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Thread: Epicurean wood-fiber cutting boards

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    I know that's conventional wisdom, but as an engineer I can't help but question it.

    What is the relative hardness of wood, bamboo, polycarb and epoxy? Compared to the knife they all seem pretty soft. Are the really that much of a contributing factor to edge wear?

    -AJ
    True, but how hard are they compared to fruits, vegetables and proteins?

    I believe the differences between the acceptable cutting boards is overblown. But then again, many people here try to get every slight advantage they can, which is why we also debate different steels, heat treats, etc.

    I have a couple epicurean boards, like other I like to use them for raw proteins, greasy items or things that can stain. But I have found that my butcher block after 50+ years of use, seasoning and oiling is pretty resistant to pretty much everything.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  2. #12
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    There is also the issue of abrasiveness. Bamboo is more abrasive than most wood due to silica that migrates into the material as it grows. This is also a problem with teak.
    Spike C
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  3. #13
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    Ha, being a knife nut with knives for specific uses, you also have boards for every specific uses also. This drives my wife crazy, and we have had quite a few "discussions" regarding my equipment intake.

    I have an end grain for veggies and most task, a sani-tuff for sushi, an epicurean for raw protiens, a wood board with juice grooves for slicing cooked protiens, and a small poly for the small random task, plus another board that is used as a counter when it is put over the stove. Oh and this doesn't account for a 30X18 poly board that I am going to buy, because one of our friend has a new boyfriend that goes fishing on a regular basis, and brings us back fresh snapper and grouper. That reminds me, I need a large mioroshi deba. Nuts I tell you.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeC View Post
    There is also the issue of abrasiveness. Bamboo is more abrasive than most wood due to silica that migrates into the material as it grows. This is also a problem with teak.
    Isn't that kind of a bonus? After you're done cutting you can strop right there on the board. ;D

    -AJ

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    Well yeah but that's a transfer of energy issue, not a hardness issue.

    -AJ
    Same thing with a knife and board--you are bashing the knife into the board all day. I don't know about you, but I typically don't gently slice and pull my way through shifts at work, and the habit comes home with me. My knives are more like wrenches than paintbrushes.

  6. #16
    The alleles created by mutation may be beneficial

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    Well yeah but that's a transfer of energy issue, not a hardness issue.

    -AJ
    I can't tell if you're serious or joking.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    Same thing with a knife and board--you are bashing the knife into the board all day. I don't know about you, but I typically don't gently slice and pull my way through shifts at work, and the habit comes home with me. My knives are more like wrenches than paintbrushes.
    Yeah. Even if you're fairly gentle, that's still a lot for a fine edge to take. The actual edge isn't taking all of the abuse on an end grain board. My knife never sticks in a bamboo board the way it can in an endgrain. That's still not really a hardness issue. I don't really know anything about how hardness is measured in wood. Maybe it's a language issue like "reactivity." I'd say most of the time, reactivity is equated with discoloration or smell when it's really more of a purity issue.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    Same thing with a knife and board--you are bashing the knife into the board all day. I don't know about you, but I typically don't gently slice and pull my way through shifts at work, and the habit comes home with me. My knives are more like wrenches than paintbrushes.
    Serious, not joking. Why?

    -AJ

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    I don't really know anything about how hardness is measured in wood.
    I don't either really. Janka is a very narrow test and only tells a tiny part of the picture. It seems as if there are a ton of factors that may make a wood good or bad for knives. I was reading through a database on African woods a while back when researching a wood for a cutting board and they talked about a ton of things: the density of wood, the grain structure (straight or interlocked), silica content, janka side hardness, janka end hardness, cleavage, compression etc.

    I think this is why we usually stick with tried-and-true woods like maple, cherry, walnut etc. But I admit that I have two sapele boards and one made out of ash.

    k.
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  10. #20
    The alleles created by mutation may be beneficial

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    Serious, not joking. Why?

    -AJ
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but the same principle of 'energy transfer' plays into knives when they touch cutting boards as well. The reason why I was wondering if you were joking is it is a parallel analogy... just not the same amount of energy is involved.

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