wood work table

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by atl_baker, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. atl_baker

    atl_baker

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    I want to buy a 2 X 4 piece of wood to work on while making bread doughs but I am not sure what kind to buy ... it's only coming out when I need to bake so it does not have to be of high quality wood ... I was told by someone that I can just use a 2X4 partical board just stain it with mineral oil ... before i do this ... is there a danger with using partical board ... thanks
     
  2. jock

    jock

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    I would strongly recommend not using particle board. As the name suggests it is made of particles of wood glued together under pressure with some really nasty stuff. Treating it with mineral oil won't stop you from getting bits of wood in your bread. The edges will chip and disintegrate if you look at them hard enough!

    Using other woods can be tricky too. Some have a high resin content (pine for example) while others have an open grain that will give you an uneven surface.

    IMHO, even for occasional use, get a nice butcher block top. They are not that expensive and it is practically a life time investment.

    Jock
     
  3. panini

    panini

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    All of our bakery production tables are Maple. I wouldn't want anything else. I have a piece set in the counter at home.
     
  4. atl_baker

    atl_baker

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    I live in Georgia and have tired several home improvement stores with no luck in finding Maple ... would oak work as well as maple ... the guy at home depot said I would need to seal it but said he didn't know anything that would be safe but someone eles just said to use mineral oil ... any thoughts
     
  5. panini

    panini

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    AtlBaker,
    I would first try restaurant supply houses. Some are now geared towards the home cook as well as the comercial. You will also find your treatment there.
    Let me do some looking.
     
  6. panini

    panini

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    http://www.acemart.com/search.php?Qu...0Boos%20&%20Co.
    There are probably a few places like this in your area. I think you would be happy with a cutting board or two put together. Remember that it really needs to be secured somehow so you don't chase it around the kitchen when making bread. We also use the Boos which should be in the link. It's food safe.
    Pan
     
  7. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Please be careful with mineral oil also. There are a couple different types. Make sure you find one that is rated as food safe.
     
  8. panini

    panini

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    Pete is absolutely right. Not only are some not food safe, but will react to food stuffs. When I refered to boos in the link, I was talking about oil. I think they call it mystry oil. We use that with great sucess.
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Trot off to a woodworking shop and pick up a can of "Claphams beeswax polish" Rated foodsafe and basically beeswax thinned out a little so its a paste and can be easily applied with a rag. Smells like beeswax, kinda nice...

    Just remember wood is a natural product. It moves with humidity and shrinks with lack of humidty. It stains easily especially with fruit/vegetable juices, and when you place a wet steel or cast iron item on the table. These stains can be bleached out with oxalic acid, again found in woowworking shops. It is used as a wood bleach and rust remover. It is found naturally in rhubarb leaves and in the spinach family.

    And make sure EVERYONE knows that you won't loet them cut anything directly on the table, use a cutting board, or you'll shave them with your 10" Chef's knife....
     
  10. jock

    jock

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    When you do decide on your maple top :) you can buy a bottle of block oil especially made for butcher block tops. I just oiled my 18 year old top last night. I do it about 4 times a year and I expect to die before the block wears out. I paid $50 for it at the time and thought I was crazy. I would have been crazy not to get it.

    Jock
     
  11. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Particle board is the last thing in the world to use under food, as has been pointed out. It's a bunch of porous wood chips and shreds held together with resins and God knows what kinds of chemicals, probably including formaldehyde. If whatever surface coating is on it is breached, it will absorb moisture very readily.

    Oak is more open-grained that I would like for food use, even if treated with mineral oil. I'm a little suprised there's no maple at all at the home center; seems like there is usually a little at the centers around here. Look in the Yellow Pages for "Hardwood Lumber" and take a look. They will have it for sure.

    However, it will probably all be rough lumber, and if you don't have some woodworking capacity, you'd better stick to a restaurant-supply house for something food-safe.

    Mike