Reclaimed Wood Cuttingboard with Hand-chiseled Juice Groove

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Project by palaswood posted 08-30-2015 05:50 PM 1067 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This cuttingboard was commissioned by a friends wife for their brand new home as they moved out to Idaho this summer from Orange County, CA.

It measures 17 1/2 inches long by 12 inches wide and about 1 1/4 inches thick.

All the wood is reclaimed or salvaged. The rosewood strip down the middle I milled from reclaimed floorboards from an attorneys office renovation. The mahogany and whats possibly mango (not sure) are from hardwood pallets and shipping slats for steel delivery. The remaining maple, quartersawn oak, and black cherry are salvaged cabinet shop cutoffs I collected a couple years ago from a local shop in Irvine.

Glued up with Waterproof Titebond III Ultimate.
Flattened by hand with the Stanley no. 6 fore plane.

I wanted a clean and unique look for the juice groove so I sharpened up the chisels, marked out the layout and got to choppin.

It weighs in at a whopping 6 lbs. Finished with a mineral oil/ Bees and Carnuba wax butcher block conditioner. Thanks for your comments! It was a joy to create.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

8 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7366 posts in 1427 days

#1 posted 08-30-2015 06:37 PM

Wow, looks great! You could carve a big ol’ Thanksgiving turkey on that and not have to worry about the juices, because there’s plenty of catch-trough there. Nice job

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16796 posts in 2525 days

#2 posted 08-30-2015 07:18 PM

Real nice looking cutting board and very nice job on the hand cut groove!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Roger's profile


19711 posts in 2224 days

#3 posted 08-30-2015 07:32 PM

Really nice looking board. A bit of heft also. That’s really nice

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21534 posts in 1758 days

#4 posted 08-30-2015 07:47 PM

Beautiful board.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Andre's profile


992 posts in 1226 days

#5 posted 08-30-2015 11:29 PM

Work of Art! Beautiful board!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View DCooksey's profile


35 posts in 515 days

#6 posted 08-31-2015 06:00 PM

Gorgeous combination and excellent chisel work. I have always loved the idea of repurposing and reutilizing material.

That being said, I have but one question that I’m sure you more learned craftsmen here can shed some light on. Is it safe to utilize wood from used pallets or used flooring for finished items that are designed to have direct contact with wood?

I still remember lessons learned from taking Microbiology in college over two decades ago and this concept has always concerned me.

-- There are rarely any mistakes made in turning, but there are a lot of on-the-fly design modifications!

View palaswood's profile


933 posts in 1171 days

#7 posted 08-31-2015 06:56 PM

Thats a good question D cooksey. I say its important to know your sources. Of course unless milled yourself you never truly know what may or may not have seeped into wood from ANY source. If any discoloration is present due to obvious chemical drippings etc then its better safe than sorry. The supposed main concern with international pallets is the method of fumugation for insect infestation of the wood. Two methods are used in the industry, heat treatment and fumigation using methyl bromide (think bug bomb). Heat is perfectly safe and also Methyl Bromide (MB) is also safe and here is why. The gas does not remain in the wood; it permeates pores and quickly dissipates thereafter as it would in your home when spraying for fleas. As peer reviewed studies show, such a minute trace if any would even be detectable using mass spectrometer readings days after the fumugation process is concluded and it continues to dissipate far below remotely harmful levels that even the FDA would allow in food packaging materials! So were good on that front.

I did a lot of research on this topic due to concerns such as yours by individuals who had no knowledge of particulars of the issue while raising alarming concerns of safety due to a lack of understanding. We fear what we do not understand. I was concerned until the research I uncovered proved safety is not a concern. But pallets used in storage or transport of chemicals shouldnt be used in articles coming in contact with food.

The only wood in this board that was from pallets is the mahogany and mango, both of which were used in steel and parts delivery, so I feel confident in their cleanliness. The wood has been milled so that the exposed surface was tucked away deep inside the beams being an edge grain board. So much of the outer surfaces have been removed in any case. The rest was salvaged dimensional lumber from a cabinet shop. Flooring is sealed with polyurethane I believe and of course then cleaned peridically with the likes of mop n glo or pine sol, but this is edge grain so the face of the board was milled off in any case.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View DCooksey's profile


35 posts in 515 days

#8 posted 09-01-2015 06:09 PM


I’m definitely aware of the IPPC issues. I had to get our company up to requirements when that all hit circa 1999 (just love int’l regulations). That was back in my rough carpentry days where my love of wood began. My concern was not so much the MB, but rather bacterial and chemical contamination that occurs later on in actual usage. After reading your third paragraph, I have no concerns about the wood you are using since you are obviously removing enough surface to get to safe wood.

I have often seen postings (here and elsewhere) about repurposed pallet tankards or cutting boards where I have had serious doubts over the wood’s safety. Your final paragraph is probably the key to it; using wood “deep inside” and with face material being milled away enough to be safe.

Thanks for your reply.

-- There are rarely any mistakes made in turning, but there are a lot of on-the-fly design modifications!

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