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Cutting board question.

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Forum topic by Mark posted 07-29-2017 09:32 PM 638 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark

865 posts in 1814 days


07-29-2017 09:32 PM

I did a bit of research on the subject of using softwood for cutting board. Probably Pine or Fir, not to sure about Cedar. Lots of folks said the bacteria issue isn’t an issue at all. Defiantly wouldn’t last as long, but who knows.
Any thoughts?

-- Mark


21 replies so far

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Slyced

18 posts in 141 days


#1 posted 07-29-2017 09:49 PM

I’m new here… first post actually.

My take has always been to never use any softwood on cuttingboards. If they are endgrain, you also don’t want to use any wood with large pores that are capable of pulling fluid through them easily. Like redoak.

I personally have never researched it so I haven’t read any studies… however, I have watched more than a few videos by vlogers who have and discouraged it. I don’t have any links offhand and running short on time but pretty sure the Woodwhisperer has a video on it as well various methods of sealing your boards to maximize protection from bacteria.

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Kazooman

871 posts in 1792 days


#2 posted 07-29-2017 09:52 PM

Personal opinion. Your view may differ.

I guess it depends on what you envision as the final use for the boards. You could easily make a board out of pine. It would immediately get scarred by the knives and would soon look like hell. Would it harbor bacteria? I don’t know. Would I want it on my kitchen counter as a daily user? No!

Do you plan to sell the boards? Do you plan to give them as gifts? If you answer YES to either of these questions, then I would suggest that you stick to the traditional hardwoods for your boards. Actually, I would suggest that you stick to the traditional hardwoods for your boards even if you will be the sole end user.

When I make an end grain cutting board, I spend a lot of time trying to get the optimal choice of stock, then carefully mill it to size so there will be a great fit on the joints. Then I slice the initial stack of pieces and carefully arrange the stock to give the best appearance to the end grain pattern. Then another careful glue-up, many passes through the drum sander. a lot of careful router work to create a curve on the end, a nice handle grip, and an edge profile. Then a lot of final sanding to get it perfect and many, many, many coats of a mineral oil / beeswax finish. The time and care I put into every board I make (I give them all away as gifts) far outweighs the cost of materials, even though I know that hardwoods cost a lot of money.

I would never make a cutting board out of pine.

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Slyced

18 posts in 141 days


#3 posted 07-29-2017 09:57 PM

PLEASE take that for what it is worth… I’m not a pro and don’t want to get jumped for my first response. lol

Just trying to contribute to the forums as I have just started my first post and hope to get a large number of perspectives for my question as well :)

I will agree that longevity will definitely be reduced… regardless of the bacteria factor.

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AlaskaGuy

3662 posts in 2149 days


#4 posted 07-29-2017 11:30 PM



PLEASE take that for what it is worth… I m not a pro and don t want to get jumped for my first response. lol

Just trying to contribute to the forums as I have just started my first post and hope to get a large number of perspectives for my question as well :)

I will agree that longevity will definitely be reduced… regardless of the bacteria factor.

- Slyced

Welcome to the LJ. We all have our opinion, right and/or wrong. We all make mistakes Nobody knows it all, even-though some think they do. :). One way to learn about something here to post something that is miss information. Someone will be along shortly to straighten you out. :) I like hardwoods for cutting boards.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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jonah

1473 posts in 3139 days


#5 posted 07-30-2017 12:05 AM

I would not recommend anything softer than really sturdy cherry for a cutting board. Cedar is super, super soft. Most pine is very soft as well, since it’s all new growth small trees these days.

Cutting boards do not require a lot of lumber, so the cost difference in going with something like maple, walnut, or cherry isn’t large.

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bondogaposis

4483 posts in 2191 days


#6 posted 07-30-2017 12:12 AM

It can be done if you plan on sanding it back frequently, too much trouble for me, when you consider that the labor is the same hardwood or soft wood, and since they don’t use much wood for few bucks it is not worth it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Slyced

18 posts in 141 days


#7 posted 07-30-2017 12:36 AM

Thanks Alaska! :)

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Kazooman

871 posts in 1792 days


#8 posted 07-30-2017 12:37 AM



PLEASE take that for what it is worth… I m not a pro and don t want to get jumped for my first response. lol

Just trying to contribute to the forums as I have just started my first post and hope to get a large number of perspectives for my question as well :)

I will agree that longevity will definitely be reduced… regardless of the bacteria factor.

