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Woodcraft of Harrisburg

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Contact Us

Phone:
717-409-8173
Fax:
717-409-8924
Email:
harrisburg-retail@woodcraft.com

3831 Union Deposit Road
Harrisburg, PA 17109
USA

Hours of Operation

sunday 12 PM - 5 PM
monday 9 AM - 7 PM
tuesday 9 AM - 7 PM
wednesday 9 AM - 7 PM
thursday 9 AM - 9 PM
friday 9 AM - 7 PM
saturday 9 AM - 6 PM

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Making the Perfect Cutting Board

I started woodworking and working at Woodcraft after retiring about ten years ago. I thoroughly enjoy making and teaching classes on small projects, especially ones which are good for beginners. One great example is the cutting board. The project uses a lot of basic woodworking skills and equipment (jointer, table saw, and planer), but also has an artistic side (matching wood grain and picking different colors). Of course, cutting boards are useful things to have around the house and make great gifts. By incorporating other areas like woodburning, CNC, and routing, customizing boards for a special occasion is both easy and unique.

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Different cutting board finish options

One of the most common questions I get asked about cutting boards is what finish to use. Any finish is considered food safe when it is cured– that doesn’t mean the cured finish won’t react with food (think spaghetti sauce) or chip and peel. For this reason, penetrating oils are the best all-around choice. My favorite is starting with Howard’s Cutting Board Oil followed by their Butcher Block Conditioner to maintain the surface. Other good choices are General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish or regular Tung Oil. If the board is for display only, General Finishes Arm-R-Seal makes a great, durable topcoat. Regardless of the finish, it is important to let it cure fully before using the board. Curing times vary, but are usually much longer than the drying time.

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The author arranging a cutting board

I particularly like the process of selecting the individual pieces for my cutting boards. I enjoy using contrasting colors: walnut (dark brown), maple (light brown), purpleheart (purple), yellowheart or movingi (yellow), and padauk or bloodwood (red). There is some art to picking the direction and grain pattern for each piece. Even though I’ve made lots of boards and related projects, each one is a unique experience. Novice and expert woodworkers alike can find a challenge in designing and creating the perfect cutting board.

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