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Wood Mangler
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I know the popular species are maple, cherry, walnut, and purpleheart, but can oak or poplar be used?
 

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The tighter and more closed the grain the better. Hard maple is the classic choice followed by others like cherry and walnut.

I would avoid any woods with very open grain such as oaks, ash, locust, sassafras, etc. Open grain is simply easy access for micro critters.

There is nothing wrong with using softwoods for cutting boards as long as they are for light use. An example, my parents have a board about 8x8 which was simply a cutoff from a pine board. It was heavily oiled and has been in light use for 30+ years. If you start using a meat cleaver on it or heavy cutting at every meal then it won't last long.
 

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Wood Snob
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5,963 Posts
I made one from popular. Must be end grain though. It's 37 years old and my mom still uses it. I didn't finish it either. Something I find to be a waste of time. Use it wash it. No big deal.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Pain in the A$$
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I believe that while oak is an open grain wood, it is still fine for boards. I have used it for many myself, using both red & white oak. There was a study by a CA college where they determined that even if bacteria gets into the open grain, then natural abilities of the wood would kill the bacteria anyway.

Mark
 
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