Cutting board repair question (cracks and wood separation, and also a long backstory)

(Also crossposted to r/cuttingboards)


I was cleaning out my fathers workshop and came across this. It’s Birdseye Maple and I ‘think’ walnut, but may be a darker color Cherry. I’ll know more once I plane it. It’s currently 16 x 7-5/8 x 1” thick.

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It was my grandfather’s. He started making it but then became too ill to finish it before he died.

My father was also very into woodworking, but he was not a cutting board person so there it has sat in his shop for decades (my grandfather died before I was born, so this thing is at least 45+ years old by now. My father died a little over 4 years ago, and I’m only now able to get up there to sort out what all is in his shop.

So now it’s my turn.

I also like woodworking, and I also happen to like cutting boards, so I want to finish what turned out to be a generational thing and an unexpected but pleasant find on my part.

It has some issues to sort out though.

Pics first:

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– it’s cupped, which is not surprising, but I can plane that out, may even try to wet the inside of the cup and put it out in the sun to see if that even helps.

– the wood is separating on the ends a little. I took a bunch of pics to show that. Pretty sure I can force some TiteBond III into it with compressed air and then see how it clamps together. After that I will likely have to use fine sawdust/glue to finish it off, but I’m completely open to suggestions.

– The Birdseye has some cracks on the ends. Similar to the separation, I want to seal those off as well first.

I am open to any and all suggestions and would prefer to not shorten the board by cutting the separations off.

EDIT: After thinking about it, and since I have no idea what glue was used, and I’d rather not use 2 different kinds of glue (because crossing the streams is bad) I may just flatten first, then separate the pieces out by cutting them along the glue lines with my table saw (taping first to prevent tear-out), and then freshly reassembling them with TiteBond III. Or something. As long as I can keep it to at least 7” wide I’ll be happy.

Thank you in advance either way!!!

BONUS PIC: About 4,000+ lbs of old-growth Birdseye Maple slabs, also courtesy of my grandfather from the 30s-50s. 2-4” thick, 8-12’ long, and heavy as F. Pure Michigan.

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While going through my fathers shop I also needed to move it out of a barn and ended up putting it into storage for the next few decades or so, lol. I guess it was my generation’s turn to move it so my brothers and I had a good time of it.

It’s wood we know we want to hold on to, but we don’t know what to do with it, it’s almost too unique.

We just know we don’t-not want it.

Heirloom wood 🤷🏻‍♂️

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