Butcher Block Cutting Board

This is the next installment of Beautiful-Things-That-Ryan-Makes. There’s been the bookcase, and a projects for other people that I haven’t taken good pictures of yet. Last summer he built book-carts for our church’s hymnals. Here’s a sneak peek of filling the holes until I take real pictures of the finished product.

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Most recently, he built me a butcher block cutting board out some scraps he picked up of walnut, cherry, and a yellow African wood called movingui.

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I already knew I much prefer wood cutting boards over plastic ones, but I learned there is so much more to cutting boards. The butcher block style like this, many blocks glued together, makes the surface of the board all ends of boards (like a tree stump, as opposed to flat piece of lumber.)
End-cuts make a much harder surface, and last much longer, but take much more time and labor to produce. This style protects both your knife blade and your board, as the blade slips between the wood grains (in a teeny tiny way), and the grain of the wood can then self-heal back together, leaving little or no trace.  With a flat grain cutting board, your blade is crushing against the wood fibers together, putting more wear and tear on both the board and knife.

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I was also thrilled with groove Ryan routed into the board.  Now he can carve a roast or chicken without the juice spilling out onto the counter.

He wanted to finish it with an oil so he could sand and refinish or refresh it whenever we needed to.  So he made a finish rub with beeswax and mineral oil.

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He melted it down in a tin can to combine the two, and let it cool. Then he used a rag to rub it into the board, giving it a smooth easy-clean finish.

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