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Thread: Wood choices

  1. #11
    Still Plays With Blocks
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    Ash is okay to use, just way to hard for the Japanese knives. Heavy as well.

    Rosewood, if you can legally get it, is a bit to hard as well.

    Stick with those woods that have either edible sap or edible nuts. If the product of the tree is okay to eat then the wood will be okay to use as well.

  2. #12
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Cool! That's what I thought too.
    Rosewood would make for a nice one, but talk about an expensive material for a board!
    I figured it would be pretty close for hardness.
    Thanks for the input and for making me a bit more educated!
    09/06

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    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

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  4. #14
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    I had no idea what larch was until I just read that it's also known as tamarack! The only reason I have any idea what a tamarack is, is because they line the fairways on one of my most played golf courses!
    They don't strike me as a hardwood type of tree, but who knows!
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  5. #15
    Is acacia a good wood for boards? It is described as a hard wood but not sure if it is too hard for knives or not?

  6. #16
    Dave recommends woods between 800 and 1600 on the Jenka hardness scale, and Acacia is typically around 1750. So I'm guessing it's too hard.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by iliria View Post
    Is acacia a good wood for boards? It is described as a hard wood but not sure if it is too hard for knives or not?
    David has an FAQ section on this, and I'll summarize it by saying that acacia is too hard to make a good cutting board. It is harder on edges than maple, walnut, cherry and mahogany.

    Here's the link: The BoardSMITH FAQ

    Rick

  8. #18
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    Btw, I got two smaller/thinner sapele cutting boards a few months back and really like them. As far as wood goes, it looks the best out of all my boards (I also have ash, black walnut, and cherry). It is a bit harder in Janka (1510), but I looked into it before ordering because I didn't want an exotic wood that was tool dulling due to high silica content. Apparently sapele is not high in silica.

    Have you ever worked with Sapele Dave?

    The only thing I wonder is if the interlocking grain structure (which looks great) defeats the purpose of the end grain. Though the wood is rated well in terms of non-dulling, they said some dulling of tools does occur because of the interlocking grain structure. Oh well. They are just small boards, so I mainly use them with paring knives and petties. No hardcore chopping really.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  9. #19
    The Janka scale is a standard for flooring which is usually side grain. Shouldn't end grain should be harder?

  10. #20
    Still Plays With Blocks
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    Acacia is used a lot for cutting boards and furniture and can be found mostly in India and that region. I have seen Acacia boards in BB&B. It looks a lot like walnut but there are more voids and filled areas.

    Larch is, I believe, a softer wood. Since I have no experience with it I can't make a pronouncement about its suitability for a board. There is a maker in Canada who is all over Larch on his web site.

    Sapele is one of the two species of African mahogany that can be found here. The other is Khaya and they look almost identical. Either is okay for use in a board. You are right about the grain, it twists and turns more than any other wood I have seen and can produce some incredible looking grain patterns. I made four table tops for a restaurant in DC last year and used Sapele. Some if the iridescent grain patterns were spectacular.

    The Janka hardness scale is a general scale used for wood, not just flooring. A ball .444 inches in diameter is forced into the grain and the averaged pressure required is the Janka scale. It is done on the side grain and I don't know if there is another scale for end grain. If there was I doubt there would be much difference.

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