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Making and finishing a restaurant's cheese boards

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Forum topic by shampeon posted 03-13-2013 at 01:19 PM 1366 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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shampeon

1360 posts in 820 days


03-13-2013 at 01:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cheese board finishing presentation board

My sister is a cheese-monger for a nice restaurant, and they need a couple of cheese boards. These are presentation boards for the cheese plates she makes. She’d like me to design and make them, which shouldn’t be too hard. But I am worried about making them capable of standing up to use in a restaurant.

They’ll be used every day, basically, and I assume they have to be able to hold up to some abuse. I don’t think the dish washers are going to make exceptions for a couple of cheese boards, so they might be occasionally submerged in water.

What kind of glue should I use for assembly? I’m thinking Titebond 3 for the moisture-resistance.

What kind of finish should I use on them? Just mineral oil, so it can be recharged? Walnut oil? Or would a poly be ok, since they’re presentation boards?

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."


13 replies so far

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BigRedKnothead

4792 posts in 619 days


#1 posted 03-13-2013 at 02:04 PM

I’ve made some big butcher blocks for a meatcutter friend. I think your on the right track with tightbond 3. I used Watco butcher block finish, and we both liked it. Stuff builds and finishes kind of like water based poly. Supposed to be food safe. I’ve added coats later with no problems.
But no matter what you use, if they submerge them in water for long periods, there will be trouble. Hope that helps.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

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Brandon

4138 posts in 1588 days


#2 posted 03-13-2013 at 02:34 PM

You can route a message in the cheese boards that says: “Do not submerge in water.” Then add a threat of them losing their job or something.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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kdc68

1967 posts in 913 days


#3 posted 03-13-2013 at 02:55 PM

shampeon – Here’s a link…Very informative…Scroll down past How to Purchase and it gives tips on seasoning them Brandon W is right on….never submerge in water !!

http://whatscookingamerica.net/CuttingBoards/AllAbout.htm

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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shampeon

1360 posts in 820 days


#4 posted 03-13-2013 at 03:49 PM

Heh. Yeah, I would never submerge it in water. I just can’t guarantee that the busboy won’t.

Maybe the way to avoid it is to make it really, really pretty. A plain maple board might get dunked, but maybe hickory with walnut and bloodwood won’t.

Checking out the link now, kdc68, and I’ll look into the Watco butcher block finish, BigRedKnothead.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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kdc68

1967 posts in 913 days


#5 posted 03-13-2013 at 04:03 PM

shampeon...I read your reply…bloodwood is on the list for an irritants…walnut is too but is rare…be careful what you make them out of…here’s another link

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-allergies-and-toxicity/

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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Paul

343 posts in 2226 days


#6 posted 03-13-2013 at 04:23 PM

Water won’t hurt the Tightbond but head from a dishwasher would loosen it.

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

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shampeon

1360 posts in 820 days


#7 posted 03-13-2013 at 04:25 PM

I’ve done a lot of reading on this one. The nearest I can tell is that there’s a big difference between inhaling the dust of a wood (like bloodwood or the rosewoods) and using the wood with a finish on it.

I see a ton of, e.g., walnut cutting boards and have yet to hear of anyone having an allergic reaction to the finished product. If anyone has any different experiences or references, I’d love to hear about them.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3426 posts in 2597 days


#8 posted 03-13-2013 at 04:33 PM

I’d be VERY nervous about a product made for commercial use in foodservice. Ya never know when a liability issue could bite ya in the b__t.
Staff is gonna take NO care about the boards. Next thing ya know…..commercial dishwasher at a zillion psi and uber degrees. Board falls apart, and you’re labeled as a dummy for not makin’ a “stupid proof” product.
Once warned-twice carefull.
If you decide to produce the boards, an oil finish would be me choice. Mineral oil would be the best, and would be renewable. Even a wipe down with veg. oil would be ok if the boards are hand washed and re-oiled.
Just my thoughts.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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kdc68

1967 posts in 913 days


#9 posted 03-13-2013 at 04:39 PM

shampeon...I sway on the side of caution when making things for other people… I remembered bloodwood was on the list and thought I’d be courteous by passing on the info..I don’t know of anybody either, and it is probably a long shot that anyone would get an allergic reaction from food exposed with wood fibers from the knife blade cutting into the board

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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shampeon

1360 posts in 820 days


#10 posted 03-13-2013 at 04:52 PM

Understood, kdc68, and I appreciate the concern. The chances are probably even lower with a cheese board, since no sharp knives would be used. Since I’m making two, I’ll probably make one with only “safe” woods in case someone says they have a nut allergy.

Bill: yeah, I’m a little nervous about that, too. If I end up doing it, I’m going to make it pretty clear before I start that the boards can’t be treated like an HDPE plastic cutting board, and if they need that sort of ruggedness then they need a different solution.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3426 posts in 2597 days


#11 posted 03-13-2013 at 05:01 PM

Not tryin’ to be a ‘fraidy cat but, after 32 years in the foodservice business, I’ve seen UGLY like ya can’t believe.
Be safe.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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kdc68

1967 posts in 913 days


#12 posted 03-13-2013 at 05:01 PM

shampeon – ...best of luck to you and your sister with the cheese boards !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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AandCstyle

1291 posts in 894 days


#13 posted 03-13-2013 at 06:10 PM

Whatever you decide to do, if you do make the boards stick with a fine grained wood like maple. IIRC that is a paraphrase to what the FDA has to say about wood in food service.

-- Art

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