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Exotic wood cutting board

Welcome! Forums Project Series Breadboard-end Cutting Board Exotic wood cutting board

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  • #449034
    Richard Matta
    Participant

    I’ve been making wooden utensils with exotic woods, mostly rosewoods, and I decided to make a cutting board using mainly red/reddish exotics which I will separate by 1/16″ white holly veneer. Most of them are kiln dried or long air dried, but one is snakewood that is 1 1/2″ square. I suspect it is not very dry. I thought I’d try to stabilize it with cyanoacrylate but am wondering whether I should let it dry for a few months or would it be better to put the board together then give it a heavy coating of mineral oil and beeswax to allow it to dry very slowly?

    #450701
    btyreman
    Participant

    I wouldn’t recommend this, some people are sensitised to exotic woods, stick to native non toxic woods only, if someone had a reaction it would be your responsibility.

    #450733
    Richard Matta
    Participant

    Leaving aside that that was not my question, I’ve never seen a single bit of evidence that the minute amount of oil coming from a finished cutting board is likely to be toxic if the board is regularly cleaned and kept oiled/waxed. Maybe if someone is allergic and comes in contact with the board itself. Everything I’ve seen has been supposition based on the toxicity of wood dust. And if I spend $200 on wood for a cutting board, you can be sure my wife isn’t likely to want to actually use it.

    #450787
    Edmund
    Participant

    Air drying is certainly better for stability, but if you’re in a rush you can try to pop it in your oven for an hour or so at a reasonable temperature and hope for a decent result — times will vary based on the thickness of the material, etc, and there may be an increased risk of splitting or who knows what else. At about 6:27 in this video, a former student of Paul Sellers, Andy Rawls, who is now a fine woodworker in his own right, oven dries a small piece of his Christmas tree for use in making an ornament for next year’s tree: https://youtu.be/gQKsGjE9X3M?t=6m27s

    As for the issue raised by btyreman, maybe think about it this way. You’ve spent many hours improving your craftsmanship. You fret over tight joints, flat faces, 90 degree edges, smoothed show surfaces, interesting visual details and grain patters. Why? Because you want to maximize the pleasure when interacting with your products.

    So perhaps the choice of allergenic woods and CA glues for a food prep surface can be looked at in the same light. Sure, it’s a small chance that someone will get an upset tummy from freshly-cut veggies, but by the above standard it represents a lapse in craftsmanship — you’d have moved backwards and decreased the pleasure from interacting with your products.

    Of course if this cutting board is, in surfer terminology, a “wall hanger” — not to be used except for show — then that’s a non-issue. Be sure and post photos of the end result!

    #476878
    Richard Matta
    Participant

    The end result. Our new kitchen is mostly white or off white with my wife’s pride and joy, a bright red viking range. So, I picked mostly reddish woods including Vietnamese, Madagascar, Burmese, and Brazilian rosewoods, beeswing narra, flamewood, bloodwood, snakewood, cocobolo, accented with African blackwood and American holly veneer and pins. Some of the woods I could not get more than 12 inches long, so I made the breadboard ends into sides. Due to the location of the veneer I decided to put in 2 pins near the center instead of one – I don’t expect much wood movement but my fingers are crossed. Next to a few of utensils I made out of various rosewoods.

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