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Thread: Looking for a way to sand inside a cutting board handle with power tools

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Austin, TX
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    Looking for a way to sand inside a cutting board handle with power tools

    Iíve made some endgrain cutting boards and Iíve always had problems with my router bits burning maple. Inside the handles on both sides, in the corners, the maple has burned badly and Iím having to sand it down to get it looking nice.

    the handles are made by using a cove bit, then a round over.

    I finished sanding the first cutting board handles today which took almost 6 hours. Itís a complete waste of time and I am frustrated beyond belief. At this point Iím going to spend more time sanding the inside of these handles than the rest of the project combined.

    I am sanding them by hand, starting with 60 grit to get rid of all the burnt maple. Iíve tried using the dremel flap wheel but itís too big at almost 1.5Ē in diameter. The handles are 3/4Ē wide. The dremel abrasive wheel (spongy material) is also too big. The round dremel sanding drums arenít helpful as the handles are curved at the bottom and the top, so the drum doesnít follow the contour leaving almost all of it still left by hand. I tried just throwing in one of the little dremel bits to try and just scrape away the black parts which was ok, but left some gouged which took more time to sand.

    At this point, I donít see any other way except to go at it with sandpaper. What I am trying to see if it exists is a bit, that is the shape of a cove bit or a sphere, that is made out of those hard sanding sponges you can get from the store. That way it can be chucked in a drill, is spongy so itíll follow the contours, and will quickly grind it down. Sadly this doesnít appear to exist?

    Does anyone have any suggestions / ideas?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Orwell, NY
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    I would try to address the burning, so you don't have to sand it off. When I am using a tray bit on hard woods like jatoba and persimmon I have to slow my router speed way down to avoid burning. Taking smaller bites will also help, and trying to always keep the router moving. When it sits still it is almost guaranteed to burn maple in my experience.

  3. #3
    Yes, buy a SINGLE FLUTE router bit.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2015
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    SE Michigan
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    Not a power solution, but I’d think about taking a card scraper, cut a ~1/2” strip out of it and file the end to match the inside profile. I’d probably make one to match the round over as well. Still a lot of hand work, but I would think faster than sandpaper.

  5. #5
    I was trying different search terms in Amazon, looking to find you an abrasive "ball" of some type. These two terms bring up a lot of items. So far, I have seen them as small as 1 inch and you need 3/4. I need to head to work now, but maybe this will give you a lead. The terms:
    > Sanding abrasive ball <
    > Sphere rotary burr < (some of them look very fine, rather than the usual coarse cut)

    I would also search McMaster Carr and call Klingspoor. Klingspoor seems to specialize in abrasives and they have an online store that sells to the public.

    Best of luck.
    Fred

    EDIT: For your NEXT project, I've found that I get a lot less burn on maple with Freud Quadricut bits. You might try those.
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 02-22-2021 at 7:45 AM.
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  6. #6
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    The best way to clean up burning is to avoid it in the first place. It appears you are plunging to the full depth and making your cuts. The almost guaranteed that you will get some burning as you have yo move the router bit slowly through the cut. Do your plunge cut near the middle and move to each end so you don't stop at the ends. Use stops or a template to determine the ends of your grooves. Try making your cuts in small increments of say 1/16 inch at a time. Keep the bit moving along the cuts at all times. Don't stop moving for even an instant. Make the final depth cut so you only remove 1/32 inch of material. Also cheap bits give cheap results. Try Freud or Whiteside bits.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Millstone, NJ
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    When i do the handles I usually hit it in 4 increments the final increment only being the last 2% or so it should eliminate burning.
    And for sanding I have a dowel about the size of my router bit that lets me get most of it then i am only doing the ends.

    Also consider using hand cuts on the bottom, Unless your making reversable boards.

    What bit are you using?

  8. #8
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    I use overlapping forstner bit cuts; cleaned up with a template or straight edge and pattern bit on the router; then a small roundover bit; then spindle sander for final. Yeah, its a PITA.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Cambridge Vermont
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    Would a King Author Tools 3/4" pneumatic sanding ball fit into it? I've never used one so I don't know if the outside of the bladder or the outside of the sandpaper is 3/4".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Thanks everyone for the replies / input. Love this community.

    These handles were cut taking 7-8 passes with the last pass very very light, however this diablo round nose bit I think is just well past due being replaced. I've started transitioning my diablo bits over to whiteside and I think this one is next in line.

    Fred, these sphere rotary burr items are EXACTLY what I was looking for! I've ordered some which should be here hopefully by end of week.

    Stan, your idea of doing the bulk removal with a forstner bit and then coming back with router bits to do the final curving/shaping is so simple and I don't know why I didn't think of it. Will definitely go this route next time.

    Alex, never heard of these. I'll have to look into these more to see what other types of applications they're commonly used for. I don't do a lot of turning and seems like they're more commonly used in bowls.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    I do not think it will fit but they make mini belt sanders that are pneumatic or powered by an angle grinder. the belt is about 1/2" wide 6" long.Talk to a dentist see what the recomends.
    A brake hone with an abrasuve brush might work. Never used one, no idea what it will do to wood.
    Bil lD

    https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Seal-B.../dp/B00XLWFJO6
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 02-22-2021 at 2:33 PM.

  12. #12
    I know other people have already suggested this but I'd do everything possible to avoid the burning in the first place.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I know other people have already suggested this but I'd do everything possible to avoid the burning in the first place.

    Mike
    Yep the router was never left still and was taking light passes, but this was just the wakeup call to replace the bit. The main point of this thread was to figure out how to resolve the problem at hand and I'll use a better bit for future, as well as some of the other recommendations for future. Thanks!

  14. #14
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    I agree that curing the burning is the best solution. That said, I use the Scotch-Brite radial bristle discs and a Dremel tool to sand odd shapes. The coarser grits (36) work well for wood.
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  15. #15
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    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
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    I had the same concern using a core box bit when making handles on cutting boards. Spending too much time in one place is the culprit. As others have stated, making incremental cuts and keeping the board in motion will help. But after you get the oil on the board, no one will notice the scorch marks.

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