Live edge choppping board

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Victorthesecond

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Hello everyone. My niece jas asked me if I will make her a chopping board for her new house. The kitchen is quite big. I've previously been asking for "router advice" as my original plan was to make a board, chamfer the edges and rout a groove into the top. But, because I've been unable to source an appropriate hardwood at anything other than a silly price, I've ended up with a nice piece of sycamore, cut straight from the trunk.

It's a pretty chunky piece at 40cm diameter and 7cm thick, and has a live edge. It will look great in her big rustic kitchen.

I could either leave it as it is, or I might cut it at either side so it ends up with 2 x straight edges and some curvature at the top and bottom, where the live edge will only be on the curvature.

Either way, the advice I'd love to now get is how best to treat the wood and live edge so it retains the live edge?

All ideas are very welcome and I thank you very much in advance of your expertise!

Mike
 
But, because I've been unable to source an appropriate hardwood at anything other than a silly price, I've ended up with a nice piece of sycamore, cut straight from the trunk.

It's a pretty chunky piece at 40cm diameter and 7cm thick, and has a live edge. It will look great in her big rustic kitchen.
Do you mean you've acquired a disc of sycamore that's all end grain, a short bit cut off the end of a longer log? If that's the case, your first challenge will be preventing radial splits emanating from the pith to the circumference as the wood dries, along with distortion. Potential solutions include things such as the bulking agents PEG (polyethylene glycol) and pentacryl. I don't think I'd want to keep the bark on a chopping board, if for no other reason than anti-bacterial safety in food preparation, even if you can prevent the disk from splitting. Slainte.
 
I made this very crudely with a chainsaw about 12 years ago. I wish I knew what wood it is, because it’s stood up to constant abuse, including being put in the dishwasher regularly and use as a butcher’s block. It got a good soaking with veg oil when first made, but nothing much since. Certainly a softwood, yellowish, maybe Scots pine?

Anyway, the double live edge has stayed on well, and is easy enough to clean with a brush. Everyone who sees it seems to want me to make one for them.
image.jpg
 
I made this very crudely with a chainsaw about 12 years ago. I wish I knew what wood it is, because it’s stood up to constant abuse, including being put in the dishwasher regularly and use as a butcher’s block. It got a good soaking with veg oil when first made, but nothing much since. Certainly a softwood, yellowish, maybe Scots pine?

Anyway, the double live edge has stayed on well, and is easy enough to clean with a brush. Everyone who sees it seems to want me to make one for them.
View attachment 168905
Love it! Thanks for sharing
 
Do you mean you've acquired a disc of sycamore that's all end grain, a short bit cut off the end of a longer log? If that's the case, your first challenge will be preventing radial splits emanating from the pith to the circumference as the wood dries, along with distortion. Potential solutions include things such as the bulking agents PEG (polyethylene glycol) and pentacryl. I don't think I'd want to keep the bark on a chopping board, if for no other reason than anti-bacterial safety in food preparation, even if you can prevent the disk from splitting. Slainte.
Yes, that's correct. It cost me the princely sum of £2.50!

My plan is to leave it in a warm(ish) room for the next 3 or 4 weeks and see how it is, and then decide if I want to cut it as outlined in the original post or leave it as it is. TBH, as you can see from the attached photo, there isn't a lot of bark on it so I think I'll leave that on as well. Of course, I'll give it a good clean with a stiff brush

Either way, for what it cost, I'll plane the bottom so it's nice and level (a bit wobbly at the moment) and then use varying levels of sandpaper to smooth it. All followed by an application of mineral oil.

I accept that it may, over time, split as you've said. But it is surely going to give a few years use to my niece at which point, I'll make her another one.....
 

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Unless you are very lucky it’s going to split or at least crack. The other caution is that if they are using it as a chopping board that’s actually what they might finish up doing, chopping, and split the log.
End grain chopping blocks tend to be laminated from lots of small blocks with the grain alternated.
By all means give it a go but frankly it will probably be a short lived board.
 
Yes, that's correct. It cost me the princely sum of £2.50!

My plan is to leave it in a warm(ish) room for the next 3 or 4 weeks and see how it is, and then decide if I want to cut it as outlined in the original post or leave it as it is. TBH, as you can see from the attached photo, there isn't a lot of bark on it so I think I'll leave that on as well. Of course, I'll give it a good clean with a stiff brush

Either way, for what it cost, I'll plane the bottom so it's nice and level (a bit wobbly at the moment) and then use varying levels of sandpaper to smooth it. All followed by an application of mineral oil.

I accept that it may, over time, split as you've said. But it is surely going to give a few years use to my niece at which point, I'll make her another one.....
Mineral oil on a food contact surface ….please don’t

https://www.realmilkpaint.com/blog/tips/why-not-to-use-mineral-oil/
 
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I made this very crudely with a chainsaw about 12 years ago. I wish I knew what wood it is, because it’s stood up to constant abuse, including being put in the dishwasher regularly and use as a butcher’s block. It got a good soaking with veg oil when first made, but nothing much since. Certainly a softwood, yellowish, maybe Scots pine?

Anyway, the double live edge has stayed on well, and is easy enough to clean with a brush. Everyone who sees it seems to want me to make one for them.
View attachment 168905

I wonder if it's pitch pine? although that does look like scots pine quite a lot...
 
Wire brush the edges to get any crud off, smooth the top, add some feet to the bottom to level it and help with air circulation, and saturate in food grade mineral oil.

If kept topped up with oil it looks thick enough to survive use.

I’d expect the surface to checker with cracks though at least, splitting is a likely outcome.
 
Hello everyone. So, after taking all your advice, I now have a live edge slab of lovely cherry wood to make the board with. It's been kiln dried and has the bark attached. The lumber yard assures me the bark will remain attached and I just wanted your views on that and what I might do to ensure that it does?
 
If your going to use this for anything other than a cheeseboard, please remove the bark it is a potential food safety hazard - ive been a technical manager and auditor for 25 years in the food industry so I’m fairly qualified/experienced to offer best advice etc
 
If your going to use this for anything other than a cheeseboard, please remove the bark it is a potential food safety hazard - ive been a technical manager and auditor for 25 years in the food industry so I’m fairly qualified/experienced to offer best advice etc
Thank you, that's good advice. Appreciate it
 

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