Reply by Kazooman

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Posted on Iron Acetate on End Grain Cutting Board

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1540 posts in 2866 days

#1 posted 01-11-2015 02:14 PM

Art is correct on the choice of woods for end grain cutting boards. Oak is generally not the best choice. The maple, walnut, and cherry are better choices, and I second the purple heart suggestion.

One issue would be when to apply the iron solution (I hesitate to call it a stain since is is reacting chemically with the tannins in the wood, not just soaking in a color). No matter how well you do the final glue up you will still need to do some leveling on the board, often quite a lot. If you treat the wood before glue up then the sanding might cause variations in the intensity of the color. If you treat after leveling the board you will be affecting all of the species of wood to varying extents.

You might be surprised to see just how dark some of the woods will be after oiling. This is end grain. We often struggle to keep end grain from getting too dark when finishing a piece. Here it is your friend. Try making a small prototype (nothing fancy) with the variety of woods you have at hand and see how the colors come out.

I actually use the end grain boards I have made and wouldn’t put any stain or color treatment on the wood that will have food contact. Just what nature provided and a lot of mineral oil.

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