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Is there such a thing as "food safe" wood filler? Any tricks that would fill in cracks that would not require materials to be used that are toxic? Thanks.

  • Hi welcome to SE. First, there are some common misconceptions about what's toxic and what's not in stuff that's used in/on wood (including finishes and some things used as filler). The facts are that there's actually no evidence at all that finishes which are commonly assumed to be toxic, like oil-based poly, are in fact toxic once fully cured. This doesn't mean you could eat it, but used as intended it's fine. It'll be the same for epoxy, and that's something you could use for filling defects in boards. But despite this reassurance, would you be happy with epoxy fills in your board? [contd] – Graphus Feb 6 at 18:21
  • Now what size and number of cracks are you dealing with? And what species is the board made from? – Graphus Feb 6 at 18:22
  • It is a cutting board with a brick/mortar pattern. The bricks are walnut and the mortar is maple. There are some small knot holes in the boards that didn't get noticed until after glue-up. Also there are some mill marks that came from the thickness planer (I have a dual drum sander, but it's out of commission for the time being.). – Matt Doner Feb 7 at 13:54
  • @MattDoner remember that SE sites are not threaded forums and comments can be removed. Maybe edit this Question so these details are part of it, and the whole question is standalone. – jdv Feb 7 at 18:17
  • It's your board so your standards will apply but I would not be trying to deal with mill marks by filling but instead by smoothing the surface. That means sanding for most these days, although I would do as much of it as possible using planes and/or scrapers (which will also help prevent contamination of the maple with walnut sanding dust, or vice versa). Towards the end of that process I'd fill the knot holes with epoxy, probably tinted but maybe just filled with some fine sanding dust. After hardening file or pare off the excess, then finish scraping and they'll look like natural defects. – Graphus Feb 7 at 19:05
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Depending on the width and number of cracks, the diameter of knot holes, etc, you could make your own "filler" with matching sawdust and a bit of the glue you originally used.

Without seeing a picture, and with out knowing what glue you used, it won't be any more or less "toxic" than the rest of the cutting board if it doesn't look too bad. Hopefully, it won't be too noticeable.

  • Thanks for the info, G-man. – Matt Doner Feb 7 at 18:03
  • How did it come out? Did you try it? – Greg Nickoloff Mar 1 at 2:48

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