cutting boards/I don't get it

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Forum topic by woody57 posted 07-04-2010 06:00 PM 2637 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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650 posts in 3450 days

07-04-2010 06:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Maybe those of you who make cutting boards can fill me in. I’ve seen very beautiful boards on this site posted almost everyday. To me they are too pretty to use. So, are they meant to be a decorative item only or a utilatarian and decorative.

My wife and I don’t use wood, we use the plastic ones that go in the dishwasher. I would have on need for a fancy board, unless maybe I used it to serve bread at party’s etc.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

21 replies so far

View woodprof's profile


44 posts in 3212 days

#1 posted 07-04-2010 06:16 PM

I (even though I’m in the process of making a cutting board) have wondered about this as well, especially since the food safety experts have advised against using anything porous for a cutting surface, including wood, because it’s so difficult to prevent bacterial contamination.

I suspect that using these as you said, for decoration or serving, is the wisest way to go.

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3211 days

#2 posted 07-04-2010 06:20 PM

When I made the first Endgrain Cutting Board I never thought someone would say, “It too pretty to use.” I was like no, there made to use and abuse you can’t hurt it. I made one for my Mother for X-mas. She made my Father hang it on the wall that day! Now my Father is a gifted woodworker/cabinet maker by all means. I asked him why he did that?, your more than capable to refinish it if ever needed? (which I doubt it will ever need)

His reply was the same as its always been, “Son, never argue with a Man with a Gun or a Women”

I have sold and made about 40 of them thus far and about 5 of them will never see a knife! Still don’t understand it. Guess I didn’t answer this did I ?

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

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2983 days

#3 posted 07-04-2010 07:57 PM

Wood like oak is naturally acidic and kills bacteria. The big problem is possibily splintering (especially in a restaurant) and people that don’t wash their cutting boards properly. I have used wood for years as did my family members- no problems. Nothing beats hot water and soap!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3097 days

#4 posted 07-04-2010 08:20 PM

I’ve made about a dozen cutting boards that I have given away as gifts. I’ve not heard of any recipient actually using the cutting board as a cutting board. Most of them have become decorative exhibit items. My wife even had me made a holder so she can display the board I made for her.

I think we woodworkers and the recipients of these boards like them so much because a cutting board is such a nice canvas to do some art work on.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3702 days

#5 posted 07-04-2010 08:31 PM

nice post BoardSMITH.

The problem with restaurants is that it’s pretty much illegal anymore to use wood, because the plastic industry has people so snowed about their products. I have to use plastic boards, even on an 8ft x 16ft maple butcher block table at work. Makes me wonder why spend the money on the butcher block table in the first place.

The is a place for hand made wooden boards in the home, not just to look at, but to actually use.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 3450 days

#6 posted 07-04-2010 09:02 PM

Thanks for all of the responses. I’ve got a better understanding about boards.

I can remember when all meat cutting was done on wood. Why didn’t we all get sick or die?

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3211 days

#7 posted 07-05-2010 08:26 AM

I agree about the boards. And to think we use to ride our bikes all the time without helmets, and we still alive and our parent’s were not considered to be bad parent’s for not making us were them.

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

View fiddlebanshee's profile


195 posts in 2968 days

#8 posted 07-10-2010 09:57 PM

The other issue with plastic is that it eventually gets into your food, no matter what the experts say. It also leaches harmful substances which have been linked to hormone imbalances in people. Remember that plastic is made from oil. I don’t want to ingest oil, do you? No plastic in this house that comes into contact with food, ever.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3231 days

#9 posted 07-10-2010 10:13 PM

Tune into the Food Network on TV some time, and you will see all of the professional chefs using hefty end grain boards. I cook a lot, and I have made a couple of “fancy” boards that I use all of the time. I have nice knives and nice cookware that are a joy to use… I feel the same way about my cutting boards. I also find that they are easier on my knife edges.

View jerryw's profile


158 posts in 3938 days

#10 posted 07-11-2010 04:56 AM

I make about 200 cutting boards a year to sell. some are plain, some fancy. the fancy boards are usally placed in a cradle/holder so you can cut on one side and flip it over for display. you can disinfect a wood board with a little vinegar . the acidicity in the vinegar kills bacteria. needless to say we only use wood boards in our kitchen. my wife has several different boards . all sizes from 6”x6” to 15”x 24”. keep your boards sealed with mineral oil.

-- jerryw-wva.

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#11 posted 07-11-2010 07:39 AM

Hey Emmett
I think there may be any number of things that people make that I don’t use but I appreciate the design and skill it takes to make them weather it’s a cutting board, a pen, a chair or whatever. Plus the person making these items either has a need for them ,enjoys making them or both plus the sharing of skills with others and a finished project that is proof of a job well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Kathy's profile


210 posts in 2944 days

#12 posted 07-20-2010 03:32 AM

I have been looking at my wood with a cutting board in mind. What exactly do you mean by “end grain” ?

In my mind you are talking about the end of the board that is so hard to stain and sand??? As opposed to the “face” of the board, like on a 2 X 6? so the 2 side?


-- curious woodworker

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#13 posted 07-20-2010 03:48 AM

Kathy you don’t stain cutting boards. End grain holds up better to continual chopping and there are usually many pieces of end grain used in chopping blocks That prevents problems with wood movement. They usually flood boards with mineral oil as a form of food safe finish.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3202 days

#14 posted 07-20-2010 04:18 AM

Kathy – end grain is the wood face that is hard to stain and sand. A 2×6 has three faces (top/bottom, both sides, and both “ends”). Usually on end grain you will see the rings from the tree. Looking at a stump is end grain…etc.

We use a large end grain cutting board all of the time in the kitchen. Not so much for meat however.

I just saw my mom’s cutting board I made her for Xmas and although I insisted everyone use them, she had not touched it yet because “it looks too nice”.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2974 days

#15 posted 07-20-2010 04:47 AM

That’s why when you give someone a cutting you need to make a few knife cuts on it in front of them so that the new owners won’t be hesitant to use it.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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