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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-02-2015 06:26 PM
TWheels
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Hi Dan


In western Europe butcher's blocks are generally (traditionally) either beech or sycamore (our equivalent of maple which doesn't really grow here). Modern blocks are also made from rubberwood and sometimes bamboo. The timber choice needs to be extremely fine grained but relatively hard, which excludes timbers like oak and ash (which being coarse grained will splinter under the knife), light coloured (because coloured timbers can often colour or taint delicately-scented/flavoured foods) and without any natural chemicals, such as tannin (on which grounds oaks, all true mahoganies and walnuts are out because they all contain tannin which will leave a bitter aftertaste). Personally I'd avoid the use of coloured timbers unless the board is purely decorative

I have to agree with Mike about finishes - liquid paraffin (available from chemists/pharmacies) is an excellent, non-toxic finish which will not go rancid

Regards

Phil
Phil, where could I learn more about bamboo as butcher block material?

Thanks, and regards,

Tom
01-02-2015 06:23 PM
TWheels
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
Reg; I'd be surprised if they can buy anything from the hemp plant, South of 49(?)...
USDA ERS - Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential
Here is one very clear example where the US gov has its head firmly stuck where the sun don't shine! I can't even begin to list all the advantages of hemp over alternatives. During WWII farmers were encouraged to grow hemp for use in rope.
08-21-2012 07:46 PM
L Town Graphics
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Hard maple is the best choice and the ideal situation is to use the end grain for your cutting surface.

Here are a couple of charts I found on the web that may help in your decision process.
Mike, this might sound silly (I am being serious though), I was looking at the hardness chart. Is a higher number harder than lower or lower harder than higher?

**Mike, disregard the above, I just opened the lumber chart and actually bookmarked it. Thanks for the help!
08-19-2012 05:08 PM
Mike Hard maple is the best choice and the ideal situation is to use the end grain for your cutting surface.

Here are a couple of charts I found on the web that may help in your decision process.
08-19-2012 04:37 PM
57759 While on the subject of butcher block wood, if yellow birch is more readily available than hard maple would it be a good substitute?
08-19-2012 04:10 PM
Phil P
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
No problem getting pretty much anything from Hemp, here...
I live in one of those places, too
08-19-2012 02:49 PM
DaninVan I was just responding to Reg's "most perfect non toxic coating I have found is hemp oil, available from hempola.com."

No problem getting pretty much anything from Hemp, here...
08-19-2012 02:37 PM
Phil P Hi Dan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
All commercial butcher blocks are hard maple.
In western Europe butcher's blocks are generally (traditionally) either beech or sycamore (our equivalent of maple which doesn't really grow here). Modern blocks are also made from rubberwood and sometimes bamboo. The timber choice needs to be extremely fine grained but relatively hard, which excludes timbers like oak and ash (which being coarse grained will splinter under the knife), light coloured (because coloured timbers can often colour or taint delicately-scented/flavoured foods) and without any natural chemicals, such as tannin (on which grounds oaks, all true mahoganies and walnuts are out because they all contain tannin which will leave a bitter aftertaste). Personally I'd avoid the use of coloured timbers unless the board is purely decorative

I have to agree with Mike about finishes - liquid paraffin (available from chemists/pharmacies) is an excellent, non-toxic finish which will not go rancid

Regards

Phil
08-19-2012 07:16 AM
Mike All commercial butcher blocks are hard maple. Mineral oil is really the best choice since it will not go rancid like other oils. You can pick up a bottle for under $2 most places. One note, although it should not be a problem I would avoid using any red wood in food related projects; most of them are toxic.
08-19-2012 02:49 AM
MAFoElffen Thought I'd add that most cutting board finishes are either mineral oil or mineral oil/paraffin.
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