How to make a cutting board

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Wesson oil for ours and the same for my mothers. I would bet that most of the "going rancid" replies are from people that are just repeating what others say rather than having any experience.
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I believe you are probably right. I suspect the one that did go rancid probably had other bacteria problems in the mix.
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I was\am in the business of selling cutting boards (not so much anymore) and I did my research and the rancid indication comes from scientific sources (no I don't have the cites right now) but basicially you are introducing a food for bacteria in the food based oils. At the micro level you can get some growth which is characterized as rancidity (word?).

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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Rancidification is a chemical reaction with no bacteria involved.

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Interesting

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Thanks for the putrefaction. :)
R
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wrote:

The Big thing is vegetable oils that are heart healthy are more likely to go rancid than the "bad" oils. Poly-unsaturated oils go rancid rather quichly, while more saturated vegetable oils stay "sweet" a WHOLE lot longer.
Virtually ANY vegetable oil lasts longer than amimal oils.
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Or pure tung oil. -- Doug
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On Tue, 05 May 2009 11:11:30 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Walnut oil is considered a vegetable(as opposed to mineral) oil. So is Almond oil, and coconut oil - both recommended for "seasoning" cutting boards. "Salad Bowl Oil" is a combination of "vegatable oils" as well - cold pressed flax (linseed) oil and organic lemon oil with a non-toxic drier (usually Zircon Octoate) (BioShield)
General Finishes Salad Bowl oil is petroleum distilate (mineral spirits) and oil modified Urethane.
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Is this a cutting board for 'work' or 'looks'? If it is for work, a slab of polyethelene is the best choice. Won't hurt your knives and is food safe. Wooden boards need to be looked after with more care and make sure you use food-safe adhesives and finishes. That also means NEVER to use peanut oil to finish your board.
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There was an interesting segment on (I think) America's Test Kitchen about wood vs. plastic cutting boards. They took swab samples from both types of cutting boards and put them into Petri culture dishes and watched what grew. They took samples from boards that were washed different ways, brand new boards, and boards that were cleaned and stored for a few days. All of the boards showed that there was bacteria living on the boards - including the brand new ones.
The interesting part was that the wood boards that were cleaned and put away for a while had their bacteria populations actually decrease. Something in the wood was fighting the bacteria, and they're not sure what it is.
The plastic boards are almost self-healing and that's a two-edged sword. It keeps the surface essentially intact for longer, but the cuts close up around whatever you were cutting and the closed semi- healed cuts protect the bacteria from the washing.
Wood boards do need to be handled a bit more carefully, but I think it's a very worthwhile trade off.
R
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Grand father-in-law - was a butcher in his later life. He always cleaned his block table Ammonia. He also poured it on his cuts and had several finger tips slightly askew - being affixed again with Ammonia killing germs.
Martin
RicodJour wrote:

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Sasha wrote:

After having a doizen or so comercial cutting boards split and thrown

Sounds like too many trips thru the dishwasher to me.

"Robatoy" wrote:

Is this a cutting board for 'work' or 'looks'? If it is for work, a slab of polyethelene is the best choice. Won't hurt your knives and is food safe. Wooden boards need to be looked after with more care and make sure you use food-safe adhesives and finishes. That also means NEVER to use peanut oil to finish your board.

Not sure if it is polyethylene or polypropylene that is FDA approved, but without a doubt, plastic is for dough and wood is for show, to paraphrase the golf metaphor.
A 3M scrub pad, some soap and hot water is all that is needed to keep things sterile.
I probably wash and scrub mine 5-6 times while doing the prep for a meal.
Am paranoid about immediate cleaning board after cutting meats, especially chicken.
You want to be anal about it, scrub board then pour some household bleach over all surfaces and let air dry.
The "poly" slab I'm using now is at least 25 years old and can probably last at least another 25.
If I want a board for show, wood it will be.
If I want a board for dough, poly is for me.
YMMV
Lew
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Good advice given but for best results don't let it stay wet, rinse it and either immediately dry it off or stand it up on edge so the water will run off.
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Leon wrote: ...

And _never_ put it in a dishwasher -- that's probably what killed the others if were to venture a guess.
--
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Sasha wrote:

