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Forum topic by skogie1 posted 03-05-2018 08:26 PM 1219 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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skogie1

119 posts in 1484 days


03-05-2018 08:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: end grain cutting board cupped cracked walnut maple

Maple and Walnut end grain cutting board. I’ve made many end grain boards and have never had this happen. Seemingly overnight, it cupped like a bowl and split. Why such a severe cup? Here are the particulars:

Maple and Walnut
2” thick
Made in the summer
Cupped in the winter (I am in west coast Canada near Vancouver. The weather is drier in the winter for sure, but I do have a humidifier in the house and it stays around 40%. The summer where I am is very dry.)
I did not worry about grain orientation as it had never mattered before. You can see that the walnut mostly runs vertical vs the maple that runs horizontal.
Finished it with Clapham’s beeswax salad bowl finish and repeatedly reapplied over the life of the board, which is now ended.
When it was cleaned, it was generally set back on the counter flat and left to dry.

What do you guys think I did wrong??


28 replies so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

15520 posts in 2739 days


#1 posted 03-05-2018 08:34 PM


When it was cleaned, it was generally set back on the counter flat and left to dry.

- skogie1

Normally/usually, wood cutting boards should be dried and stored on edge or end, not laid flat. And if it was flat and in water, the bottom might have absorbed liquid and swelled to what the picture shows.

It’s the only thing I can think of, anyway.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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John Smith

1314 posts in 284 days


#2 posted 03-05-2018 08:42 PM

X2 with Smitty – cutting boards require a slow air dry on all sides equally. (never force dry it).
if you put a wet board out in the sun to dry, you need to rotate it every 10 minutes
for equal drying or it will surely warp.
[try to pick up on the point of “equal slow drying on all sides”]

in this case, try the reverse action . . . lay the opposite side down on a damp towel over night.

-- some people are like a Slinky - - - pretty much good for nothing. But still make you smile when you push them down a flight of stairs.

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

83 posts in 268 days


#3 posted 03-05-2018 08:57 PM

I’ve heard similar tips as what John is suggesting. Hopefully the cupped end will expand and level it out while on the towel.

John, what would you think should be done after that, if in fact it lays down flat.
-JP

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John Smith

1314 posts in 284 days


#4 posted 03-05-2018 09:12 PM

I would let it acclimate and dry for several days before using it again.
if it were me, if it did go back to being flat – I would probably soak the whole thing
in warm clean water for a few minutes.
then – towel dry, stand it on edge in a spare room and let it start all over again to acclimate.
then when it appears to be totally dry and stays flat – apply your desired oil/finish/wax or whatever you use.

I should post some photos of a cutting board that my wife ruined because
she soak washed it in soapy bleach water after cutting chicken on it (OCD Germaphobic).
and put it in the sun to dry – really hot Florida sun – without rotating it for equal drying.
it not only warped but the wood split – not down the glue line – the wood itself split.
[this is how I get to know all this stuff].

there are dozens of good tips on how to care for a wood cutting board.
I know people do it and get away with it – but I would never run a wood cutting board through the dishwasher.
especially if you have spent so much time in getting it to look sooooooooo pretty.
there is just no need for it (IMHO). quick wash and towel dry is the best all the way around.
always stand it on edge for equal complete drying.

-- some people are like a Slinky - - - pretty much good for nothing. But still make you smile when you push them down a flight of stairs.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1396 posts in 1345 days


#5 posted 03-05-2018 09:12 PM

You can always get some rubber or silicon feet for the corners. It will do 2 things. First it will keep the board from sliding around and second, will allow air flow above and blow the board at all times.

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skogie1

119 posts in 1484 days


#6 posted 03-05-2018 09:58 PM

Thanks guys, I should have added one detail. It does have rubber feet on it. So it never laid flat on the counter, it was always raised. I wasn’t clear on that. I figured it was safe to let it air dry in the prone position since the feet elevated it off the countertop. But I will try drying it on edge next time. The only problem I can with drying it on edge is, won’t the edge in contact with the countertop hold more water? Thanks for taking the time to respond.

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John Smith

1314 posts in 284 days


#7 posted 03-05-2018 10:18 PM

ok – to be clear on drying – I put mine in an old fashioned dish drainer – I do not have a dishwasher.
dishwashers, to me, is a haven for bacteria the way people leave their eating ware in there for days.
rest your board on a couple of pencils – tie a string around it and hang it in your garage.
just something that provides AMPLE airflow all over for a few days.
also – I never wash just the dirty side – always wash and dry both sides equally
and you shouldn’t have any issues.

-- some people are like a Slinky - - - pretty much good for nothing. But still make you smile when you push them down a flight of stairs.

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

5824 posts in 2332 days


#8 posted 03-05-2018 11:00 PM


won t the edge in contact with the countertop hold more water? Thanks for taking the time to respond.

- skogie1

Moisture enters and leaves wood through end grain much faster than edge grain. Obviously, you don’t want to leave it sitting on standing water, but dried as best as possible and then on edge until dry shouldn’t cause any issues, especially if you use something like a dish drainer, as John mentions. That will allow the board to dry better and reduce the warpage.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12341 posts in 2501 days


#9 posted 03-05-2018 11:26 PM

I suspect the mismatched grain orientation didn’t help.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3769 days


#10 posted 03-05-2018 11:48 PM

Perhaps capillary action and gravity pulled all
the moisture towards the bottom. Another
reason to store it on edge.

There’s an experiment where a stick is put in
a jar with linseed oil in the bottom and it will
keep pulling the linseed up into the stick from
the open end grain until the whole stick is full
of oil.

View lew's profile

lew

12270 posts in 3876 days


#11 posted 03-06-2018 12:43 AM

Try putting it in a warm oven over night

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

273 posts in 806 days


#12 posted 03-06-2018 01:01 AM

Threads like these always intrigue me. My mother has been using a maple cutting board for a decade or more without any special treatment. I’m not trying to start any big debate or anything- it’s just interesting to me

View skogie1's profile

skogie1

119 posts in 1484 days


#13 posted 03-06-2018 02:08 AM

I like this explanation. That makes sense. If the water was pulled from the surface down to the bottom (or rather, gravity forced it down) then the water would collect there and swell the fibers and cause it to cup. Thanks.


Perhaps capillary action and gravity pulled all
the moisture towards the bottom. Another
reason to store it on edge.

There s an experiment where a stick is put in
a jar with linseed oil in the bottom and it will
keep pulling the linseed up into the stick from
the open end grain until the whole stick is full
of oil.

- Loren


View skogie1's profile

skogie1

119 posts in 1484 days


#14 posted 03-06-2018 02:08 AM



Threads like these always intrigue me. My mother has been using a maple cutting board for a decade or more without any special treatment. I’m not trying to start any big debate or anything- it’s just interesting to me

- avsmusic1


Intrigues me too. That’s why I put it out there. I have other boards that have never had any problems.

View msinc's profile

msinc

501 posts in 625 days


#15 posted 03-06-2018 03:23 AM

All of the posts make sense and I have to say that it could be any of the above….that said, one thing I have found and I have seen it enough to know it is true; when a board has tension of stress and “wants” to warp or cup there is no stopping it. I have face joined and sled planed cupped and/or warped boards to perfection and tried to use them and the warp or cup always comes back. Now, I am not talking about getting rid of a measly 1/16th of an inch cup, but I’d be willing to bet a brand spankin’ new PowerMatic of your choice that if you got it good and dry and faced that thing flat right now it would do the same thing within a few months.

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