Cutting board wood safety

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Forum topic by Lucio posted 06-25-2020 03:54 AM 436 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 3418 days

06-25-2020 03:54 AM

Hi guys. Can anyone advise if I can use Rosewood for making a cutting board for food use? I have some laying around that I could use but been advised that Rosewood leaches oils that could be toxic to sensitive viewers. You help and advise would be helpful thank you.

-- Next to hunting I love woodwork best,,,,,or is that the other way around????

7 replies so far

View therealSteveN's profile


5925 posts in 1377 days

#1 posted 06-25-2020 06:07 AM

If you are unsure there are 2 things you can do.

1) Don’t use it.

2) Use it, and seal it with a poly, or similar. Going that route you need to allow the drying/curing time, but once you reach that, all cured finishes are said to be food safe. Drying time is said to be about 24 hours, within it’s range of use. Cure time however is around one month. Sometimes it’s hard to factor in that much of a wait.

East Indian Rosewood is said to be a sensitizer, meaning some folks could have allergic reactions to it. Most of the time you see mild, or could be. You can read more about that below. Most of the time it’s actually the dust that causes issues. Once all the sanding is done, a lot of the issue goes away.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Lucio's profile


50 posts in 3418 days

#2 posted 06-25-2020 06:28 AM

Thank you so much for your reply Steven, As a woodwork novice, would that mean that I could give a few coats of mineral oil and after finish with a decent coat of poly wax.

-- Next to hunting I love woodwork best,,,,,or is that the other way around????

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5861 posts in 3112 days

#3 posted 06-25-2020 07:21 AM

View Wildwood's profile


2876 posts in 2937 days

#4 posted 06-25-2020 09:18 AM

I would not use rosewood for a cutting board! What country did your rosewood come from? Only the best wood sellers will know country of origin! Of course finishing rosewood or other oily woods takes little more prep work see article.

Using lacquer or Shellac for more reasons than need for recoating after use & time just doesn’t make sense to me.

Big fan of using mineral oil (laxative) for food contact items! Fine Woodworking article explains it best! Easily reapplied when needed, but oil woods like any rosewood species just doesn’t make sense.

While exotic woods can really make a project attractive or add interest to that project woodworkers fall into two categories those that are just highly sensitive to them or will become sensitive to them over time. Exotic woods do have their place but wouldn’t use rosewood even a secondary accent addition to a cutting board.

Not sure why could not read AlaskaGuy’s link!

-- Bill

View ChefHDAN's profile


1700 posts in 3652 days

#5 posted 06-25-2020 12:25 PM

The biggest determining factor would be the actual real end users application. A cutting board that would be oil sealed and then used during the fabrication process vs. a person doing a charcuterie and cheese layout presentation that could have an extended period of contact. If there is the slightest possibility that the board could have a knife used on it then you really cannot use poly or any film finish on the board. If I was going to do it for my own use and would operate with the knowledge than I would do it. If it were gift or sale product then I would not use it since there could be a liability for the manufacture,

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Lucio's profile


50 posts in 3418 days

#6 posted 06-25-2020 06:04 PM

Thank you all for taking the time to give your valued input. It has certainly helped me in understanding better the direction I need to take on the piece of Rosewood I had laying around for which will now use on some other project not food-related. Happy woodworkin.

-- Next to hunting I love woodwork best,,,,,or is that the other way around????

View Jimothy's profile


56 posts in 1743 days

#7 posted 07-10-2020 03:26 AM

I know some people have made rosewood cutting boards but it’s not ideal for the reason mentioned. To the people suggesting sealing it well with lacquer or polyurethane, I would suggest against it because cutting into that when youre chopping veggies may make your food taste like mud.

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