HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR
Maple Butcher Block Cutting Board

Your new cutting board has been constructed of fine maple hardwoods which have been joined together with water-resistant exterior glue. Next, the wooden board is cut to size. Finally, it is sanded to a smooth and consistent finish, which provides a superior cutting surface that is resistant to gouging from knives and other kitchen utensils. To prepare your new cutting board for use, please follow the instructions listed below:

Prior to using your cutting board for the first time (or after each sanding),
coat it with non-toxic mineral oil. This oil is commonly found in drugstores and grocery stores. Use ONLY this type of oil, as vegetable oils become rancid and may harbor harmful bacteria, and other oils are not safe for ingestion. Using a clean, dry cloth or a paper towel, liberally coat all of the sides with a smooth, even amount of mineral oil and let the oiled board sit overnight.

The following morning, wipe the oil off each side of the board with a paper towel or a clean, white cotton cloth, or wash it with a mild dish soap, rinse it thoroughly, and dry it with a clean cloth.

By developing the habit of wiping your wooden boards with a clean, dry cloth after each use (instead of allowing the board to air dry), you can prevent some of the cracking and warping which occurs when natural woods repeatedly go from a wet to dry (or hot to cold) state. Turn the board over on a regular basis to prevent additional warping. (The weight of the wood counter balances most of the bowing which can occur.) Do not set hot pots and pans on the wooden cutting board (or on any other wooden surfaces). Also, try to keep your board out of direct sunlight.

Oil your board every 6-8 weeks. In the winter, when the humidity in the air is low, repeat the oiling process more frequently. With regular oiling, your board will develop a sheen that enhances the magnificent beauty unique to maple.

Semi-annually, you may want to apply a mixture of one tablespoon of paraffin and one pint of oil,heated together, and then applied in the same manner as that in which the oil is applied. This procedure helps to fill in some of the cracks that may develop. Be very careful when handling this hot mixture, as it can burn the skin quickly and severely! Do not pour the leftover mixture down the sink, as it will clog the drain. Instead, dispose of the mixture by filling an empty tin can with the fluid, and then placing the can upright in the garbage can.


CRACKING, SCRATCHES, AND SPLIT ENDS

These conditions are caused by expansion and contraction of the wood from dramatic and/or consistent changes in humidity. Scratches occur from everyday use. Cracks can occur as a normal part of the aging process, or when a board has gone for too long a time without being oiled. For smaller scratches or cuts, use a very fine grit sandpaper (120 grit or higher), or very fine steel wool. Brush the wood in an even motion, using consistent pressure, and be sure to FOLLOW THE GRAIN. Repeat this motion until the wood looks smooth and feels consistent as you move your fingertips across it.

Medium-sized cracks can be filled using the "semi-annual" method explained on the previous page. For larger cracks, apply a wood filler according to the manufacturer's specifications, let the filler dry, and then sand the cutting board until the filled portion blends into the surrounding wood.

After sanding or using steel wool, be sure to wash off all of the leftover particles on the board. Then, rinse thoroughly and finish by wiping the board with a clean, dry towel. Allow the board to dry thoroughly (overnight if possible) before repeating the oiling procedure.

This complimentary care guide has been provided by:

Silverado Fine Woodworking
E-mail: silverado@shasta.com
Copyright 1995-2000



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