Cheese Slicers

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Project by Whitetail posted 08-13-2010 02:28 PM 3201 views 5 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are some Cheese Slicers that I put together. Made from some scrap Maple and Walnut i had kicking around the shop. Got the idea to make these from SPalm. He made a great tutorial here.

I finished with a Butcher block wood conditoner from Home Depot. The wife used one as soon as i brought it up from the shop. After she washed it the board is really rough. I sanded down to 220 and applied 4 coats of butcher block wood conditioner. The water was beading up on the board so i thought it would be ok. Does anyone have any advice on how to keep the board smooth. Did i do something wrong in the finishing stages? Or do the boards naturally become rough after washing them?

15 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3906 days

#1 posted 08-13-2010 02:52 PM

Those look great. I love the spalted one.

Good question about the finish. I use the same wax/oil combination (Howard’s) from HD. It seems to take a little while for the board to calm down. Raising the grain with water and then lightly sanding seems to speed this up. I do it a couple of times. I was thinking that next time I may just use oil for the first couple of coats. Then switch to the oil/wax combo. (?)


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 3079 days

#2 posted 08-13-2010 02:58 PM

Very nice. I am still trying to figure out the best way to do inlays and to put different pieces of wood together for projects like this. I would love to build a few of these for friends.

--, Making design and application one. †

View spclPatrolGroup's profile


233 posts in 2919 days

#3 posted 08-13-2010 04:03 PM

I really like the spalted one, would probably match blue cheese well.

View 4thumbs's profile


153 posts in 3171 days

#4 posted 08-13-2010 04:19 PM

Nice looking boards, and what a great idea!

-- 4thumbs in MO

View Dominic's profile


34 posts in 2916 days

#5 posted 08-13-2010 04:48 PM

Is it safe to use spalted wood on something that will contact food?

-- Dominic P.- Duxbury MA

View jaedwards575's profile


90 posts in 3082 days

#6 posted 08-13-2010 05:51 PM

This just my opinion, but in regards to spalting being food safe, I think it is. Spaliting is a result of a fungus that stains the wood. A fungus grows best in dark and damp conditions, so once the board is dried and most importantly exposed to UV light, the actucal living fungus dies. Although I have no hard evidence to back this up.

-- Aaron Possom Town, TN

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3060 days

#7 posted 08-13-2010 07:09 PM

Now you can ”cut the cheese” and look god doing it!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 2937 days

#8 posted 08-13-2010 07:47 PM

Nice work! They look Great!
Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View cwdance1's profile


1158 posts in 3283 days

#9 posted 08-13-2010 10:46 PM

Great job, my wife has put in a request for one of these but so far I haven’t gotten to it.

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3075 days

#10 posted 08-13-2010 11:48 PM

I have made several boards now. The first one I applied SBF to and the second one, I applied mineral oil and wax to.

However, on the second one, I applied a dozen or so coats of mineral oil over the course of a week. After that, I then applied a couple of coats of the mineral oil/wax combo (George’s Club House Wax).

In thinking about your issue above, and Steve’s comment, I would think it would always be best to do straight mineral oil first, as that is what penetrates and sinks down into the fibers. By applying wax along with it right off the bat, I’d think you be more or less sealing a large amount of the fibers, so they won’t absorb the mineral oil. I would also think that the problem will continue to show up after the wax eventually washes off the board?

I’m thinking that using the wax upfront is basically impeding the mineral oil from really being absorbed well. I like using the wax, but IMO, it’s best done after the board has taken in as much mineral oil as possible.

I’m sure someone with a lot more experience in boards than I do will have your answer.

OK, I’m off to read Steve’s tutorial.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3806 days

#11 posted 08-14-2010 02:40 AM

I’ve built and sold hundreds of boards and even more spatulas over the past few years and this is what I have found:
Spalm is right, the wood will “settle in” after a few wettings/ sandings. Basically you want to raise the grain and knock off the roughness a few times and after each cycle the wood will be less rough. For sure you want to use straight mineral oil for the first coast or two then finish up with a oil/wax blend.
Nice cheese cutters, I’ve been thinking of trying a few. As pretty as spalted wood is I shy away from it, I sell most of my boards and do not want to risk any legal problems.


View curatio's profile


7 posts in 3021 days

#12 posted 08-14-2010 03:05 AM

I remember when David Marks made a cutting board, he went over the woods to use and not use. One not to use was spalted wood. He was very specific about that because the fungus could still come out into what ever food you were cutting. About the finish, I bought some foodsafe finish from woodcraft and it works great. 3 coats and the finish is super tough.

View wiser1934's profile


524 posts in 3171 days

#13 posted 08-14-2010 05:50 AM

most of the boards i have done have been done with either walnut oil (mahoney’s) or tried and true danish oil (non toxic). never had that problem with grain raising. nice work!

-- wiser1934, new york

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3213 days

#14 posted 08-16-2010 05:04 PM

Spalted one is amazing!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Hawaiilad's profile


3189 posts in 3045 days

#15 posted 07-04-2011 07:33 AM

You folks have really done a great job don your cutting boards and cheese slicers…thank you for sharing them. My question is, of you that are making several of both types, are you using flat stock or endgrain wood for your designs?


-- Larry in Hawaii,

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