Advice on chopping boards - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-29-2017, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on chopping boards

Hi all, I have made a couple of chopping boards out of solid oak for family and wondered whether it would have been cheaper to buy (but where is the fun in that).

In my search I found the vast majority of boards are made of ripped pieces of oak, butted together, rather than one solid piece.

My question is, is this a cosmetic thing to do, a cheaper or even more expensive way, or is it for hygiene reasons?

I can't imagine it would prolong the life of the board more than a solid piece, as neither are using the end grain (see end grain boards)

Any opinions or feedback welcome. Have a great day.
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-29-2017, 01:21 PM
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warps&curls less.
could be face grain cutting surface or edge grain cutting surface (as it's not end grain....)
I use my maple scraps edge grain for cutting boards - minimum 1.5 inches thick.

one single solid piece will most likely not remain flat enough to be useful if it is wide enough to be useful.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-29-2017, 01:43 PM
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Oak, being an open grained wood is not recommended for cutting boards, better to select tighter grain wood such as basswood, beech, birch, or maple.

There is a much better chance of the board staying flat when it is laminated with several narrow boards rather than using fewer wider boards.

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post #4 of 9 Old 03-29-2017, 01:47 PM
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If by oak you mean red oak, it isn't a very good material for a actually used, as opposed to decorative, cutting board. If it will be used for chopping it needs to be end grain. That way the cuts are mostly self closing as opposed to making chip outs. Red oak has open pores that soak up everything that touches them. Maple is pretty tight and much lees inclined to absorb and hold "stuff." Like others have said, a wide flat sawn oak board, will likely cup, a lot.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-29-2017, 02:23 PM
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You can make an end grain cutting board or one running the grain. Most cutting boards are made from scraps rather than wasting a nice large solid piece of wood. Just a waste of nice wood to do it any other way. You can make it of open grain or closed grain wood but you are going to be better off from a durability perspective with a nice hard wood. Again by using wood scraps you can use really nice hard woods with spending lots of money. You might be able to get wood scraps from a mill or from a contractor in your area. I know with my stair building, I often have left over pieces from custom banisters and the like.

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post #6 of 9 Old 03-30-2017, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the brilliant advice!

It's white oak, but I will definitely try your suggestions in future.

Many thanks
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-31-2017, 08:11 PM
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You're in good shape with the white oak. As Larry said, it's the red oak that has a porosity problem and is a poor choice for cutting boards.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-31-2017, 10:21 PM
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Hard Maple and Walnut. Not cheap, but looks great.
Here are some I have made - thickness varies. I try to use all I have to save on cost.
Attached Images

Last edited by MT Stringer; 03-31-2017 at 10:23 PM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-01-2017, 08:25 AM
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It ends up being personal choice and what you have on hand. end grain, edge grain, and face grain all have a good thing/bad thing list. i have done one piece boards when the wood was very pretty.

single piece of 8" wide ambrosia maple

single piece of live edge maple

over the sink board of maple, walnut, and cherry. the roll pins on the edge locate a piece of 1/2" HDPE for doing chicken and other proteins
I do some boards as serving board/cutting board with the pretty side finished with poly to be used as serving board and not so pretty side finished with oil/wax to be used as cutting board

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just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea

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