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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a picture of the 3 cutting boards I made for Christmas Gifts.

The cutting boards are made of 5/4 Hard Maple and 5/4 Walnut. I ripped these into 3/4" wide strips 15" long and alternated the hardwood. After the glue up had dried and cured, I cross cut two additional strips 3/4" wide at 2" in from both sides and then flipped these strips over to alternate the colors and then glued them up again.

I used a random orbital sander to smooth out the surfaces. I started with 80 grit, then did 160 grit, then did 220 grit. I used a 5/16" round over bit with my router to put a radius on all edges, then finish sanded again with 220 grit paper. I then applied intestinal grade mineral oil as a finish that I bought from a pharmacy. This created a food grade safe finish and brought out even more contrast in the hardwood colors. I applied the mineral oil with a cloth, then wiped down and left to dry. After 3 coats, the pictures show what it ended up looking like.

A simple project, but one that will be cherished by my wife and daughter-in-laws for years to come.

I bought extra 16 oz bottles of mineral oil and will include them with the boards along with application instructions. This will allow them to renew the finish whenever the boards need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone!

Malcolm, Yes it is flat grain up. The last glue up I used a biscuit joiner to help the glue up of end grain to end grain hold up. I hope that the 3 biscuit joints on each side will allow the end grain to end grain glue up to last.

I also wondered about drilling a hole to hang it up. I may consider doing that if any of them want to do that. At this time, I will suggest just leaving it out on the counter top to show it off. That way they will be more likely to use it. I am giving each of them a bottle of Mineral Oil with application instructions so that they can easily recondition it whenever it begins to look worn or dried out. My hope is that they use it all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
are there any types of wood to stay away from when doing a cutting board ? besides the obvious treated pine. im dumb but not that dumb
Randy,

The most important thing to remember when selecting wood or finish on a cutting board is food safety. That is why I would stay away from soft woods. They will be more easily cut and damaged by the sharp knives and small slivers could end up in your food you are preparing. I would also try to stay with hardwoods with tight/closed grains. The open grain hardwoods have more voids that can trap food particles and bacteria. Hard maple is a better choice of hardwood than the walnut for a cutting board because the grain is tighter. I chose the walnut to create a beautiful contrast in colors even though its grain is more open than the hard maple.

I believe the choice of finish is even more important than the wood. I chose mineral oil because it is FDA and NSF approved for use on cutting boards. The mineral oil I chose was from a pharmacy and is referred to as an "Intestinal Lubricant." This is used as a medicine to relieve constipation. It is fit for human consumption. It is tasteless, odorless and colorless. As a finish, it brings out the natural colors of the wood and keeps it from drying out. It also tends to provide a natural moisture to the wood. This moisture tends to make the woods swell slightly and close up to open cuts.

I would not use stains, varnish or poly clear coat finishes of any kind on a cutting board. Repeated cutting with knives could end up with small amounts of these finishes being lifted into the food that you are preparing. I wouldn't want to eat food that has picked up small amounts of finish into it.

I hope this gives you some guidance to answer your question.

Glenn
 
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