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?
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for the responses... I'll let the guy know that no one has come ill
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...
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