cutting board

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In my book it says mineral oil is acceptable to use as a finish on a cutting board. Is this regular mineral oil like you buy in the pharmacy? What does it make the wood look like?
Also I am havin gtrouble understanding how most cutting boards are made. You keep saying end grain up right?
Also, please refrain from smart remarks. Every question I ask is legitamate. Why do you not yell at the guy who keeps posting about the number of people dieing in Iraq?
I put the x-no-archive because I want to. If you dont like it it is a free country read someone elses post. I cant understand why it bothers anyone. I put it on there on all my posts, even in other groups.
As far as asking the same question. If I have doen that i am sorry, I am forgetful and may have ADD. (I have been on medicine before). I have alot going on in my life with family and work. Again, if you dont like reading them then dont.
I really thought this group was for helping people. After all the crap I have gotten in responses, I almost wish I had never attempted to get into it.
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Yes, mineral oil or baby oil, both are non-toxic. I use baby oil (the unscented type) for finishing many of the projects I build.
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pharmacy? What does it make the wood look like? Also I am havin gtrouble understanding how most cutting boards are made. You keep saying end grain up right?
(Warning - this reply gets long...) Yep, plain old mineral oil. This is good for cutting boards because it doesn't polymerize or form a hard coating as it "dries". Therefore, there is no hard coating to be chipped or cut into by knives as you use the cutting board, but that also means it doesn't last as long or build to any thickness, so you have to reapply it every once in a while. It makes the wood look - um - oiled, at least for a while. Test on a scrap, like you would with any other finish.
Some "real" butcher blocks or chopping blocks are end-grain-up, but in common use, it seems "butcher block" has come to mean just about any wood countertop. A quick google search and a little common sense turned up the fact that end grain cutting boards are easier on your knives and will let them stay sharp longer (see below also). They are obviously more time-intensive and therefore more expensive to make, however, so most cutting boards are flat grain. This works, of course, as millions of people cut on flat-grain cutting boards every day. My parents main cutting board for 15 years was a plain old square of 3/4" plywood I made in 6th grade shop. Apparently it had sentimental value, because it sure wasn't pretty. My point is that almost anything will work. Up to you whether you want to spend the time to make an end-grain board.
I think the reason people are upset at some of your frequent posts is that you don't seem to do much research before posting. Google always turns up a bunch of crap, but there is also a LOT of good info to be found if you use your common sense filter. Also, if you don't use google groups as your newsreader, you can at least search the archives of this group there. Many many woodworking questions have already been asked: for instance, below I've pasted most of a thread from 1996 that I easily found when I searched this group for "end grain cutting board":

Absolutely correct. The best chopping blocks were originally a large cross-section of tree trunk, that is all end grain. It doesn't split and knife cuts seperate the wood fibers instead of breaking them. It does absorb more moisture. Old time butchers would periodically "salt" their blocks. That is rub a good amount of table salt into the block, let it sit overnight, then wipe it off. This would keep the board clean, sanitary and dry. You can create the same effect by gluing together strips of wood along the grain, then crosscutting and re-gluing again to create a kind of checkerboard which would be all end grain.
In conclusion, I'd recommend that you search Google, search the rec.woodworking archives at google gruops, read some of your woodworking books, and if applicable try out your idea in your shop before asking a question here. If you're still confused, THEN take a few minutes to put together a thoughtful post. (The usefulness of the archives is also the main reason people don't want you to "xnoarchive" your posts - maybe someone in the future could learn something from your post or a reply to your post, and not have to ask and re-ask the same questions here...) Hope this helps, and good luck with your cutting board, Andy
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Chopping board, certainly end grain. That way the wounds close themselves pretty well. Thickness counts.
For the rest, makes no difference. Cutting boards are for using up scraps, anyway, they're not fine woodworking.
As to mineral oil, it's indigestible, that's why it gives you the runs. But it's always there to pick up oil-soluble scents and retain oil-soluble material unless you wash it away. Thus the question, why bother? Might want to use a curing oil like a nut oil or some "Danish" oil to help it shed water, but once again, you're only going to chop it up.
Make one for food to be cooked, different size/shape/pattern for food to be eaten raw, and don't mix.
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After reading this crap, I don't want to respond. Learn some basic manners, then try again. If you were my neighbour wanting to borrow the ladder, and came on to me like that, you'd be told to buy your own damned ladder
However:
1. The oil thing is right. If you want to know what it looks like, buy a small bottle at the local pharmacy and apply a little to some sanded wood. The cost is negligible to try a little experimentation, and you learn much more by doing it yourself, and perhaps making mistakes along the way.
2. Obviously you don't want the end grain, which is FAR more moisture-absorbent than the long grain, to be the top surface.
It's common sense.
Now, any more advice and you have to pay me.
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wrote:

Actually you DO want end grain. The cuts are self healing when the knife blade cuts into the surface. Better butcher blocks and cutting boards are built this way. If you oil the surface prior to usage moisture will be repelled by the oil.

