Cutting board question or other suggestions - Router Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Default Cutting board question or other suggestions

Sorry I haven't posted much to the forum for a while. Back problems have kept me out of the shop for several months. Surgery 7 weeks ago has helped so I'm back, part time for the present.

Yesterday, as I finally got back to working on a coffee table top to replace an old one, my wife came in and said that I had to see something outside. The teacher, whose class my wife volunteers for, was parked in the driveway with her trunk open. In it was a load of lumber that she said was Honduran Mahogany. The boards had been sitting in her mother's house for at least 65 years. Her grandfather had been in the navy and had brought them back from Hondoras. Anyway, they were cleaning out old stuff, found the wood, and knew that I was a woodworker so she offered it to me. Needless to say, I was happy to accept. One person's junk, is another person's treasure.

I haven't worked with Mahogany before so I did some research online. These boards are old growth genuine Mahogany. On a couple of boards where I could see the end grain the growth lines were too close for me to count without a magnifier. As you can see in the picture, the boards are all different shapes and sizes. They add up to 33bf.

Finally, I'll get to my question. I want to do something to thank both her and her mother for the lumber. I was thinking that I'd make an edge grain cutting board of maple with mahogany stripes for each of them. That way they'd always have a reminder of the father/grandfather. I've searched on line to see if mahogany can be used in cutting boards and found conflicting information so I thought I'd ask the forum.

Also, if you think that mahogany should not be used in a cutting board, what else could I make as a thank you gift?

As always, thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 10:53 AM
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...if not a cutting board, how about a nice size tray...? Maple and Mahogany stripes, maple sides, cut out handles, etc.... Maybe even engrave it...?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickp View Post
...if not a cutting board, how about a nice size tray...?
And if not that, possibly a small jewelry box. Clock?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 11:37 AM
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The Wood Data Base says it is totally unsuitable as an end grain board https://www.wood-database.com/honduran-mahogany/ It's much too porous. It also says it's been reported to be a sensitizer although that is only a problem for a small percentage of the population and the limited contact someone or even food has with a cutting board makes that issue unlikely to be a problem. It would probably be a better choice in something that is decorative rather than something that would see abuse.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 11:51 AM
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I second the tray suggestion; something that has fairly large areas of grain exposed...that's the real beauty of Mahogany.

(Not my cabinet, but a nice illustration...)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I hadn't thought of a tray and that's a great idea. I might try resawing one of the pieces to get a bookmatch for the bottom of the tray. That would really show off the mahogany. Maybe maple handles and sides. I'll play around with the idea.

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