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Best woods for cutting boards

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Forum topic by TomFran posted 08-20-2007 08:04 PM 27487 views 6 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


08-20-2007 08:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cutting boards mahogany maple

Hello friends,

I’m getting ready to make a cutting board for my daughter and was wondering if mahogany would be suitable for making one. My plan was to use it along with maple for a nice contrasting color scheme.

Question #1: Would mahogany be a good wood to use?

Question #2: What would be the consensus on which woods are the best for cutting boards?

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28


21 replies so far

View murrmac's profile

murrmac

3 posts in 2594 days


#1 posted 08-20-2007 09:43 PM

my own feeling is that black walnut would prove a better alternative, both practically and visually

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#2 posted 08-20-2007 10:06 PM

murrmac,

OK, I have some black walnut and have just made (2) boards with that and maple.

But, I also have some mahogany that I thought I might use. I know they use it for sailboats and other marine applications, and thought that it might be good for cutting boards too.

Thanks for your input!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2638 days


#3 posted 08-20-2007 10:17 PM

Hi Tom;

You’re right about it’s resistance to water, however it is pretty soft.

If you just have to do it anyway, use very thin strips of Mahogany, between large pieces of maple.

Will protect the softer wood to some degree.

Have fun,

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#4 posted 08-20-2007 10:30 PM

Lee,

Thanks for the information. I take it that you would be against the idea of using mahogany ;^D

What then would be the ideal wood combination for making a cutting board, or does it all come down to personal preference?

Most of the commercial board makers use hard rock maple only. At the kitchen outlets, they have a lot of bamboo boards which look really nice, but I don’t think I’ll find much bamboo around this part of the world.

My wife just read in “Prevention” magazine that pine is good for cutting boards because of it’s natural properties to resist bacteria (...but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one made from pine).

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2621 days


#5 posted 08-20-2007 11:25 PM

Tom, I just made one for Carleen much like the one you made. I would agree with Lee on using thin strips of mahogany. I’m working on Sapele cabinets and will probably do one like that with soft maple. Maple always tastes sweet to me. I would think pine would taste like turpentine!!!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#6 posted 08-21-2007 12:16 AM

Tom A.,

I agree that pine wouldn’t taste too good. When my wife told me of cutting boards with pine, I told her that I’d never seen or heard of one in my life. But then, she produced the article, so it appears that there are some out there somewhere.

When you said that you just made one, did you mean with mahogany & maple or walnut and maple?

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Greg Mitchell's profile

Greg Mitchell

1381 posts in 2728 days


#7 posted 08-21-2007 12:25 AM

Tom, I’ve made about thirty end grain cutting boards in the last two months. I’ve added some of them to my project page. I’m tired of making them, but the money is to good to turn down. The ones that sell the best are the medium sized ones made from maple, cherry, or walnut/mahogany. The one’s I’m making are end grain so you do not have to worry so much about the wood being soft.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/2402

-- Greg Mitchell--Lowell, AR--gdamitchell@sbcglobal.net

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#8 posted 08-21-2007 12:32 AM

Greg,

I just saw the ones you’ve made, and they are nice!

What would be the dimensions of the medium sized ones? Like 10” x 15” x 1” ?

Everybody in my family wants one, so I’m trying to do my homework on the best possible configuration of woods.

Thanks a lot for your help!!!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View SteveM's profile

SteveM

108 posts in 2826 days


#9 posted 08-21-2007 12:56 AM

I’ve made a couple myself using the Wood magazine cover as a starting design. Also made one with my chef son’s initials in contrasting block letters. Looked only OK to my eye, and lots of work to design it, but he likes it a lot.

Without asking for confidential info or being rude with my fellow dusty people, what do you believe a competitive price to be for a +/- 12×15 x 1 1/2 board. I’ve found many folks are conditioned by the $10 “wooden cutting board” they get at WalMart and don’t seem to understand the value of the basic materials, the endgrain, and never mind time.

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TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#10 posted 08-21-2007 01:08 AM

Steve,

I hope that Greg M. can answer that for you, as well as my question previous to yours.

You are right though about the Walmart mentality. There are several places online that sell cutting boards, which would be helpful for you to get an idea for pricing. Here's a good one. And, don’t forget to consider that they will be adding a shipping / handling charge to theirs ;^D

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Greg Mitchell's profile

Greg Mitchell

1381 posts in 2728 days


#11 posted 08-21-2007 07:36 PM

For that size cutting board you should be able to sell them for between $80-120 dollars depending on the size. I have run into people who look at me like I’m crazy for wanting that much for a cutting board. There is a company who started out here in Arkansas making end grain cutting boards, and have move out west. Their boards run around $150-180. As far as Tom’s question on the size. May large board is around 11”w x 18-20”long. The medium would be around 11”w x 14-14-15”long. I also make some smaller cheese board that are around 8” x 10”. The thickness I make the most of is around 1 1/4” rough. By the time you sand it you are left with 1 1/8 to 1 3/16”. We have a large and a medium that we use. My wife tells me the medium is her favorite size to use on a daily basis. We leave ours on the counter all of the time. The large one takes up a lot of counter space. One other thing to to invest in good rubber feet. You can buy rubber feet that screw into the bottom of the board. I replace the screws that come with the feet with stainless steel ones.

-- Greg Mitchell--Lowell, AR--gdamitchell@sbcglobal.net

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#12 posted 08-21-2007 09:31 PM

Greg,

Thanks a lot for the helpful information. Those are great tips for all us cutting board makers.

Those end grain cutting boards are pricey, but there is a lot of wood in them, and they take longer to build with the extra steps. But, people who want one will pay the money.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View SteveM's profile

SteveM

108 posts in 2826 days


#13 posted 08-22-2007 03:07 PM

Thanks all! I also found you sometimes need to tell folks NOT to put their nice, new end grain board in the dishwasher.

View Greg Mitchell's profile

Greg Mitchell

1381 posts in 2728 days


#14 posted 08-22-2007 05:23 PM

Good point Steve. That would be a expense mistake. I do give those who buy a board a care and use fact sheet.

-- Greg Mitchell--Lowell, AR--gdamitchell@sbcglobal.net

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#15 posted 08-22-2007 05:44 PM

Greg M:

If you didn’t have a large stationary belt sander, could you still do a satisfactory job on an end grain cutting board with a hand held belt sander?

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

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