Birdseye maple is not a separate species; the term refers to a particular type
of figure sometimes found in the wood of both hard and soft maples.
Hard maple, with or without birdseye figure, is a better choice for a cutting
board than soft maple, with or without birdseye.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
On Mar 6, 1:57 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller) wrote:
My father gave me some extra maple doors from a cabinet installation a
friend of his did. How can I determine if these are hard maple or not?
If they're not, the wood should still be OK for a cutting board, no?
I need a new cutting board and would like to use this wood, instead of
buying a new one.
It will be fine. If it is soft maple it will wear faster than hard would.
Not a big deal.
There is no real difference between "hard" and "soft"; just that some
species tend to be harder than others.
If you really cared, you would have to compare it to a piece of hard maple
and see how it seems to compare.
Don't be silly. There is an enormous difference in hardness between the hard
maples (sugar and black) and the soft maples (silver, red and bigleaf,
chiefly). The difference in hardness between sugar and silver maples is
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
I have a bunch of cutting boards from who knows where. Well, some of them
are from Macy's, and are made of some used-up latex growing tree, as near
as I can tell. Those darned things won't wear out,so I can throw them
away, without irritating LOML.
There may be a 'BEST', but it's comforting to know that we can get along
with 'OK' pretty well, most of the time.
By the way, the cutting board I glued up for my daughter-in-law's kitchen
was made from figured soft maple. It's part of her counter. Much easier
than finding a longer piece of matching plastic laminate counter. And
Well, she'll be more thrilled when I install the drawers in the cabinets.
Any maple will be FINE for a cutting board. So would cherry, walnut,
bamboo, plastic, etc. etc. Professional chefs probably like hard
maple specifically for its long life and density, and end grain for
its self-healing ability, but for most average people who don't use a
cutting board heavily every single day, just about anything is fine.
I might stay away from oak or other things with big open pores, but
other than that, pick a wood you like and go for it. My parents used
a "cutting board" for more than 10 years that I made in middle school
shop - this was actually a square of 3/4" CX plywood. My wife's
parents have used a chunk of pine 1x10 for who knows how long - maybe
20 years? Sure the surface is quite worn, but it works. They just
throw it in the dishwasher, let it sit with food on it, and whatever
else you're not supposed to do with cutting boards, but it still
Don't be so concerned about the perfect wood for a cutting board -
make one, use it, and if it has problems, chalk it up to experience
and make another one.
Have fun woodworking,
To get to the real heart of the matter you should use whatever type of wood
you desire and then place a plastic or some other type of cutting board on
top of it when you are cutting,something that can go into the dishwasher or
be washed very thoroughly for hygienic sake.
Yes indeed. first time I heard about it was over 10 years ago when the
Ottawa Citizen ran a short article, quoting some research. I don't
remember the research, but given the timing, it was probably this
"Ak, N. O., D. O. Cliver and C. W. Kaspar. 1994
Cutting boards of plastic and wood contaminated experimentally with
J. Food Protect. 57:16-22."
And in reference to the solution two posts previous, putting a plastic
cutting board on top of wood cutting boards when using it is like
putting a plastic cover on your couch, even worst. Cutting boards are
made to be used! (just be sure to use a quality waterproof glue and
oil it liberally and semi-regularly)
I have made and sold many cutting boards and the only criteria I had
was that the wood should be reasonably hard and not too porous. Having
said that, I have used walnut to add visual interest, with no ill
effects. The cutting board we use daily (for the last 8 or more years)
is made from strips of walnut, cherry and maple with the edge grain on
the top surface (not end or face) This allowed me to easily make a 1"
thick board using 3/4" stock.
Personally, I wouldn't use the birds-eye sections of your maple for a
cutting board. You will never see the really cool figure as well as if
you made them into panels or a table top. I would make the cutting
board from cutoffs of a project that would better accentuate the birds-
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