cutting board

Last week at my woodworker's club one of the relatively new members asked me about finishing a cutting board he made out of walnut. My reaction was that that was a poor choice of wood for a cutting board--adds some "flavor" perhaps. However, with a finish on it would be OK for a serving board for things like bread as long as no cutting was done on it...
It seems his daughter wants a cutting board made out of "dark wood." Off hand I couldn't think any "dark wood" that would be appropriate for a cutting board. Any suggestions? Did I overreact?
Thanks,
John
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Hi John. I've not made a cutting board from walnut, but I have turned several spatulas, spurtles and flippers from it. They have held up beautifully for a couple years working sautes in oil, boiling water for pasta and stirring up the steamed veggies'n'butter. I generally try to hand wash and air dry these utensils but occassionally one of them has been run through the dishwasher. I've never noticed any taste or other ill effects and wouldn't hesitate to make more such walnut items.
I don't know how the wood holds up to knife cuts and the like over the long haul, but otherwise I haven't seen any problems.
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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Considering the frequency with which walnut is used for carving boards; ones that are sold commercially in stores, I'd say yes, you _did_ over-react.
Put a good food-safe oil finish on it, and it's good to go. Or rubbed-in hard wax or parafin.
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John Grossbohlin wrote:

I have a cutting board I made from walnut about 4 years ago. There is no issue with it. It's been in constant use for 4 years and has held up extremely well. I finished it by heating plain mineral oil in the microwave and rubbing it in and letting it set for 30 mins. or so. Then applying another coat until the wood quit soaking it in. I've resanded and reoiled it once. It could probably use it again but it's purely cosmetic. The board is fine as is. BTW, the mineral oil is available at your local pharmacy.
--
Donnie Vazquez
Sunderland, MD
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asked me

that
for
Thanks for the responses... I'll let the guy know that no one has come ill here. ;-)
RE the mineral oil. I am familiar with that. I recently scraped my parents' 35 year old maple cutting board counter top and put mineral oil on it...
John
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John Grossbohlin wrote:

Here's a thought nobody has considered. Osage Orange. It's hard and while it'll start out golden, it'll age to a light chocolate brown. YMMV
Dave in Fairfax
--
Dave Leader
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On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 23:01:13 -0400, "John Grossbohlin"

Walnut is fine for a cutting board. Made in combination with a light wood makes a rather striking cutting board.
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