Bucher Block - Need Finishing Advice
I've just started to do more woodwork. Something I've always wanted to do, but never had the time.
I've made a 18" by 24" end-grain bucher block for our new kitchen. Everything was going fine - beautiful hard maple and walnut pattern etc . . . . now I've run into some problems.
1) As I laminated the wood, some of the strips did not line up exactly - off by about 1/16". (Clamp pressure?) Because of the size of the block, ordinary hobbiest electric planers won't handle the size. Will a belt sander be able to smooth out the top and bottom? Its a lot of wood to remove. My finishing orbital sander, even with 80 grit sandpaper, was unable to touch the hard maple. Or should I shelve buying a belt sander and try find a local place with a large commercial planer?
2) I clamped and glued up everything yesterday morning. Now, within 36 hours, the board is noticeably bowed - probably my as much as .25". Is this normal? (It's been stored flat. Also, I would have thought all the cross grain patterns would have stabilized the wood. Before starting the project, I mistakenly stored the walnut and maple in the garage, causing some nasty splits in the ends of the lumber, but I used lumber well away from any of the cracks.)
Any help would be much appreciated.