View Full Version : How to cure stripey butcher block?

Ed Ditto
01-09-2008, 7:21 PM
I'm hoping you guys can steer me the right way on a cosmetic issue.

I made about 30 square feet of end-grain walnut butcher-block countertops for my wife (2.5 gallons of Titebond III by the time I was finished.)

I took them to my buddy's shop to thickness them on his enormous CNC router. We put them on the vacuum table and used, I think, repeated passes with a 1" bowl bit to surface one side, then flipped them and used another series of passes to bring them into parallel.

Cool process. And the result? End-grain butcher block that's dead flat and precisely dimensioned, but which also has router striping I can't seem to sand out.

I've spent two days using a random-orbit sander to take the countertops from 40 to 80 to 120 to 220, but the stripes persist.

I could, I suppose, take them to someone who's got a big drum sander and run them through, but I'm worried I'd be closing the door on the stripes only to open the door on snipe, scorching, edge blowout, etc.

So, CNC router guys: how do I get rid of stripes on end-grain walnut countertops?


Grant Charlick
01-09-2008, 7:39 PM
I recently made 10 end grain butcher blocks myself. I made them from many woods, but one was wanut. The walnut was actually easier to sand then the rest of the more dense woods. I sanded mine on my delta 18-36. First with 60 grit, which left deep scratches but then went up to 220 and ten minutes of 180 on the orbital and it was over. Worked great for me, had the same problem until I went to 220 on the drum.( If you use a drum or belt sander light passes are the trick.

Neal Schlee
01-10-2008, 2:12 PM
Find someone with a wide belt sander, you can end butt them if they're too short, or run them thru on a carrier board, we do it alll the time. CNC router milling can slightly tear the wood, especially end grain, the WB sander takes it right out.


Steveo O'Banion
02-01-2008, 3:42 PM
Prevent the stripes on walnut by a slower/faster feed? Lighter cut? Different cutter?

Christopher Keele
02-05-2008, 8:08 PM
Drum Sander. You can either rent time on a machine at your local woodworking store/shop or have them run it through for you. Cost is extremely cheap to have them do it for you and saves you a lot of time and heartache.