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A bunch of mahogany and maple fell in my lap...can I use for cutting boards...? Or am I going to wind up with a bunch of boxes...

The pieces are mostly 1x2 and 2x2...maple is unfinished, mahogany seems oil finished...

Thanks in advance...
 

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A bunch of mahogany and maple fell in my lap...can I use for cutting boards...? Or am I going to wind up with a bunch of boxes...

The pieces are mostly 1x2 and 2x2...maple is unfinished, mahogany seems oil finished...

Thanks in advance...
No problem with the maple, the oil finish on the mahogany might pose a problem for cutting boards, But you could make some fancy trays out of it and seal any of the oil finish with shellac or lacquer.

Herb
 

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The problem I see with wood that's already oiled is that it may interfere with the glue adhesion. Put a drop of water on the wood and see if it soaks in and changes the color of the wood, or does it just sit there. If it soaks in, you can use Titebond or similar. If it doesn't, you'll need to use polyurethane or epoxy. Messy messy . . .
 
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Maple is harder, mahogany is prettier. Dealer's choice...

maple is harder and some mahogany don't do water well...
some mahogany tends to be more akin to pine in softness but it is very workable...
how ever Santos mahogany tends to be dense and oily...
which mahogany do you have...
could that oil finish be natural oils...
for glue up, suggest you treat it as oily tropical wood...
 

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Nick if you're concerned about what appears to be oil on the mahogany, you could try a couple of things.

First see what happens when you try and take the oil out with paint thinner or something similar. It might take a few cleanings before it wants to stay clean.

Then try a light pass through your planer and compare the colour of the planed surface to one of your cleaned surfaces. Now you will have an idea of how successful you were in the removal process. That will be your judgment call. Try a 10x eye loupe to get a closer look.

Next, you might try taking 1/16" to 1/8" off one side to see what that comes out like. If it is similar to your cleaning/light planing system, then you should know that the cleaning method is working OK. I don't suppose that you want to waste too much of the mahogany.

If you are still fearful of there being oil in the wood, resort to epoxy to glue it up. That will keep it together.

The maple shouldn't present any significant problems.
 
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Mahogany.....denatured alcohol will remove the surface oil,but glue up quickly
Yes, and therein lies the hitch. More of the oil (depending on how far it has penetrated) will try to migrate to the outside of the wood again if you don't glue it very shortly. Which is why you may well need to repeat the treatment a time or two.

I doubt that most of us would cut or plane something and be gluing up in the next few minutes. Typically, when I'm on a project, I do a dry run first, then disassemble again to do the glueup.

I've never actually tested a piece of oiled wood to see how far it gets into a surface. No doubt it would depend on the porosity of the wood in question. Cocobolo, for example, is so loaded with oils that you cannot get it out. Epoxy to the rescue.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
No problem with the maple, the oil finish on the mahogany might pose a problem for cutting boards, But you could make some fancy trays out of it and seal any of the oil finish with shellac or lacquer.

Herb
Thanks, Herb...you've got me started on a new path. I wanted to make something out of some of the wood as a gift to my benefactor...so I came up with cutting board. A tray is a fabulous idea.

I will still pursue a cutting board for SWMBO's kitchen...
 

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Thanks, Herb...you've got me started on a new path. I wanted to make something out of some of the wood as a gift to my benefactor...so I came up with cutting board. A tray is a fabulous idea.

I will still pursue a cutting board for SWMBO's kitchen...
Nick, we'll all be looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
 

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No problem with the maple, the oil finish on the mahogany might pose a problem for cutting boards, But you could make some fancy trays out of it and seal any of the oil finish with shellac or lacquer.

Herb
I agree with Herb. No problem at all with the maple but I would be reluctant to use the mahogany for making any food item.

Bill
 

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...you might try taking 1/16" to 1/8" off one side to see what that comes out like. If it is similar to your cleaning/light planing system, then you should know that the cleaning method is working OK.
Great idea Keith...and you're right...since the pieces are small I'd rather not have to slice too much off. My original idea was to joint cut the edge side a bit at a time on the router table to see how far I'd have to go. There are some waste pieces (ugh, heresy) that I can cut up...I might be able to tell when I cross cut some of it.
 
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I agree with Herb. No problem at all with the maple but I would be reluctant to use the mahogany for making any food item.

Bill
This is the exact point I was thinking of ,not the glue-up,but the unknown oil finish might not be suitable for an edible surface.

Herb
 

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This is the exact point I was thinking of ,not the glue-up,but the unknown oil finish might not be suitable for an edible surface.

Herb
Agreed, definitely better to be safe than sorry.
 

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Great idea Keith...and you're right...since the pieces are small I'd rather not have to slice too much off. My original idea was to joint cut the edge side a bit at a time on the router table to see how far I'd have to go. There are some waste pieces (ugh, heresy) that I can cut up...I might be able to tell when I cross cut some of it.
Hey, there's bound to be a little waste.

I'm a great fan of using a 10x loupe for looking at bits of wood, or chisel or plane blade edges. It's really surprising what things like this look like even just magnified by this small amount.

I bet that such a loupe would identify exactly how far that oil had penetrated.
 

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"So...you're not just another pretty face..."

Don't often here my name and "pretty face" in the same sentence. ;)
 

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