?
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On Wed, 12 Apr 2006 19:49:46 GMT, "Leon"

I don't, for several reasons. Although it is "traditional", and although the surface is softer, it is easier to split being so, and a split is a split. "Healing" is an illusion. Bacteria still think it's a nice cozy place divide and multiply, and to them the cuts are still canyons, the cuts going deeper into the surface. A saving grace is that the knives don't dull as quickly. On balance, I'd prefer to consider health over sharpening.
There are other reasons, some aesthetic. One thing about an advancing species is that we tend to outpace "tradition". Back then, they had much less knowledge or care about possible bacteria, except that, post-Pasteur, a good deal of work went into cleaning a top after a day's work. "Tradition" is just a selling point to jack up the price in yuppieville. They'd have had a bit less cleaning concern if not using end-grain.
Nope. I want edge, or face grain.
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"Guess who" wrote in message

Actually, end grain is generally harder, more durable and longer lasting in a cutting board than edge grain boards, and much more resistant to cutting ... one of the time tested reasons for doing it that way.

... you need to keep either type of board at the same level of cleanliness.

LOL ... looking around today, one can more safely say that an ill educated species ignores the reasons behind "tradition" in favor of a smug delusion that they know what's best based on illogical application of psuedo-science. ;)

However, it's a pretty good bet that you're not a professional chef ... who will almost always prefer end grain cutting boards.
While either will work - for a while - that end grain cutting boards have stood the test of time, and a good one is generally highly prized, is inarguable. Granted they are seen less and less because they are harder to make and more expensive ... a disadvantage in today's instant gratification, price point culture, more so than any "health" reasons in a well kept kitchen.
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across a study (university of Wisconsin, I think) that compared bacteria retention on different types of cutting boards. Wood beat plastic, solid surface, and all other surfaces. It seems the little bugs don't like something in the wood where they are perfectly happy to continue to hang out on the other surfaces. Don't think it mattered whether it was end grain or edge, so function dictactes that choice. A bit of trivia.
Frank
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

I don't believe that for a minute. It really makes no sense. I would bet the study is deeply flawed.
I wonder why anyone would consider a wood cutting board, except for looks. Glass and plastic (especially the self healing plastic) cutting boards are preferable for any number of reasons. You need to wipe the board with Clorox or similar from time to time to sterilize the board. And you certainly want to use separate boards or separate sides for raw meat and vegetables that aren't cooked.
A plastic board set into wood and easily removable for washing makes the most sense. For pure sanitary purpose a glass board would be selected but it would be a little rougher on knives.
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On Thu, 13 Apr 2006 00:57:10 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

This might be informative:
http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Cutboard.html
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

The wood/plastic thing often causes disbelief, but it's well documented in numerous studies. This page http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm has this to say: "Although the bacteria that have disappeared from the wood surfaces are found alive inside the wood for some time after application, they evidently do not multiply, and they gradually die. They can be detected only by splitting or gouging the wood or by forcing water completely through from one surface to the other. If a sharp knife is used to cut into the work surfaces after used plastic or wood has been contaminated with bacteria and cleaned manually, more bacteria are recovered from a used plastic surface than from a used wood surface."
Vinegar is also a very effective sanitizing agent for a cutting board. It's a common item in a kitchen and therefore more likely to be used more often.
R
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Franks right........I was a cleaning contractor for over 25years and it is well known and accepted that wood is less hospitable to germs than plastic.....restaurants commonly use wood cutting boards and wood counters...obviously they still must be cleaned , bleached etc...... it is still a wise practice with any cutting board to have separate boards for veggies and raw meats. Rod
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Glass for a cutting board is insane, unless you don't care about the edges on your knives.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Interesting that you deleted this part of my comment.
"A plastic board set into wood and easily removable for washing makes the most sense. For pure sanitary purpose a glass board would be selected but it would be a little rougher on knives."
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"A little rougher", hell. It'll ruin the edge. Only an idiot would use (or suggest using) a glass cutting board.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

I would bet if you read it, you won't be able to find such a flaw but if you do, please let us know.

I think the self-healing plastic types would be especially hard to disinfect.
This leads us to a discussion of why wood is preferred over plastic. Wiping the plastic board with Clorox was shown to be largley ineffective because the bacteria hide in the knife cuts where the Clorox does not penetrate.
Exactly what happens to bacteria on a wood board remains a mystery. What is observed is that samolella bacteria were not recoverable forma wood board an hour after contamination but were recovereable from an UHMPE board several hours after it had been wiped down with Clorox.
Surprised the hell out of me.

Agreed.
No, see above.

I would think so. But unless it has been tested I'll hold off on reaching a conclusion. After all, I've been wrong before, like when I thought plastic would be more sanitary than wood.
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FF


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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

What I want to know is are they keeping the wooden boards oiled. :)
Is oiling the board going to reduce the wood's antibacterial properties?
Or is the wood they are using for the study oiled, and the properties observed already account for it?
Because right now, it looks like using oil is for the aesthetics and longevity of the wood. And I can't tell if that would affect the results.
er
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Enoch Root wrote:

As I recall, No.
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FF


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wrote:

Exactly as I have learned also.
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