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Everybody either has a cutting board or needs one, or two. Real wood boards are expensive, as are the nylon restaurant boards these days, and the typical board from Bed, Bath, and Beyond manages to be both tiny and expensive.

Anyway, I was just downstairs doing my impression of a pastrami maker, and was getting ready to take some pictures for future use, when I thought I'd pass along a cutting board tip. Simply, it's called Lumber Liquidators. You know, the hardwood flooring people from TV.

I don't know how well this will work for those of you living in the boondocks, but if you live near a Lumber Liquidators you're in luck. They carry 1.5"x25"x8' maple butcher block countertop material for $190.00. Cherry material for $250.00. This can be cut down and converted to nice sized cutting boards with little effort using a saw and a router with a roundover bit. I've built a bunch for presents and it takes about 10 minutes per board. One 96" piece will yield 5 nice sized cutting boards. I can assure you that a 25"x20" board is far nicer to work on than a puny little girlie board, and these look good enough that your wife will think you made it for her. In fact, make one and give it to her for Christmas. Smiler

This might even be viable for people that need to have it shipped. I don't know what shipping would run, but the idea might be possible with locally sourced materials. I saw a Roo's board in the store the other day that was about 16"x18" and it was over $100, so if you figure 5 boards out of the $190 cost of materials for this idea, you're at about $40 per board for twice the size.
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I am sending this idea to my husband, the woodworker. I think it's a great idea for gifts. Besides, my big wooden cutting board died of old age and I'd like to have a new one. I know the plastic ones are easier and more sanitary (except I used bleach water on my wood one and didn't worry about germs) but wood is so beautiful. Unless you are carrying your board around to comps and need a fork lift to move it.
I have read in the past that there is some 'magical' quality of wood that bacteria can't survive long on it and that for sanitary reasons it is better to use wood than a plastic cutting board.

Just did a google search on "wood cutting bacteria" and came up with lots of info. This looks like a good one:

Food Safety: Comparing Plastic and Wood Cutting Boards

"We soon found that disease bacteria such as these were not recoverable from wooden surfaces in a short time after they were applied, unless very large numbers were used. New plastic surfaces allowed the bacteria to persist, but were easily cleaned and disinfected. However, wooden boards that had been used and had many knife cuts acted almost the same as new wood, whereas plastic surfaces that were knife-scarred were impossible to clean and disinfect manually, especially when food residues such as chicken fat were present. Scanning electron micrographs revealed highly significant damage to plastic surfaces from knife cuts. "
I was waiting for someone else to post this info so I didn't look like I worked for a wood company. The USDA changed their position on wooden boards about 10 years ago, and even difficult health department states like my home NC have relaxed their criticisms of wooden boards. I still carry a nylon board to caterings, but the wooded board looks nicer for chopping meat or carving. You can also use them as a serving platform for fruits and cheese, etc. Plus they are easy on knives.

You can get a mess of boards out of one piece of material, and they're good for gifts or for hoarding for your own personal use if you're greedy. Smiler
Originally posted by Guitarzan:
I got a Catskill 18"x24" cutting board that is great for BBQ and just about anything else. Picked it up at the HEB Plus for about $50.

Word of advice: get some board oil.

Guitarzan mentioned getting board oil. As a professional baker most of my life we used mineral oil. Scrub the gunk off your board,rinse and dry. Pour on a small amount of mineral oil and rub in with paper towels. You will want to rub till the oil is worked into the wood and it feels un-slick (new word)This reconditions your boards without you getting sick- other oils may go rancid. Mineral oil is also great on your stainless things. Shines them right up. Hope this helps
I'm a cabinet shop owner and have a few solid surface scraps but we have played around with the idea of engraving cutiing boards on our CNC router. We have done several for different people but were only with initials cut into them. There are not really functional on that surface any longer but look good. Would there be any market for you competition guys? If you have some type of logo, that could be cut into something for display at your setup.

We have a couple of cutting boards from John Boos Company ( Their stuff is made in the US. If you all aren't familiar with them, they make great butcher block tables. They also make wood cutting boards called Chef-Lite that can go in the dishwasher. We have had two for about 18 months that are in constant use...including frequent trips to the dishwasher and have held up well.
Todd, I'd say you're in 'business.' I'll buy one! Send it out! :0)

On the sanitation part of this discussion... I don't know how it got hijacked... but, for years, with a particular small wooden cutting board of mine, after use I wash it, scrub it with a kitchen brush, rinse and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

I honestly don't know if that does any good whatsoever, but it makes me feel better!
Yeah, forget board oil. Go to the drugstore and get mineral oil. Whatever you do, DO NOT use vegetable, olive, corn oil. Some nut oils are ok, like walnut, but the others will go rancid over time and ruin your board. And never, ever, ever put a wood board in the dishwasher!!!!!

For end grain boards, pour a bunch of oil on the board and let it soak in for about an hour, anything left after that time just wipe it off. End grain boards will absorb a lot of oil. For edge grain boards wipe on the oil let sit for about 5 minutes and wipe the remainder off.

To disinfect, use a solution of vinegar and water. No, you can't use your Carolina sauce on it even though it has vinegar in it! Wink

Wood boards are a lot of fun to make and make great gifts too! End grain boards take a little more time since there is more cutting involved, but something to do to keep you out of trouble.

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