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 Post subject: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:31 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:57 pm
Posts: 179
Hey guys, I'm clearing out my parents' old house and I ran into some leftover rosewood boards. I have a few questions for you, also any advice re making cutting boards and butcher blocks would be greatly appreciated.

-Is rosewood a good material for a board

-Is it ok if the wood has been varnished or treated with a drying oil and if not, how can I tell if it has been

-Just cut a board to sie (cross grain) or cut it into pieces and glue them (end grain): What would you do and how big a project is the end grain block

-Appropriate glue and other materials

-Skills techniques and tools required

-Any advice you would care to share



Sorry for any typos etc in this, posting from a wonky laptop I found buried here and the keyboard is a little broken.


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 Post subject: Re: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:52 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:29 am
Posts: 537
Unless your a skilled woodworker making a cutting board out of rosewood is a bad idea for several reasons.

The wood is extremely hard and cutting with high RcH steel knives might cause a problem chipping knife edges.

The wood is extremely oily and gluing it up will require it to be perfectly flat and square since their is little give in clamping. For this reason it doesn't matter what's on the wood now since you have to do some sort of machining to clean and square the surface.

The wood is extremely difficult to glue or epoxy together because of the oily resins natural in the wood.

I use carbide cutting tools for rosewood and I have a cabinet table saw that is very precise. I use a Jointer and Planer to get my wood square before I cut it with a table saw. Joining rosewood is tricky and after cutting it you need to clean the surface with acetone or other suitable solvent right before gluing.

I use either Titebond III glue or West Systems Epoxy for gluing.

I'm not trying to be negative but, rosewood is difficult to work with.

Let me know if you have any specific questions after this reply,

Jack


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 Post subject: Re: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:00 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:57 pm
Posts: 179
Nope, I think that covers it. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:30 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:57 pm
Posts: 179
Been informed the wood in question is actually grenadillo, if that makes a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:00 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:29 am
Posts: 537
Grenadillo is in the Dalbergia tree family so I would expect the wood to have the same issues as other woods in this category. I have worked with several woods called rosewood (the more common rosewood being Dalbergia nigra or Brazilian rosewood) and all of them seem to share the same oily characteristics which lead to joining issues. The only way to find out is to give it a try and see what happens. For best results get a fresh cut finish and clean with acetone and glue with epoxy and keep it in clamped up for 24 hours minimum.


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 Post subject: Re: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:09 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:44 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Miami, FL
Granadillo might be a better choice than rosewood. It is less oily than most of the rosewoods, but it still wouldn't hurt so wipe the surfaces to be glued with denatured alcohol or acetone prior to gluing. Titebond III is a good choice, it is waterproof and food safe once cured. Granadillo is very hard and dense, which, while good for the cutting board, it is harder than most woods to machine....make sure you have very sharp tools.

I am actually making a 22" wooden jointer plane out of jatoba (big block of wood in the foreground) and using granadillo as the sole, the dark strip at the bottom.
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 Post subject: Re: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:00 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:29 am
Posts: 537
I love wooden planes they are so much smoother to use than steel versions. I'd like to see your finished jointer plane.

Jack


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 Post subject: Re: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:57 pm
Posts: 179
Thanks, guys. I think I'll try an easier wood for the butcher block and save this stuff for something else, like... knife handles?


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 Post subject: Re: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 893
Also, is it a good idea to make a cutting board out of a wood filled with fragrant, resinous oils?

WRT knife handles, I have a few Japanese knives with rosewood handles. They are not the reddish color that one would expect and have no scent. Maybe a different species altogether?


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 Post subject: Re: Making rosewood butcher block
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:29 am
Posts: 537
The scent in rosewood is released when you expose a lot of fresh surface area. When I plane or join wood with a lot of chips a handful of them smells like red roses.

Caution has to be taken since the resins from some of these exotics are highly sensitive to some people.

Good call on using the wood for another project.

Jack


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