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Cuttingboard advice needed

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A grand old cuttingboard has come into our possession and we want to use it but are not sure how to clean or treat it. 

It appears to have some type of finish on it however, that might simply be old oil. It appears to to have been used (cut upon) right over the old finish as I can tell that from looking at the wear pattern.

   We have an island countertop that is a butcher block and we use oil provided by a company called Spekva on it 

   I'm going to attempt to add some photos. 

   Also, if anyone can advise me as to what specie would this is that would also be wonderful! Thank you! 



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it does appear the board has a finish on it - I don't see any flaking around the worn&fuzzy areas - so probably a drying oil.  tung oil is one guess.

does not appear to have been stained - stains usually accumulate in places like the corners of the edge rabbiting (making a darker corner)


where (geographically / continent wise) did the board come from originally?  Europe/North America have different species . . .  Spekva is Danish(?) so I'm suspecting a European species.

does it feel "light" for it's size - 'normal' or 'heavy'?

no obvious joints - given the clear width and ultra-straight grain its likely "old growth" i.e. from a bigbig tree


generically it's a "face grain" construction - but well seasoned and selected, because that width and thickness is prone to warping / cupping.

it is essential / critical to use/store/keep the board where both sides dry evenly.  for everyday use feet on the underside to keep the bottom from getting soaking wet dry would be a reasonable thing.


on-going - a light sanding with 200-300 grit sandpaper will even out the appearance - it's darkened with age (patina) so sanding will make the top surface lighter - which you may or may not want.  I'm fond of mineral oil for a water resistant finish - easy to do / re-do / maintain.  but do note, 'refinishing' the top will produce a lighter color - if you're fond of the 'old shopworn look' - a buffing with a plastic scrubbie type pad (3M makes a wood finish purpose style) would have minimal impact.  re-creating a color match to an aged patina in a food safe finish will require some skills - probably best done by a professional....

Edited by AlaMoi (log)

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Thank you so much for your indepth reply! 

The wood weighs 3.4 lbs per board ft. Total weight 8 lbs. 2 oz. 


I got it in South Florida. It belonged to a client whose kitchen we remodeled and she decided to get a new one which was made to perfectly span and partially set into her sink. 

  I'm a wood worker but only marginally so from the manufacturing side. I'll build you an amazing 12 piece crown molding build up fit for the queen but I've never made a cuttingboard. 

  I see no signs that this board is laminated together from smaller widths. I can't find any seams.

    So I suppose I'll scrub it well with a stiff Scotch Brite pad to start and reoil it. l'll try to remember to post a picture if it comes out any different than it looks now! 

  Thanks again, Eric

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it should clean up nicely - the grain strongly resembles elm - density is right.

elm is known for its split resistance / decay resistance -

southern species are about 60% as hard as rock maple - which looks about right from the cutting marks.

keep us posted!

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