Wood for Cutting Boards?

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Forum topic by Peteyb posted 06-04-2013 04:03 PM 1176 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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131 posts in 2582 days

06-04-2013 04:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple cherry walnut cutting board

I am thinking about making some cutting boards to give out as gifts and thinking that I am will use Maple, Cherry, and Walnut. My question is does it matter with the Maple if I get soft or hard? By the way this will be the first time I try making some cutting boards.

5 replies so far

View danofpaco's profile


118 posts in 1944 days

#1 posted 06-04-2013 04:45 PM

I think either maple is hard enough – soft maple isn’t that soft, but generally speaking, the harder and closer grained the wood, the better for cutting boards. I’m sure if I’m wrong someone else will chime in, but I think you’d be fine with soft maple.

-- Dan :: Minnesota

View Peteyb's profile


131 posts in 2582 days

#2 posted 06-04-2013 05:29 PM

I wasn’t sure and there is generally a small price difference between the two of them also.

View WDHLT15's profile


1748 posts in 2503 days

#3 posted 06-05-2013 02:44 AM

Soft maple is actually denser than the cherry. Cherry has a specific gravity of .50. Soft maple is .54 and walnut is .55.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

110 posts in 1997 days

#4 posted 06-05-2013 09:06 PM

And remember that the quoted specific gravity is just an average. If you find a piece of soft maple that is quite dense and hard, it is much denser and harder than the averages. Same for any species.

As far as other species, I have used white oak/live oak in some boards (although I know that some will take issue with this). Birch is actually a great wood too. It is tight grained and small diffuse porous. I know that some use willow (a bit soft, but nice color).

-- Matt Rogers, and

View revwarguy's profile


131 posts in 1929 days

#5 posted 06-05-2013 09:31 PM

I think it matters a bit if you’re going to make it an end grain board or a long grain board. If its end grain, don’t think it matters much as the knife blade with sink into the board more, but the grain parts without dulling the blade (not too much, anyway.) On long grain boards, the knife will cut across the grain not only dulling the knife, but causing more damage to the board, so that would need a tougher wood in order to last longer. But hey, we don’t know how long these will last anyway, eh?

I think you would be ok with soft maple on an end grain, along with the rest of the woods you mention.

-- "72.6 per cent of all statistics are made up on the spot." - Steven Wright

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