End grain carving

Hey folks,

I am working on some end grain cutting boards. The person wanted the initials inlaid into the face of the boards. My question is how well does end grain cut/engrave vs face/edge grain? Could I do the pocket well enough or am I stuck hand carving that part?

Yes I know this inlay is face grain, but typically I do them end grain as well.



the grain in woods makes it a bit in predicable for depth but your boundry lines should be good and if its a pinch not deep enough you have to sand anyway.

I would also suggest trying a router with a template to do most of the mill work then you would have much less to carve out by hand mostly in the corners

Bump the power/slow the speed for the end grain. For shallow inlays the variations in the engrave depth shouldn’t impact the inlay. For deeper ones you can finish with sanding (PITA to get in there) or let the glue level it out and sand any excess off the top of the inlay.


For big pockets and large inlays I intend to use the GF for templates and jigs. But for small really fine stuff, then I plan to let the GF do the carving. At least that’s what’s in my head.

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End grains are absolutely the worst for this. Small pieces will peel off at just the wrong time unless you have a lot of patience and steady hand.Good luck, it will look very cool when done. - Rich

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I haven’t tried; good question!

I’m willing to mill something up if your willing to laser it :slight_smile:


That’s a great question!

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End product, just something along the lines of what I want to do. Again the walnut letters in this case are face grain, but I normally do end grain.


Wow. That’s stunning. Love the way you used the grain as a decorative element.


Tremendous amount of work, but worth the effort…BEAUTIFUL! - Rich


I always liked the “matchbook” and “butterfly” woodwork where the grain is mirrored. Very nice work!


Thanks! blush

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OOL, but so pretty! :heart: Love the patterns the end grain makes and how you used them.