Cutting Board Fail: Advice?

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Forum topic by dgrant posted 03-20-2015 09:34 PM 720 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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47 posts in 1139 days

03-20-2015 09:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Making a cutting board for a gift and had it almost done. I noticed that the maple, which was a big part of the board, appeared to be stained on the end grain. I tried sanding it out, but it runs through the material. I went ahead and put on the combo of bees wax and mineral oil that I always use and the board just looked terrible. It looks like it has mildew stains on it. I know I can’t fix it, but I am wondering about maple in general. Is there a type that would be preferred for boards? I’ve made quite a few and this is the first encounter I’ve had with this issue. This was listed on the lumber rack as simply ‘hard maple’. Looking at the left over piece, I can see the staining only by looking at the end grain. The long grain looks okay. I can’t see being able to avoid this unless you can see a fresh end grain cut before purchase. Fortunately I had a backup for the gift and I will use this one for barbecuing and camping. It will probably outlive me but it will be ugly.

7 replies so far

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2393 days

#1 posted 03-20-2015 11:59 PM

I suppose, if you were not looking at endgrain, that might be “Ambrosia Maple”

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View Tony_S's profile


598 posts in 2505 days

#2 posted 03-21-2015 12:02 AM

Probably ‘summer cut’ Maple that wasn’t processed(milled and dried) quickly enough.

Good read for you.

The discoloration will quite often be visible on the face of the board as well,but you’d need a block plane handy if the lumber is rough sawn.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Buckethead's profile


3140 posts in 1291 days

#3 posted 03-21-2015 12:07 AM

I consider that a plus from an aesthetic perspective, but I don’t know if there are any concerns for using it it a cutting board.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View jmartel's profile


6474 posts in 1573 days

#4 posted 03-21-2015 12:09 AM

Just part of the nature of the wood. Take a low angle block plane with you to take a few shavings off the board before you buy maybe?

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View TheFridge's profile


5682 posts in 909 days

#5 posted 03-21-2015 12:11 AM

My advice is: don’t fail. And don’t worry. It may not be what you want but it still looks good.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View dgrant's profile


47 posts in 1139 days

#6 posted 03-21-2015 02:25 AM

I actually like the way the board turned out except the staining. The pattern is nice and the size is right for the type I like to make. I will be taking a block plane on my next trip to the lumber store. Good idea, thanks.

View WDHLT15's profile


1565 posts in 1898 days

#7 posted 03-21-2015 02:32 AM

The maple was gray stained. It is an enzymatic oxidation reaction that occurs in the sugars in the wood when the temp and humidity are high. It is a common issue encountered when drying maple. Maple lumber that is stickered and drying when the temps and humidity are high has to have lots of air flow, and in most cases, the stack needs additional fans to move the air if air drying. Otherwise, maple has to go into a dry kiln in a controlled temp and humidity environment within 24 hours of sawing.

Maple is one of the more difficult woods to dry without staining.

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

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