Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between a Chopping Board and a Cutting Board?
A: I use the term Chopping Board for my 'end grain' boards. The end grain is the part of the wood that is visible when cutting across the growth rings. When you see a tree stump with all its growth rings, you are looking at the end grain. The fibers of the tree are pointing up and down. A cutting board made with the wood in this orientation is extremely durable. Knife strikes go between the wood fibers. This leads to less damage to the board and less dulling of the knife.
Cutting Board is the term I use for 'long grain' boards. In a long grain board the wood fibers are running from side to side. This orientation allows you to see much more of the figure and interest in the wood. Although these are not as durable as an end grain board, they are all made of very hard woods and will hold up well even under heavy use.
Q: How do you clean a wood cutting board?
A: Rinse it off with soap and water, and let the board dry thoroughly. Do not submerge it in water, or let it sit in standing water, such as a wet counter top. It is NOT dishwasher safe.
Q: Is it safe to cut meat on a wood cutting board?
A: Yes. Spend some time researching this topic on the internet and you'll find lots of opinions. Once you get beyond opinions, you can find a number of very good studies that show how safe wood cutting boards are when it comes to spreading germs. The wood is a horrible environment for germs to grow. Once you wash the board and let it dry, it is most likely more germ free than many other cutting board options. Here is link to one researcher on the topic.
Q: How do I maintain my board?
A: All my boards have been treated with a mineral oil finish. This not only brings out the beauty of the wood, but also helps prevent staining and absorption of food odors and bacteria. To properly maintain your board, you should occasionally reapply mineral oil. The frequency will depend on how often it is being used. A board that is being used regularly should have oil reapplied about once a month. Put a generous amount on the surface and let it soak in. After a few minutes, you can wipe away any excess. The board will only absorb as much oil as it can take.
Q: How do I get my board looking new again?
A: The mineral oil finish does not create a film on top of the board. This is what allows you to cut on it with out damaging the finish. It also allows you to sand the surface of the board back to its original smoothness. Use a fine piece of sandpaper, 150 or higher. Sand the board until you have achieved the look you want. Once this is complete, reapply mineral oil. Your board will look as good as new!