Cutting board or chopping board (block)?
I have each. One cutting board of maple no more than 3/4" thick (maybe less) about 12" x 18"; one of hickory that is bigger and about 1" thick; one chopping board/block of hickory about 1 1/2" thick by 7" x 7". Chopping boards are meant for whacking as well as slicing, cutting boards for slicing.
All are glued up with type 2 yellow glue. All are finished with boiled linseed oil.
The smaller maple board is made of three boards edge glued. One side has a "blood groove" routed out near the perimeter with a 1/2" core box bit, other side is smooth. It stays on a counter standing up where it is handy for slicing bread, etc. It was made at least 16 years ago.
The hickory board is made from numerous 1" x 1" strips. It lives on a slide under the counter top over the trash bag so trimmings can just be pushed off into the trash. It can easily be lifted out and put on the counter. It was made 8-9 years ago. Double sided just like the smaller maple one.
The hickory block has end grain as the cutting surface. It was made by gluing up seven or eight 1" x1" strips of hickory, each 24" long. I made three of those then cross cut them into 1 1/2" pieces and glued those pieces together. Extra was used to turn four small feet so it stands maybe 1-2" above the counter where it lives...handy for slicing an onion or tomato, whacking or trimming a chop. It too was made 8-9 years ago; in fact, I made 15 of them as gifts. Mine is still in first rate shape, presume the others are as well.
Someone mentioned using polyethelene...not a bad choice at all but the consensus is that wood harbors the least bacteria. Its prettier too :)
The wood boards really don't need a finish but I use BLO anyway just to make them pretty. Yes, it wears off. Food safe? Yes when dry. Type 2 glue food safe? Don't know but I sure wouldn't worry about it being so...neither the glue nor the BLO are going to be sucked into whatever you cut.
As far as splitting goes, if the wood is seasoned when you use it and the glue surfaces are straight and smooth it isn't going to split. To clean, rinse and dry. Use a bit of soap THEN rinse and dry if need be. No dishwasher though.
dadiOH
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On Mon, 04 May 2009 11:25:25 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

Tried & True makes a polymerized linseed oil with no driers. Completely non-toxic. A chemist I know says he wouldn't trust the "safe when dry" finishes if they were to come in contact with acidic foods, such as tomatoes. I don't know if he's right or not, but with non-toxic finishes out there, why take the chance?
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Yes use Maple. You want Hard Maple or Sugar Maple. Assuming you buy boards that are surfaced flat, rip them to a width about 1/8" wider than the thickness of board you want. Using different thickness boards can add visual interest by making different width strips. If the rips are clean enough then just flip them on edge and do a glue up using Titebond II. Titebond III is a little more water secure but is the wrong color for Maple. Make sure each board fits tight along its entire length. If the rips are not super clean, then joint the ripped faces. If you have any gaps, then joint them away.You may need to rip a little wider to account for thickness loss of jointer. You want the cutting face to be the edges of the boards.
Assuming you are going 1 to 1 1/2" thick, only glue up about 4 or 5 strips at a time to be sure you get good clamping pressure. Make as many of the sub slabs as you need for the final board size. Flatten the slabs in a wide sander or with a belt sander or other method. Hard Maple will chip if you try to machine plane it but you could hand plane if you are good.
Glue the slabs together into one final board. Flatten, dimension, shape the edges as desired and sand out to 150.
Soak with mineral oil once a day for a week, onece a week for a month and once a month for a year. This will yellow the wood significantly but more importantly, the oil fills all the voids where the enemy "Water" would like to go. It aslo keeps out other food oils that can go rancid.
After using, rinse with hot water, dry with a towel and stand on edge until dry. If occasionally you want to disinfect it, a 10% solution of vinegar in warm water will do the trick, dry as stated before.
Never soak it in water. If you use Boiled Linseed Oil as suggested or any other oil BE SURE it is pure and does not have any "Dries" in it. These are heavy metal and very toxic. You can get mineral oil at culinary shops or at the pharmacy. Some people suggest other fod oils and generally they can go rancid so they are not suggested although it seems that maybe walnut oil works, even though walnust themselves go rancid quite easily but it is in pretty wide use in Europe. I prefer mineral oil.
Finally, if it ever splits along a glue line (it can happen), just let it dry for a week or two, rip it down that glueline and re-glue it.

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Just to expand on Sonoma's post....
DO NOT use Boiled Linseed Oil on any food surface. Ever. BLO is dries out quickly due to the introduction of the aforementioned chemical driers which are indeed quite poisonous.
However, UNlike most of today's resin finishes which are toxic when wet or uncured, then food safe when cured, the poison component does not go away when the resins cure. Think of the old oil based paints with lead in them. The paint can be dry for decades and the inert metals in the finish are as deadly as they day they were manufactured.
There is no such thing as "PURE" BLO. It doesn't exist.
The misnomer of "boiled linseed oil" is a myth itself. IIRC, the "boiling process" is the introduction of metal salts in the mixing vat.
"Boiled" Linseed Oil is manufactured by taking linseed oil and adding metallic driers to the oil itself, in the same fashion we used to add Japan Drier (again, nothing to do with Japan) to oil based (sometimes linseed/tung oil) paints.
Without metallic driers, the oil is simply "linseed oil" or "raw linseed oil". It takes weeks or months to simply dry a bit. But without driers, the raw stuff is actually edible. Outside of making bread, I am not sure what the linseed oil/flaxseed oil is actually good for in normal use.
"Boiled linseed oil" came about as a quick fix for someone that wanted an oil finish without the time or trouble involved.
Here's something from Russ Fairfield. Not a professional, but knowledgeable:
http://www.woodcentral.com/russ/finish6.shtml
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I *think* (and without bothering to verify it) that artists oil paints are still made the same way they were centuries ago, from raw linseed oil. I used to paint with oils a lot when I was younger (some 30 years ago) and I loved it. Interestingly, some colors would dry much faster than others, I presume because of the effects the various pigments had on the oil. You could also (still can, I presume) buy the linseed oil itself to mix your own paint or make it flow better. It was my understanding that it was not at all toxic and I can still remember the wonderful smell, but I can't remember if I actually ever tasted it. :-)
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