Mineral Oil Applicator Makes It Easy to Care For Your Butcher Block

Mineral Oil Applicator Makes It Easy to Care For Your Butcher Block

Our customers love their butcher blocks. Many folks invest a great deal of money in their cutting board, butcher block table, or countertop, so it goes without saying that they will want to protect their investment with proper butcher block care. And proper care means oiling your natural finish butcher block once a month!

Butcher block is a natural, “living” product that responds to the environment around it. It will lose moisture through repeated use, washings and simple evaporation. On top of that, temperature and humidity fluctuations brought about by seasonal weather changes can increase the risk for an untreated butcher block to dry out and possibly crack!  Don’t let that happen. Here is what you need to do:  Watch our short video – How To Care For Your Butcher Block

An especially effective maintenance regimen involves the use of both block oil and board cream using an easy-to-use mineral oil applicator:

  • MOISTURIZE butcher block with a food-grade mineral oil once a month to keep it from drying and cracking. We recommend you first apply a coat of John Boos Mystery Oil . This mineral oil based product will penetrate deep into the block, moisturizing the wood.
  • PROTECT butcher block by applying a beeswax board cream to lock in the moisture and provide a protective barrier. After the mineral oil application, apply John Boos Beeswax Board Cream to lock in the moisture and leave a silky, wax barrier on the surface of the wood.

This one-two punch, using both oil and cream, is an especially effective maintenance regimen.

Now, it is even easier than ever to extend the beauty and life of any butcher block with this no-mess mineral oil applicator. Use it to apply both block oil and cream to your butcher block every 4 weeks. Mineral Oil Applicator

Visit our Butcher Block Co. Help Center for more information on care and repair of butcher block.

John Boos & Co. Opens a New $16-Million Illinois Wood Plant

John Boos & Co. Opens a New $16-Million Illinois Wood Plant

Butcher Block Maker John Boos & Co. Celebrates Triple Milestones

Boos Commemorates the Making of Boos Block Number 13,000,000 in the Company’s 130th Year, Plus the Opening of a New $16-Million Illinois Wood Plant

At 3pm CDT on Tuesday, August 29th, former and current Boos & Co. staff members and local dignitaries congregated in Effingham, Illinois to mark the making of the thirteen millionth Boos butcher block. Since 1887 Boos has been manufacturing such butcher block products as countertops, kitchen islands, dining and work tables, rolling carts and cutting boards in this Central Illinois community.

Several years ago, when Boos had to decide where to build its new, state-of-the-art wood products manufacturing plant, it wasn’t a difficult decision, according to company President, Joe Emmerich. “We are committed to making our products right here, where we were founded,” he exclaimed.

Boos & Co. has been doing business in Effingham continuously since 1887. That’s the year in which Conrad Boos, the father of John, after whom the company is named, created the first of what would eventually be called butcher blocks. The elder Boos processed a slab of Sycamore wood at the family sawmill and mounted it on three wooden legs, creating a sturdy work table for his blacksmith shop. When a local butcher saw Conrad’s creation, he requested one for his meat shop. Young John Boos accommodated the butcher’s request and started a new American industry. Although the new wood plant is lightyears more technologically advanced than its predecessor, the manufacturing processes Boos employs are largely unchanged from those Conrad and John Boos developed 130 years ago.

The company’s new wood plant encompasses 116,000 square feet – larger than two football fields – and sits on a 27-acre campus that also houses Company headquarters and a modern manufacturing facility where Boos makes work tables, enclosed base cabinets and commercial sinks, all made of stainless steel and mostly destined for commercial food service establishments. Noting Boos’ significance to the town and the region, Effingham’s mayor, Jeff Blemaker, declared in a company release, “The impact John Boos has had on the Effingham area economy is immeasurable.”

This industry news update is provided by Butcher Block Co. – a leading online dealer of John Boos residential and commercial products, including wood and steel countertops; butcher blocks; butcher block tables, islands, carts and cutting boards; and stainless steel tables, enclosed base cabinets and commercial sinks.

