Timber expansion on long grain cutting boards

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Forum topic by cover1967 posted 12-01-2015 06:55 PM 368 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 697 days

12-01-2015 06:55 PM

Hi all.
I’ve been making long grain cutting boards for friends and family but after a few weeks the surface looses it’s smoothness and they feel awful. It seems like the different species expand at different rates.
I’m constantly checking out other people’s posts to see how they do it but I can’t see any
Can anybody offer me some advice ?
I use worktop oil or Danish oil as a finish.

-- There is no such thing as an offcut.

6 replies so far

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

289 posts in 1884 days

#1 posted 12-01-2015 07:01 PM

different species do expand and contract with moisture at different rates, it also happens differently with plainsawn versus rift and quarter. you will never find a wood cutting board that feel the same surface wise one it is used especially one it get moisture on it. also, knife marks will expose wood to surface air at a differential rate than surface covered by finish.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


833 posts in 999 days

#2 posted 12-01-2015 08:06 PM

I usually raise the grain on my cutting boards and sand away the fuzziness before applying finish, not sure if that actually helps with anything, but I still do it. Could it be you’re using danish oil as a finish on a cutting board and perhaps it isn’t made to be getting wet and cleaned off and is raising the grain? Is danish oil even food safe?

View cover1967's profile


18 posts in 697 days

#3 posted 12-01-2015 08:42 PM

I have checked a few different finishes and Danish oil was suggested but I’ll check it again.
I was advised to avoid food based oils due to the possibility of them starting to smell.
I may try mineral oil next time.

Thanks to you both for your feedback.

-- There is no such thing as an offcut.

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 574 days

#4 posted 12-01-2015 10:50 PM

Food based oils can get/turn rancid. If it dont have lead in it it is food safe after it cures.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View ChefHDAN's profile


798 posts in 2272 days

#5 posted 12-02-2015 03:33 AM

MANY film finishes have toxic chemicals added to them to promote drying or finish gloss. Do not use any item unless it has a NSF endorsement for food contact surfaces. Mineral oil or mineral oil beeswax blends are best & safest. My personal & professional preference is John Boo’s Mystery oil that you can get on amazon for a reasonable price, it absorbs well and is easy to apply regularly. I’ve seen Danish used/recommended for some items such as bowls for exterior sides that would not be food contact, but even that I wouldn’t

As for the grain, well wood’s essentially alive when it comes to movement, and pairing different species will give assorted results, the board is either for lookin’ or cookin’ and if it’s going to be used it’ll be scrubbed, so if it’s a bit rough it’ll be smoother after it gets scrubbed with a scotchbrite pad.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View cover1967's profile


18 posts in 697 days

#6 posted 12-02-2015 05:01 PM

Thanks guys. Much appreciated.

-- There is no such thing as an offcut.

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