- Slyced

Hi, and welcome to Lumberjocks. I was typing while you posted and never saw it before posting.

As I said, mine is just an opinion. Worth little more than anyone else’s opinion.

I would NEVER make a cutting board out of pine.

MY opinion, yours may vary.


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Rick_M

10645 posts in 2220 days


#9 posted 07-30-2017 02:19 AM

I would never make a pine cutting board for someone else and probably would not make one for myself but others here have made them and seemed to be satisfied, at least in the short term. To me there is too much work involved in an end grain cutting board to worry about saving a couple dollars.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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AandCstyle

2910 posts in 2097 days


#10 posted 07-30-2017 10:03 PM

Mark, at one point in time, the USDA indicated that any “tight grained” wood was acceptable and, specifically, mentioned maple as an example. However, they didn’t define “tight grained”. That said, I would avoid many of the exotics that are tight grained due to potential allergies. Also, walnut MIGHT be an issue for some no matter how unlikely I find that personally. Does the Canadian Food Inspection Agency provide any guidance?

-- Art

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khanfused

2 posts in 137 days


#11 posted 08-03-2017 01:46 AM

Softwoods are going to need a lot of refreshing, but lets face it…so will hard woods. Knives are going to scar it no matter what. I would of course use the hardwoods, not as much for longevity as for looks. That said, let me get on to the real reason I finally had to speak up ( long time lurker )

It’s the whole bacteria discussion. I think the general concensus is to use mineral oil and saturate it. I think most people find that that itself becomes a maintenance issue. If you look hard enough, you’ll find a long discussion from the ” Wood Whisperer ” on You Tube, 90 % of it is people flaming him but if you really read, it makes perfect sense. HIS opinion is to use his favorite salad bowl oil, diluted with mineral spirits of course, and saturate it.

Literally saturate it until it begins to leak out the bottom. let dry, coat again, maybe three times . Essentially the oil is a varnish I think ? The point is that the process literally fills the pores…straws… ( there is a proper word for it ) of the wood. Actually, I made a few end 3D end grain cutting boards a while back and they are still hanging, waiting to be finished using this method , as soon as I am bored enough to find that thread again.

By now, I wished I had taken that time so I could better present my/ his case. I also wish that I had taken the time to look up the correct name for the “straws” in a wood’s grain so I could sound smart…but you would have seen through that soon if I keep posting.

I challenge someone to discover that thread the Whisperer has and be prepared, every seems to have their own opinion about this subject, oddly, and it seems most of the replies are quick to dispute HIS without actually trying to understand the point.

By all means, if you find it, let me know what you think of the method.

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jmkeuning

14 posts in 2147 days


#12 posted 08-03-2017 01:55 AM

I have a cutting board that I use exclusively for serving my son his toast. Make toast, apply a little butter, cut toast in half, hand board to child. I do not think that the type of wood is very important. I don’t wash it often, just wipe it down. I apply mineral oil every once in a while.

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Slyced

18 posts in 141 days


#13 posted 08-03-2017 02:15 AM

Khanfused, I have seen that video and have used (and like) his finishing method as well.

That said, I had no idea it was considered the “standard”... interresting.

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Kirk650

514 posts in 588 days


#14 posted 08-03-2017 02:21 AM

I make a good number of cutting boards, none of which are end grain. Just did one in white oak for a son-in-law. Soaked it with mineral oil, then switched to a oil/wax mixture till it wouldn’t take any more. I also use cherry, walnut, hard maple, ash, mesquite, and a couple in Bloodwood. Do not use red oak, due to the open tyloses (did I spell that right?). My beloved grandmother’s favorite cutting board was pine. It lasted from the Great Depression until a decade after she passed. Between she and my Mom, they finally wore the middle out of it due to slicing stuff for decades. So pine will work, but you may only get 80 or 90 years of service out of it.

Whatever you make it out of, it’ll need ‘refreshing’ every now and then. They bring them to me and I sand out the cuts and re-oil it. The ones in Bloodwood look so nice that they are used for display or cheese slicing only. I tell them that the boards are made for use, but they don’t listen.

I use Tightbond III for the glueup. And I suggest they don’t put the boards in the dishwasher.

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Slyced

18 posts in 141 days


#15 posted 08-03-2017 02:41 AM

In chimes Debbie Downer… but just so he knows, Bloodwood has been known to cause a mild reaction in some people so I personally play safer than sorry and dont use it in gifted boards.

Im sure thousands of folks use em daily with no ill effects though. :)

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