Chinese Chopping Block - what wood?

I was watching "The Iron Chef" last night and the challenger was using a Chinese style Chopping block that looked like it was just a chunk of tree trunk, maybe 18" in dia. and 8" high. It did not seem to have been glued up from individual parts and there was no metal band to keep it from splitting. I am wondering what wood or woods would be best for making one for myself or for gifts. Is any special drying proceedure needed. I know Rock Maple is usually used for the glued up checkerboard butcher block style cutting boards, but are there other woods that are traditional for the Chinese style round cutting block? Maybe some wood that is food neutral and still resists splitting? Or will any chunck of tree work with the proper drying proceedure? I have seen round checkerboard butcher block style Chinese Chopping Blocks for sale at prices that amaze me (over $200)
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (John213a) wrote in

It does split a little eventually. You might want to just go to a local chinese supermarket if you're close to a big city. Stuff there is way cheap.
I prefer Boos cutting boards myself. The chinese chopping stumps seem to get kinda slimy eventually (no clue why) and don't clean up as easily. You don't have to oil them like you do the standard maple cutting boards though...
ken
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On 16 Dec 2004 13:47:16 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (John213a) wrote:
In South East Asia they use Ramin or Chengi (spell ?? weather resistance and very hard tropical hardwood). Recently, I seen it in our neighbour Asian supermarket a small (12" dia X 4" high) chopping block for $12.
You could use hard Maple trunk if you can find one. I too came across someone selling it at ebay from pieces of maple glue up to a round piece.

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