Unknown hardwood settings

I want to engrave the Kitchen Conversions onto my wife’s cutting board but I have no idea what kind of wood it is. It’s a beautiful hand-made board 1" thick by a man with whom we don’t have contact any longer and there’s absolutely nothing on which I can practice. I did find a suggestion by caribis2 saying “You can start with the hardwood settings for proofgrade walnut, maple or cherry. They are pretty much the same.” Is that the answer to my question or are there other suggestions about the settings? I don’t want to ruin her cutting board.

You could go buy some cheap boards from the dollar store to build up some confidence, but if all else fails start with less powerful settings and add power in steps till it looks correct. Thats what i did for my first cutting board engrave anyway.


Most cutting boards are made from Maple, Walnut or Cherry. You can find some made of Acacia or Teak. The people I know that make handmade cutting boards choose Maple mostly either Hard Maple or Sugar Maple.

Is it a cutting board that gets used for cutting? Others’ opinions may differ, but I would only engrave a purely decorative cutting board. I don’t like the idea of making all those extra spaces for bacteria to live in.


Agree with above. Don’t engrave something that’s going to be used for food prep. Serving Charcuterie, ok.


OK, first of all if you engrave a cutting board that you plan on using for cutting food all you will need to do is seal the wood. In fact if you cut or slice any food on the board, which is the main purpose you should seal once a month to ensure anyway to make the cuts are sealed. The board can be sealed by using an oil, NOT vegetable or olive oil. The best oils to use to ensure a food grade quality is linseed or tung oil since they harden the wood from the inside. This will take several coats but is well worth it…

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Thanks for all the input. While I thought an engraved cutting board that’s being used was a nifty idea, I’m now swayed by chris1 and eflyguy’s comments. I’ll make it so she can put it on the fridge for reference. Thanks all.

You can get small and thin bamboo cutting boards that are light enough to attach to a fridge with a magnet or two, that make great engrave material for display. Kitchen themed, but attractive.

I bought these and engraved the medium and small ones as (display) gifts for some friends.

… but local home and dollar stores have them even cheaper.

You can dedicate the back side of the engraving for food prep, and just display the engraving.


Without knowing the wood, it’s really tough to give a definitive setting. I agree with @caribis2 and using one of the other hardwood settings is probably your best bet. But if you want to be really cautious with it, start with a lower setting and see how it goes. As long as you don’t touch the board or your file, you can always run the engraving again if you want it to be deeper/darker. You can use the hold down pins or something else to put all around the edges of the board so there’s no way it can move. If you’re going to use vary power, you could start with 100 speed/100 power and maybe 340 LPI. This probably won’t be enough power, but it can give you a starting point.

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On the other hand, the downside of creeping up on the right settings is that subsequent passes can actually result in a lighter engrave, as they can “clean off” the char that gives contrast. I don’t have a solution to that, unfortunately, other than testing on scrap which is not possible in this case.

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can you post a picture of the board? sometimes seeing the grain and figure can tell us what it is. also any ingrain

This is exactly the right response, I kept seeing all the negative posts about not cutting on the engraved board, thinking to myself “do these people not realize there are TWO sides on cutting boards?” :rofl: :rofl:


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