What are some good woods for cutting boards (other than the usual
suspects-maple, cherry and birch)? I have a several nice pieces of
canarywood, zebra wood and cocobolo. Can I use them? Are they toxic?
Rule of thumb is if you can smell or taste (same thing) the wood when
working it, don't use it. That said, almost any wood can provoke an
allergic reaction in someone. Also, avoid open-grained woods which may be
difficult to clean.
Best rule to follow is to make two distinctive boards, one for uncooked, one
for food which will be cooked, and don't cross over.
Answer to next question - best finish is nothing.
I'd back well away from the canarywood, too - I was given some, and then was
told it was toxic. I haven't used it yet. For obvious reasons, there's a
few on that list that will never be in my shop.
I make my boards from any combination of sugar maple (hard maple), cherry,
beech, with black walnut and purpleheart accents. Have not experienced any
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