Southern Yellow Pine For Cutting Boards

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Forum topic by GrayOwl posted 12-14-2017 03:35 PM 3375 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 931 days

12-14-2017 03:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cutting board butcher block food pine cooking

I made a few cutting boards out of Southern Yellow Pine. The end grain patterns are absolutely amazing. Does anybody else do this? What kinds of problems could I run into? Am I absolutely insane thinking pine is the perfect wood to make cutting boards out of?

Thank you for any and all feed back.

13 replies so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3906 posts in 3018 days

#1 posted 12-14-2017 03:40 PM

SYP’s large pores make it generally unsuitable for cutting boards. The concern is that bacteria can grow in the end grain and cause health issues. I agree that the end grain patterns are awesome though. I’ve made one EGCB with SYP but ended up using it as a trivet instead.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View jonah's profile


2119 posts in 4065 days

#2 posted 12-14-2017 03:51 PM

I wouldn’t worry about bacteria growth. Just clean and dry the board fully between uses. SYP isn’t ideal for cutting boards, but it’s definitely usable.

View Robert's profile


3737 posts in 2247 days

#3 posted 12-14-2017 04:53 PM

Resinous and/or softwoods are not ideal for cutting boards.

Also the knife will cut deeper into the wood, potentially leaving habitats for microorganisms that disinfectants cannot access.

Along the same lines, they are also more prone to absorbing liquids.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1358 days

#4 posted 12-14-2017 04:59 PM

Good as a display item, not practical though. I would not want one nice endgrain or not.

View jmartel's profile


8915 posts in 2917 days

#5 posted 12-14-2017 05:04 PM

Wood has antibacterial properties in it. It’s safer than using a plastic cutting board once the plastic cutting board gets grooves cut into it from use when hand washing. The flip side though is plastic cutting boards can be sent through the dishwasher which will sanitize them.

That being said, I would still use hardwood for it instead due to the close grain and small pores.

Also, as a general rule, you should have 1 cutting board dedicated to meat, one for veggies, and one for other stuff like bread, cheese, etc. to prevent cross contamination.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Woodknack's profile


13382 posts in 3147 days

#6 posted 12-14-2017 05:43 PM

Yeah, wood is anti bacterial, all you need to do is hand wash it.

-- Rick M,

View GrayOwl's profile


3 posts in 931 days

#7 posted 12-14-2017 05:43 PM

I fined the pores in SYP to be much smaller and less few than oak and paduk. The pores in SYP pine are anout the same size as pores in walnut and there are less few. The lighter growth rings are quite soft, but the darker bands have a density similar to walnut. And because of the lay out of the growth rings a knife blade is almost never in contact with only the softer white growth rings. The sap in pine is a natural anti-bacterial and SYP has a be rating for rot/decay resistance than maple. So any bacteria that will go into the pores die quickly. Also if I use beeswax after oiling wouldn’t the beeswax fix those pores?

View jmartel's profile


8915 posts in 2917 days

#8 posted 12-14-2017 07:10 PM

I honestly wouldn’t worry about it since you already made them. Use them, abuse them, if they don’t last then no big deal. I wouldn’t sell them, but for gifts you should be fine. Selling anything opens up even the tiniest liability.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4415 days

#9 posted 12-14-2017 07:30 PM

I think it looks really cool but maybe not
such a good idea to use it for cutting meat.

View jonah's profile


2119 posts in 4065 days

#10 posted 12-14-2017 07:35 PM

I would have no problem selling them. Just stick a card with them that recommends you avoid cutting meat on them. In my house, we cut meat on plastic cutting boards that we stick in the dishwasher. Everything else is done on wood boards.

I realize we live in litigious times, but nobody is going to go after a cutting board maker unless the product itself is toxic and dangerous, which it isn’t.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16687 posts in 3385 days

#11 posted 12-14-2017 07:57 PM

They look great! Very interesting responses, too. I’d have no problem using a SYP cutting board.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View splintergroup's profile


3771 posts in 1989 days

#12 posted 12-14-2017 10:03 PM

Always add a disclaimer to the documentation I have with each board I sell. In fact, I usually call them “serving boards” instead of “cutting boards”

I doubt you’ll have any problems beyond the wood being a tad soft.

View jdh122's profile


1162 posts in 3584 days

#13 posted 12-15-2017 12:33 AM

This company near me makes endgrain cutting boards from tamarack.

If all of their customers were dying of botulism I assume they’d have been sued out of existence by now.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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