Thin Blue line Cutting Board

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Forum topic by moke posted 12-17-2016 07:10 PM 1439 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1402 posts in 3229 days

12-17-2016 07:10 PM

I retired at the end of November from a long career in Law Enforcement. I was treated very well by the city I worked for and the staff in our Dept. I would like to make some of them some “thin blue line” cutting boards. I was going to make them from maple and walnut with the middle strip of Maple dyed blue. The star field would just be walnut with no stars, then alternated walnut and maple for the stripes…... but I think you get the idea.

My concern is for dying the maple. I need it to penetrate the wood some, so the knife cut marks wouldn’t be pronounced. It would have to be pretty blue not fade a lot, and be food safe. Is Trans-tint suitable? I was thinking of diluting it and letting it soak overnight?

I have never used much dye other than to warm my water-borne poly…..can anybody give me some ideas.


-- Mike

12 replies so far

View mrbob's profile


182 posts in 1021 days

#1 posted 12-17-2016 07:43 PM

You going to have to seal it some way ,since most dyes are water soluble.

View Rob's profile


320 posts in 3439 days

#2 posted 12-18-2016 12:04 AM

I can’t offer any advice on how to dye the thin blue line but I do want to congratulate you on your retirement. I too will be retiring from Law Enforcement at the end of March, 2017 after 30 years of service. If I had it to do all over again, would I? In a heartbeat. Do I have any regrets? Just one. I should have kept a journal. What a ride!!!!

View ClammyBallz's profile


449 posts in 1589 days

#3 posted 12-18-2016 12:18 AM

Transtint is not food safe, per the manufacturer. You might consider blue food coloring mixed with DNA as an option. I would use a wipe on poly or salad bowl finish.

View mrbob's profile


182 posts in 1021 days

#4 posted 12-18-2016 01:05 AM

Thanks both for your service, glad you could stay safe this long.

View marc_rosen's profile


155 posts in 3633 days

#5 posted 12-18-2016 01:45 AM

Hi Moke and Rob,
Thanks to both of you for the job you’ve done, it is appreciated by so many folks.
Moke, I’m not attempting to trivialize what you are trying to make but have you thought about using Purple Heart in place of blue dyed Maple? I’ve used some Purple Heart that appeared more blue than purple. You could tell your recipients that “It’s the wood with the Hue that is closest to Blue”.

Or not. Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

View rustfever's profile


771 posts in 3763 days

#6 posted 12-18-2016 01:56 AM

Many time diseased trees yield ‘blue’ wood when cut. Possibly you could find some. I have small amounts of Honey Locust that exhibit this trait. I often see ‘blue’ pine, however pine is not a wood to be used in a cutting board.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View firefighterontheside's profile


20445 posts in 2309 days

#7 posted 12-18-2016 02:12 AM

I think the blue food color in DNA would work best. Bleeding shouldn’t be too much of a problem, being next to walnut. Do some samples and see how deep the color penetrates. Flood the surface and let it soak in and dry. Cut a cross section and see how deep it goes. I’m interested to see what happens.

Thanks for your service Moke. What would we firefighters do without you guys. More and more we can’t do our job without the support of law enforcement.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Woodmaster1's profile


1194 posts in 3039 days

#8 posted 12-18-2016 02:19 AM

A friend of mine used blue food coloring and it worked out great. He finished his project with tung oil and there was no bleeding. I would use some type of food safe oil finish. Practice first to see if you get the effect your looking for.

View CFrye's profile


10725 posts in 2292 days

#9 posted 12-18-2016 02:40 AM

Turners use acrylic for pen blanks. Could you use acrylic for the blue line?
I found this site...

-- God bless, Candy

View moke's profile


1402 posts in 3229 days

#10 posted 12-19-2016 06:38 PM

Thank you all for the help….. Rob…
I would recommend this retirement thing…while I’m still pretty new at it ( 18 days ), and I have a business that keeps me going as much or more than a normal full time job,but we had a snow storm Sat. night I wasn’t out in it!!! I sat in front of my TV and had the fireplace on!!! I just turned sixty and I had always said street cops should never be there that long. We have had many others go to 65, but it didn’t want to be “that guy”...then I tore my Achilles so that made my decision for me. I had a great career and rose through the ranks. but I never wanted to leave uniform divisions…now I have and it feels good. I had 38 years of range, CPR and the other thousand recerts you have to do…..try this retirement thing! As for the jornal, that would have been a great idea…and a funny read for the most part….I don’t recall (or like to) the nasty calls or DOA type things, it’s the funny ones….they are fun to re-tell to to old partners.

Thank you for your service….I have a lot of friends in the fire service….I always said that if the day came I got seriously hurt, I wanted to look up at my friend and not someone that didn’t like me.

I am a serious pen segmenter…I have tried everything you can think of, and I thought of that but I want it to be
about the same width as the other stripes and at the end of the day people are going to cut on this, so I was afraid that plastic would end up looking nasty…but thanks for the idea!

I never had great luck with purpleheart…I never even thought it looked that purple….I always thought it looked more like cherry. But thank u for taking the time to help.

Everyone else; thanks for the kind words, when I started out we were pigs…I even have a pig tie clasp. Now when you stop to eat, most nights, some of the people thank me for my service. Now keep in mind that we still have our share of people that hate us ( just look at the nightly news)...but now it swings both ways.

I intend to try the food coloring thing, and as Firefighter on the side said, cut into it to see the penetration. In thinking more about it, it doesn’t have to be that blue….just enough to recognize what it is.

-- Mike

View Rob's profile


320 posts in 3439 days

#11 posted 12-19-2016 10:31 PM

Moke, I’ve never met anyone that retired who regretted it. You just need a game plan before pulling the plug. I plan on spending a lot of time in my shop and maybe working a few craft shows. My wife and I love to go camping with our travel trailer so we plan on doing some traveling when she retires in 2018. Recently we bought a telescope so that will be fun to use too. It’s funny though. When I was a rookie, the old guys that were leaving said “You’ll know when you’re ready” I always thought that meant when I was upset or my way of thinking didn’t line up with the powers that were in office at the time but it’s just the contrary for me. I have no complaints whatsoever. I enjoy everyone I work with but feel like it’s time to turn the page and see what the next chapter in my life holds while I’m young enough to do what I want and healthy. Best wishes with the years to come!

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile


542 posts in 2316 days

#12 posted 12-20-2016 02:16 AM

I imagine these boards will come in contact with a great many pork products, so just be sure you allow them to soak in a mineral oil bath for at least 24 hours before applying a great deal of bees wax. All that bacon could do a number on that maple.

Improperly handled pork kills thousands of innocent people every year in this country. So I always encourage caution around pig by-products of any kind.

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

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