Cutting Board material

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On 10/26/2010 4:52 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Hold on there, you said "oak" instead of "red oak". You can't take a piece of white oak and "blow through it"; not like you can with red oak.
I'm reminded of our kitchen table, which is one of those "wife buys a table at the local unfinished furniture outlet because husband says he doesn't have time to make one" things, yet I got stuck with putting the finish on it. Of course, it had to be stained to match our existing cabinetry so I was using whatever stain the builder had used (Minwax "Gunstock", as I recall). The table's made of red oak, and whenever I stain any open pored wood I like to go over it with the air gun while it's still wet to get all the stain out of the pores (otherwise it will continue to weep out over days, until the stuff finally "dries"). I got a big kick out of blowing the air gun into the open pores at one end of the table and watching the stain come out of the pores at the other end, four or five feet away! Try THAT with white oak...
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wrote:

First thing I do to red oak is to fill the pores with filler, some of those fillers are pre-coloured and work extremely well. Then stain, sanding sealer, lacquer x many. I thoroughly dislike red oak..... with a passion. Stuff is just plain nasty. I can't remember how many commercial projects my shop has built over the years, always on architects' specs, because none of us would ever volunteer. Some people love it and that is why God gave us so many trees to chose from.
When it comes to cutting boards, purely from a performance standpoint, my choice would be hard maple endgrain, or beech.
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Maple was classically chosen for it's antibacterial properties, also. Cedar, similiar uses for moths and insects.
Red oak sounds like it may fit that bill also, having some toxic properties.
First thing I do to red oak is to fill the pores with filler, some of those fillers are pre-coloured and work extremely well. Then stain, sanding sealer, lacquer x many. I thoroughly dislike red oak..... with a passion. Stuff is just plain nasty. I can't remember how many commercial projects my shop has built over the years, always on architects' specs, because none of us would ever volunteer. Some people love it and that is why God gave us so many trees to chose from.
When it comes to cutting boards, purely from a performance standpoint, my choice would be hard maple endgrain, or beech.
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One that I've often thought would be interesting is ipe. The stuff will take a pretty good polish all by its lonesome, the yellow dust that comes out is supposedly pretty much benign--even helps some forms of cancer (they tested it for that and found it effective, but no better than existing treatments so they didn't develop it further), it has the decay resistance of concrete (and darned near as hard), only real downside I can think of is that it won't take glue worth crap.

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On 10/26/2010 5:07 PM, J. Clarke wrote:

Wonder how fast Ipe would dull your kitchen knives?
Of course, as a Texan I have to put in my plug for Mesquite; it make a great cutting board. I made one for my sister-in-law about 10 years ago and she's still using it, loves it, and wouldn't trade it for anything else.
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snipped-for-privacy@swtacobell.net.invalid says...

Local yard used to have Argentinian black mesquite--the stuff was lovely and wonderful to work with. Don't have it anymore though. If I'd known that they were going to discontinue it I'd have filled up the garage.
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Has anyone considered the toxic effect ? Some wood is Toxic / dangerous. Many Rosewoods are that way in some level.
Ipe in my program - The Wood Explorer - search for it on-line -
is listed as 'some toxic effect' Generally light considering others.
In the list of uses - food vessels is not listed but construction is.
Martin
On 10/26/2010 7:37 PM, Steve Turner wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@consolidated.net says...

I researched the toxicity a while back--a few people seem to be allergic to the dust--otherwise it's like green bread mold--might not like it very much but it won't hurt you and may do you a little good.

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Josepi wrote:

End grain red oak sucks up liquids like a sponge.
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What others have emphasized. Do not use open-pore woods, such as red oak, ash, bass or mahogany. They tend to soak liquids. I would add to not use exotic woods that contain "sand" or minerals that will dull knives, such as teak. I have had good luck with cherry, maple, walnut (all of which have nice contrast with one another), and beech. I like the pattern/color (or lack of) of beech for boards.
You did not ask about finish, but I really like food-grade mineral oil, which is sold at the pharmacy for "constipation" problems.There are other finishes, but they tend to be more expensive, and, at least in my experience, not any better.
Finally, research done by the U of Wisconsin-Madison shows that wood boards are far superior to composite boards in eliminating bacteria.
Pierre
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Taht, IMHO, is the confusion. The research showed some toxic compound that eliminates bacteria in maple. If red oak contained a similiar compound it may be ideal for that application. The open pore thing is another issue to be considered, of course.
I have tried all kinds of oil on my maple cutting board. It doesn't work well. Heat the baord in the oven for an hour (gently) and rub it with a good saturated fat (Crisco shortening) and you won't have to do it again for ten years, if ever. That also should fill some pores. Oils can go rancid and become toxic to humans when left out in air and warm.
What others have emphasized. Do not use open-pore woods, such as red oak, ash, bass or mahogany. They tend to soak liquids. I would add to not use exotic woods that contain "sand" or minerals that will dull knives, such as teak. I have had good luck with cherry, maple, walnut (all of which have nice contrast with one another), and beech. I like the pattern/color (or lack of) of beech for boards.
You did not ask about finish, but I really like food-grade mineral oil, which is sold at the pharmacy for "constipation" problems.There are other finishes, but they tend to be more expensive, and, at least in my experience, not any better.
Finally, research done by the U of Wisconsin-Madison shows that wood boards are far superior to composite boards in eliminating bacteria.
Pierre
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On 10/26/10 10:07 AM, Josepi wrote:

You just make this stuff up, don't you?
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He's an odd duck. 'sI can't tell if he's a trollish noob, or a noobish troll, but the stuff he comes up with is priceless...or worthless - really both. It's interesting that in all the centuries of oiling cutting boards, he the one guy that can't get it to work.
Maybe he should start contacting all of those silly cutting board manufacturers and set them straight. http://www.mapleblock.com/detail/care--maintenance-42 / http://www.johnboos.com/content/1/54 Boos has only been doing it for 130 years. I'm sure they'd appreciate the pointers.
R
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On 10/26/2010 12:15 PM, RicodJour wrote:

What he said.
IMO, the best hard maple and walnut cutting boards, butcher blocks, and counter tops available, bar none.
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I completely agree. I haven't done a lot of Boos installs, but those I did were done with a flawless product. Pricy as hell up here in Maple Land so we learned to go local for block. Still amongst my favourite countertops.
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That's the odd thing about your posts. You can go from discussion to complete asshole in two seconds.
Do you ever think before you jump up and down and start being a omplete jerk?
You just make this stuff up, don't you?
On 10/26/10 10:07 AM, Josepi wrote: I have tried all kinds of oil on my maple cutting board. It doesn't work well. Heat the baord in the oven for an hour (gently) and rub it with a good saturated fat (Crisco shortening) and you won't have to do it again for ten years, if ever. That also should fill some pores. Oils can go rancid and become toxic to humans when left out in air and warm.
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On 10/26/10 12:50 PM, Josepi wrote:

I apologize for offending you.
But maybe you shouldn't just make stuff up, if you don't want to be called on it.
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wrote:

Walnut oil.
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Josepi wrote:

Can I use lard? Or better yet, bacon fat?
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Maybe you can talk a lyposuction joint to slip you a jug or two?
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