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Wood for Cutting Boards... Are there woods to avoid when making them?

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Forum topic by Tim_CPWD posted 01-02-2015 10:15 AM 1142 views 2 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tim_CPWD

306 posts in 707 days


01-02-2015 10:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question toxic wood

I see a lot of different cutting boards on this site. Many of which are very beautiful. I also see that they are made from many different types of wood. I know through experience working with some exotic woods the sawdust can be very irritating to my eyes and sinuses. Cocobolo for example, I love the wood but the sawdust makes my eyes water and bothers my sinuses. Not to say that you couldn’t eat off it but it makes me wonder. Are there specific woods you should not use because they are toxic? If so could someone provide a list?

-- Tim Haenisch, San Diego Ca. http://www.facebook.com/commandperformancewooddesigns


7 replies so far

View ElChe's profile

ElChe

630 posts in 798 days


#1 posted 01-02-2015 11:15 AM

I am unaware of any hardwood that would be toxic in its finished state even with typical mineral oil finish put on a cutting board. I’d be more concerned with their irritant/allergy potential while working with it and some wood dusts have been associated with a higher risk of certain type of nasal cancers.. Also some types of wood have splinters that can really fester. The wood database is pretty helpful. I’m lucky to not have allergies or irritation to any wood species that I’ve worked with. Knock on wood.

There are some woods that would not hold up as a cutting board like red oak – too porous. Maple beech etc. Work really well. Exotic hardwoods are so darned expensive but can provide nice accent. And if you have a bunch of cutoffs of cool stuff then I envy you!

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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JeremyT21

60 posts in 928 days


#2 posted 01-02-2015 11:49 AM

Most people stick to hardwoods, but lately I’ve see quite a few very nice looking pine boards. I guess it all depends how paranoid you are. I stick to Walnut,Cherry,Maple, and Purple Heart.

-- www.rockytoptimber.com

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mmax

177 posts in 2918 days


#3 posted 01-02-2015 11:51 AM

A good source is as follows:
http://www.cuttingboard.com/blog/why-some-woods-are-better-than-others-in-the-kitchen/

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2526 posts in 1739 days


#4 posted 01-02-2015 02:25 PM

Another source

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

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View dustyoldman's profile

dustyoldman

22 posts in 707 days


#5 posted 01-02-2015 06:28 PM

The only one [hard wood I try to not use much of is Black walnut to some it can be either an irritant or an allergen .The finish I use is butcher block oil with good results

View Mykos's profile

Mykos

102 posts in 1257 days


#6 posted 01-02-2015 07:49 PM

I’ve never seen a cutting board made of it, but Yew wood is toxic not just an allergen. I wouldn’t use it for food surfaces if I had some.

View PhillipRCW's profile

PhillipRCW

386 posts in 727 days


#7 posted 01-05-2015 03:07 PM

Has anyone ever used cottonwood for a cutting board? I have some gorgeous 2” thick slabs that I’ve wanted to make some boards with, but I’ve never seen it used before.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

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