or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Equipment Reviews › Butcher Block Portable Table
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Butcher Block Portable Table

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My father-in-law is making me a butcher block portable table for my kitchen. He is using 2" thick Maple & Walnut in order to get the zebra stripe look. Is there anything that he needs to do to treat the wood for food handling? I have heard to rub it with oil to "seal" it, but that's as much as I know. I am not really sure of what kind/brand is best to use. Also, how do you clean the wood once it's been used to prevent bacteria? I will upload some pictures once it's finished to show the final product. I can't wait!!
post #2 of 13
Food safe glue! Regular carpenter's glue might not be safe for a food prep surface.

The walnut/maple combo will look great but I'm not sure it is practicle. Maple is a popular wood to use for this application because of it's close, straight grain and stable nature (it won't warp.) Other than aesthetics in your case, I don't know that walnut is a suitable wood for a butcher block. Maybe it is - I just have never heard of it being used and I wonder that there isn't a reason why not.

As to maintenance, the raw maple if fine on its own. You definately don't want to apply any kind of urathayne or anything like it. To clean, soap and water is OK and you can spritz it with a mild chlorine solution after working with chicken or other high risk proteins. Every few months rub it with block oil. That's a mineral oil made for butcher blocks and because it is a mineral oil it won't go rancid like a vegetable oil would. The oil stops the wood from drying out and cracking.

Lucky you to have a father-in-law to make you a butcher block.

Jock
post #3 of 13
Ally
My first thought was like Jocks, I'm curious if the walnut is hard enough. It may certainly be. I'm pretty sure that most of the glues for these are ok.
I can tell you, if this is going to have any size, I would bar it. These are threaded bars that go through the block to keep them tight. This avoids any type of seperation or warping.
John Boos makes a pretty good home board. I would check out his mystry oil. This will also give you maintanance directions.
If you are interested in the Boos item and can't find the website, let me know and I'll find it.
Man are you lucky. The usual things I get from my inlaws are cards and sometime attitudes.
pan

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is Too Short!!
Paninicakes.com

Reply

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is Too Short!!
Paninicakes.com

Reply
post #4 of 13
From the Titebond Glue website-

"Special consideration must be given to projects involving different wood species.
When different wood species are used in a project, it is important that all woods have the same moisture content. Storing all the wood together in the same warm, dry location before beginning the project will help all the wood come to the same moisture content."


As I recall, many of the white wood glues are FDA approved for such application; check the labels of a few. If Titebond III is so approved, use it. It's extremely waterproof and has many good working characteristics.

My son the cabinetmaker has done a lot of cutting boards and done research, including technical reports from the U of Wisconsin School of Food Science (or some such title). The preferred treatment is application of mineral oil (USP), which does not get rancid, and is also FDA-approved. Wipe it on, let it soak in, and wipe down well.

Under no circumstances use sealer, varnish, shellac, etc.

Mike
travelling gourmand
Reply
travelling gourmand
Reply
post #5 of 13
You also want a waterproof glue and one that won't react with the mineral oil for caring for it.

Phil
post #6 of 13
Make sure you find a mineral oil that is food safe. There are a number of different types out there and not all are food safe.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
post #7 of 13
Best results and best product I've used so far is "Claphams pure beeswax". Comes as a paste, easy to wipe on. I use it for baker's tables, salad bowls, and butcher blocks, never goes rancid, smells like, well, beesax, and is food safe.

Wood is a natural, living product. It reacts to humidity and dryness. It is beautifull and labour intensive to care for. It makes me cry to think what a maple and walnut block would look like if you left Cousin Bob alone in your kitchen and he decides to practise karate chops with those funny knives of yours on that "chopping block". See if you can prolong it's life by placing a nyon cutting board on top when you use it.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #8 of 13
Ally-
Had a chance to read the label on a jug of Titebond III today (son and I went to a hardwood store to pick some nice quarter-sawn red oak for a TV cabinet- he has a Frank Loyd Wrightesque house and is into Mission Style) and it is FDA approved. I would go with that; great open time and excellent water-resistant qualities. Don't use polyurethane (like "Gorilla") which expands as it dries and requires LOTS of clamps so your project doesn't expand, too. :crazy: Don't think it's FDA approved, anyway, and is not the right stuff for edge-bonding in any event.

By the way, all this advice is given assuming you plan to do some actual food prep on your cart. If it's just a decoratlve table or serving cart... never mind. :blush:

Just give it a standard furniture finish.

Mike
travelling gourmand
Reply
travelling gourmand
Reply
post #9 of 13
I bought a bottle of "Block Oil" at williams Sonoma a few years ago. It's produced specifically for butcher bocks. As Mike said, wipe it on, let it soak in for a while and wipe off the excess.

I'd forgotten about Titebond glue; I'm so used to using Elmers for my projects at home. Good choice.

Jock
post #10 of 13
I just recently bought a Boo's Block. You should oil it with mineral oil in the following way:

Once a day for a week
Once a week for a month
Every month for the rest of it's life
Thanks!
Natalie-Mom of FOUR BOYS who is tired of "LITTLE BOY FOOD"
Reply
Thanks!
Natalie-Mom of FOUR BOYS who is tired of "LITTLE BOY FOOD"
Reply
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your help. I will pass the info along to my father-in-law. If anyone has more input please feel free to share. Love the great ideas.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Where can you buy "Claphams pure beeswax"?
post #13 of 13
Ally, try Vermont Butcher Block Company. They sell it.
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Reply
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Equipment Reviews
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Equipment Reviews › Butcher Block Portable Table