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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to fill in some cracks in a built-in wood cutting board. One crack is 1/16-1/8" (2mm) wide by about 14" long.

I've seen recommendations to use Titebond Ultimate glue but looking up the specs it says to use only for "indirect" food contact, which means it "might come in contact with food, such as on the outside of food bag or carton." This is definitely a direct contact issue: the board is used for cutting foods, kneading dough, etc, so I don't think it would be a good idea.

The only things I can find that might be usable are epoxy resins; e.g., ArtResin specifically says it's food safe once cured. But the smallest amount I can get is 8 oz of resin/hardener (I'm going to only need like 2% of it) which costs $28 and is mail order only. By coincidence I've seen a bunch of the videos using resin for making neat looking chotchkas, but then I'd need a bunch of other supplies and, knowing me, that's a rabbits' hole I shouldn't run down.

Is this my only option?
 

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Replace the board.
Use Epoxy resin.
Saw dust and glue mix.
Plane the board.
Make a new one.

By the way, it is spelled "tchotchkas".

You are correct, making items using resin can get really expensive if you are not willing to make it a business. But I will be happy to sell you 1 oz of resin catalyst and 1 oz of hardener if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a really nice board that's built in place as a countertop for the past 60 years; I'd rather repair it. I was considering the glue and sawdust, but the only ones I've seen said they are to be used for indirect contact.

Chotchke is Yiddish, and so was originally written with Hebrew characters; the English spelling is a transliteration and so there's no one correct way. Leo Rosten in the Joys of Yiddish, perhaps the best guide, spells it "chotchke."
 

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Wood boards are bit controversial, such as no chicken and bacteria in the pours of the wood. Just a pointer which is fairly well known by now.

Paraffin wax was in the discussion recently and I think (memory not clear) somebody said paraffin may contain chemicals not food safe. I think there was a mention of pure bees wax. Search should bring it up. Wax sounds good to me. You can heat it, make it into a liquid for easy application, apply to the whole board and burnish off with rough rag. But if the crack is anything larger than a hairline, I'd have no problem with epoxy. Locktite has clear epoxy in separate syringes which is fairly cheap. Some countertops are joined with epoxy and there's no warnings and such.


If the cutting board was built in, is it removeable? Washing and drying maybe should be done outside its niche. And treating it done on all sides.
 

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Exactly, you need to remove it to scrape it and treat it with oil now and again. Also sand it smooth now and again, or even replacing as is necessary. Groves from the knife cuts need to be removed.
If it is 60 years old, it is not that nice. And the height is down to about 1/2" to 5/8" of an inch by now. And filled with contaminants since it has not been sanded on all 6 sides and oiled. I imagine it was built using the scrap pine left over from the house build. That is where most of the cutting boards of that era came from. I build cutting boards and I would never use pine, oak, or any of the soft woods like them.
 

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Paraffin is a product derived from crude oil. Yes, the kind that gives us gasoline and jet fuel.
If you ask me, you are too attached to something that is, I'm trying to be nice here, trash?
 

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Paraffin is a product derived from crude oil. Yes, the kind that gives us gasoline and jet fuel.
If you ask me, you are too attached to something that is, I'm trying to be nice here, trash?
Yep, the first bite or 2 from the top of the canning jar that was sealed with paraffin always tasted like Kerosine. But i still don't know why we chewed it as kids. Spit Spit


Edit: Edit:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Exactly, you need to remove it to scrape it and treat it with oil now and again. Also sand it smooth now and again, or even replacing as is necessary. Groves from the knife cuts need to be removed.
If it is 60 years old, it is not that nice. And the height is down to about 1/2" to 5/8" of an inch by now. And filled with contaminants since it has not been sanded on all 6 sides and oiled. I imagine it was built using the scrap pine left over from the house build. That is where most of the cutting boards of that era came from. I build cutting boards and I would never use pine, oak, or any of the soft woods like them.
The current height is 1.5". The house was built in 1922; the cutting board was built per spec from maple in 1965 (so, 55 years, to be precise).

Yesterday I used TSP to clean it off, then washed and washed and washed to get the TSP off, then sanded down with first 80 grit then 220 grit--both to start smoothing it out and remove residual TSP. It looks nice, but there's a 2mm separation in part of the length where two boards are glued together near the front edge.

I'd called around and both Titebond and Loctite said not to use their products. So I ended up going to a local Bicks and getting some ArtResin casting epoxy; they're pretty assertive that, once cured, their product is food safe.

Once I get the crack all filled in, more sanding to make sure it's all level and all the marks are gone, then sealing with mineral oil. Removing the cutting board would be a BIG project.
 

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Make absolutely sure how you will sand off the epoxy. Sanding hard joints can gouge softer areas. And since it's built in, you may want really good dust control. Those are glue joints beginning to open a little. Maybe the board is seeing too much water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Make absolutely sure how you will sand off the epoxy. Sanding hard joints can gouge softer areas. And since it's built in, you may want really good dust control. Those are glue joints beginning to open a little. Maybe the board is seeing too much water.
Good points. I have one of those oscillating multitools, with pointed thumb-sized pads; I can work on the resin with that before doing the whole counter with the palm sander. I was using my shopvac as I worked, but I can tape plastic all around the counter to contain the dust.
 
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