain slab into strips. Then he shows you how to arrange the strips to provide the final pattern and result in a slab that is “end grain up”, known as the “end grain slab”. Then he shows you how to drill dowel holes to connect the numerous strips, leading to a very easy and stress free glue-up in chapter 8.
Then the next four chapters show you how to hand plane and sand the final product and how to trim the outer perimeter with two methods: using jointer or router. Hendrik also shows you how to rout decorative chamfers around the edges, including how to hand plane them if you prefer. And chapter 12 covers, in great detail, the various finishing choices, including a discussion of finishes that are suitable for food contact, highly relevant to cutting boards and butcher blocks. He demonstrates how to apply two types of finish: 100% pure tung oil for food contact items, and varnish for items where food contact is not a concern, such as a table top.
As in all of Hendrik’s DVDs, this production is full of techniques he has been using and perfecting for nearly two decades. There is always a wonderful mix of theory, with sketches and full explanations, married with real-time demonstrations you can duplicate in your own workshop. This is the beauty of these multiple disk courses, which give you an absolutely enormous level of detail, but in a “live demonstration” format just not possible in a woodworking book or magazine article.
The most important aspect of this production, as with all the others, is Hendrik’s full demonstrations done in real time. He doesn’t assume prior knowledge, so even a beginner will be able to follow along the journey. Yet he has a knack for covering the basics while simultaneously delving into super fine points an amateur is unlikely to even consider for many years. The incredibly valuable lesson in all this is that Hendrik never just touches on the basics, but goes deeper, giving you a level of understanding of how to dial in accuracy on that last one one-thousandth of an inch. In fine furniture work, accuracy and detail is everything.
Hendrik is known for his detailed “bonus footage” sections in his instructional DVD courses and this DVD is no exception. The bonus footage is called “A Router Jig to Level a Large Slab”. With a great deal of experience, you might be able to pull off a near-perfect end grain slab that needs very little hand planing or sanding. But if you make any mistakes along the way, which is even more likely when building a very large slab, you’ll want a more efficient way to level the faces of the slab before you try to give it a final smoothing. Hendrik shows you a simple but effective router sled that travels across two accurately milled beams. A large diameter straight router bit passes back and forth over the entire surface of the slab, cutting it to one flat plane in just a few minutes. You can even remove a twist from the slab by shimming up the corners before you start. And once you have one side flat, you just flip it over and repeat on the other side. Hendrik has a knack for designing jigs that are no more complicated than necessary for the job so that you spend most of your time building projects instead of building jigs. This router sled is no exception, being built of just three pieces of Baltic birch plywood.
The bonus footage on this DVD runs for about 34 minutes — longer than an entire woodworking TV show. In fact, most woodworking DVDs only run for 30 to 60 minutes, so Hendrik’s bonus footage always gives you a huge amount of new information not covered in the regular part of the production. Also, remember that Hendrik’s productions are not just “entertainment” like a woodworking television show. These are lengthy step-by-step woodworking courses in a DVD format. Like it says on the front cover of these productions, this is “Private Woodworking Instruction in a Box”TM. In short, “End Grain Table Tops & Cutting Boards” is the most complete DVD course of its kind on this subject matter. You’ll appreciate the depth of the information and the subtle details fleshed out at every opportunity.
In this must-have video, you will learn:
- about the many uses for end grain slabs, including table tops, cutting boards, butcher blocks and even countertops
- how to choose wood species that will give beautiful effects and how to plan the dimensions of the various strips that go into your project
- how to use your jointer and planer to accurately mill the strips
- how to glue up the long grain slab easily and accurately
- how to clean up the long grain slab with hand planes and thickness planer
- how to cut the long grain slab into cross grain strips
- how to arrange the various strips “end grain up” and then rotate them to create a beautiful pattern
- how to accurately drill dowel holes to align the strips during the final glue-up
- how to tackle the final glue-up quickly and without unnecessary stress
- how to hand plane and sand the final slab to make it level and smooth
- how to trim the perimeter of the final slab using two methods: router and jointer
- how to rout decorative chamfers around the perimeter of the project, as well as how to use a hand plane to do this
- how to apply a tung oil finish for food contact items and a varnish finish for projects that will not see any food contact
- how to level an out-of-flat slab using an ingenious but simple router sled
As always, Hendrik’s DVD courses are not like the usual 45 to 60 minute production you may have found disappointing in the past. Hendrik takes you through every procedure in real time, ensuring that you fully understand the thinking behind every step. Most woodworking videos and television shows just show you the “gist” of each technique, editing away the finer details and problems that might arise. If you truly wish to elevate your drawer building and installation techniques to a professional level, the details are everything.
Normally, Hendrik can only cover all of the high-level details he loves to teach in person, but he has once again succeeded at giving you personal coaching in a DVD format. As a 3-DVD boxed set running for over 6 1/2 hours, “End Grain Table Tops & Cutting Boards” will be the leading instructional woodworking DVD in this area. As the trademarked name says, this is “Private Woodworking Instruction in a Box” TM and nothing short of Hendrik’s in-shop seminars and courses even comes close.
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Uses for End Grain Slabs
Choosing Wood Species
and Other Planning
Gluing the Long Grain Slab
Cutting the Long Grain Slab
the End Grain Slab
Trimming the Outer Perimeter
Applying a Finish
Tight Joints Show Your Skills
Feed Your Passion for Wood