Cutting Board Warping/Cracking Help

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Forum topic by CodyBrown posted 01-06-2015 12:40 AM 1125 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1234 days

01-06-2015 12:40 AM

Hi All,

I am not a wood worker by any means, but have been having problems with my own end grain cutting board and was hoping some pro’s here could possibly help me out.

I’ve had the board since June 2014 and have been having issues with it warping, always upwards. I actually had it pretty flat by October or so but as the weather got colder (in CT) and the air dryer I guess it got more and more warped (I honestly went a month without using it and it still warped). I store it on its edge upright so there is plenty of air flow. It has been frustrating me for months, especially because it is supposed to be a high quality (and pricey) board.

Then, a few weeks ago, on the underside of the board I noticed hairline cracks in the wood. Not in the joints, but in the wood itself. This obviously worried me, and while it wasn’t on the cutting side, I’m afraid it will get worse.

I oil the board, but I did go a little while without oiling the underside of the board so maybe that had something to do with it? The cutting surface was nicely oiled and the bottom was dry?

I’m attaching some pictures that show how warped it is and the cracks. Looking for any help in fixing any of it and if I should worry about it. I also blacked out the brand name of the board as I’m not interested shaming any wood worker as this boards seemed to be an enigma. It is an 2 inch thick 18×24 Maple board.

I appreciate any input from anyone and hope this message is in the appropriate forum!

5 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3444 posts in 3180 days

#1 posted 01-06-2015 12:56 AM

When you wash it, make sure you always get both sides equally wet. Then, wipe off most of the excess water with a rag and set the cutting board vertically (in a rack, or balanced on one edge) to dry. This will reduce uneven drying, which is the usual cause of warping.

This should be obvious, but never wash the board in your dishwasher. Always wash by hand. The dishwasher’s heat and moisture can cause lots of wood movement and cracks.

Also, wipe the board occasionally (once or twice a year maybe) with mineral oil, or a mineral oil + wax slurry, or maybe some other salad bowl finish. I use straight mineral oil on mine. This will reduce water penetration into the board.

Edit: the cracking could be because the wood wasn’t fully dry before the cutting board was made. You might be able to return the board for a replacement if this was the case.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View CodyBrown's profile


3 posts in 1234 days

#2 posted 01-06-2015 01:56 AM

Thank you for your reply!

I’ve had the board since June of 2014 so I don’t see any returns in my future. And those cracks are from a more recent time. I’ve been good about oiling the top of the board, but may have neglected the bottom somewhat, hence the cracking.

I wish I knew the trick about evenly wetting both sides when I first got the board. I just never realized how sensitive wood boards are.

I’ve been told by others that there may be some tensions within some of the wood and therefore it more or less with always warp no matter what I do. As warping has been a problem since the beginning, I’m wondering if it just is the wood and I got unlucky.

I’ve also been thinking of possibly taking the feet off and completely immersing the board in mineral oil for a month, but I’m not so sure it would work, plus it would probably weep oil for all of eternity.

View WDHLT15's profile


1741 posts in 2472 days

#3 posted 01-06-2015 01:10 PM

I also suspect that the wood was not fully dry when the cutting board was made. When you oiled it, you slowed the drying way down, but it still dried, if slowly, and since the wood is glued together, something has to give.

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

View CodyBrown's profile


3 posts in 1234 days

#4 posted 01-06-2015 01:48 PM

That sounds like it may have happened. So when it dried, it dried warped, sort of making the board’s “default” setting warped.

How could I reset it?

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2253 days

#5 posted 01-07-2015 01:57 AM

You could find a local woodworker with a drum sander and have that person sand your board flat (you will lose thickness equal to the warp), then apply mineral oil and hope that it doesn’t happen again.

-- Art

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