For more information, please visit https://butcherblockco.com

Contact Info:
Name: Kathleen Grodsky
Organization: Butcher Block Co.

Summer Restaurant Week Featuring John Boos Commercial Grade Products

Summer Restaurant Week Featuring John Boos Commercial Grade Products

We’re celebrating Summer Restaurant Week here at Butcher Block Co. with John Boos commercial grade products. Whether you have  a bakery, deli, cafe, or large restaurant, you can trust in John Boos NSF-approved equipment. We offer a variety of John Boos commercial grade products designed to stand up to the wear and tear of restaurant kitchens, all while helping you work efficiently, run smoothly, and look good doing it!

If you are looking to upgrade your restaurant or other food service kitchen, check out our John Boos commercial grade products for the highest in quality.

For “back of house” products, we offer prep tables available in wood, stainless steel, or poly tops; stainless steel sinks with up to four basins, with and without drain boards; stainless steel cabinets with optional doors and/or drawers, in both maple and stainless tops; custom and standard size commercial grade butcher block countertops in hard rock maple; and a variety of NSF-approved cutting boards and chopping blocks. John Boos commercial grade products are top of the line — that’s why you see them in restaurant kitchens across the country, and on nearly every cooking show on TV.

John Boos commercial grade

If you’re looking to jazz up the “front of house,” Boos has you covered with restaurant quality dining table tops and bases. Available in maple, red oak, cherry, or walnut, there are a variety of standard sizes from which to choose. If you need something outside the standard parameters, contact us to get a quote for custom sizes and shapes. Traditional black metal bases are sold separately and come in both dining and bar height, and in disc, cross, or T style. If you really want to make a statement, consider a custom bar top. A gorgeous butcher block top spanning the length of your bar makes a huge visual impact and is sure to impress your patrons. Butcher block is both durable and beautiful, and will bring warmth and class to your dining room.

John Boos commercial grade

If you are a restaurateur, be sure to consider our business financing for commercial food service equipment. It is as simple as a click of a button with this 30 second online application. Now it can be easy to purchase your John Boos commercial products.

commercial financing

 

Butcher Block Co. Loves Hard Maple, Also Used To Make Bowling Lanes and Pins!

Butcher Block Co. Loves Hard Maple, Also Used To Make Bowling Lanes and Pins!

National Bowling Day is celebrated this week, with most activities held on the second Saturday of August, which is August 12th this year.

If you’re in the know, you likely know that we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Egyptians alive circa 3200 BC for inventing the pastime. They employed “balls” made of the husks of grains bound together with strands of various ancient plants, and later balls made of porcelain.

Fast forward to the 1880s. That’s when Brunswick Corporation began making bowling balls, pins, and wooden lanes and selling them to local tavern owners seeking ways to entice patrons to spend more time onsite. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that the Golden Age of Ten-Pin Bowling hit full stride and professional bowlers earned incomes rivaling those of other sports professionals.

Bowling Lanes Are Made of Soft Pine and Hard Maple

Why, you might wonder, does any of this interest Butcher Block Co. and its loyal followers? Here’s why. Not only are bowling lanes constructed of hard rock maple – one of our favorite North American hardwoods and the most popular of them all – so too are bowling pins.

Think about it: bowling lanes are subjected to repeated physical abuse, day in and day out. Consider the fact that the typical bowling ball – made of polyurethane and an outer layer of resin that reduces bounce and allows the ball to roll smoothly – weighs as much as 16 pounds and is hurtled through the air and onto the lane from heights as high as five feet. It’s only natural to wonder, what type of material can possibly endure such abuse?

While some bowling alleys are made of synthetic materials, authentic lanes are comprised of wood – typically pine and maple. Pine, a softwood, is used for much of the lane – the section between the ball landing zone and the pin deck. The approach, landing zone and pin deck are made of maple, however. Maple is used at the front and back of the bowling lanes simply because it’s so durable (hard and dense). Maple is better able to withstand the force of heavy balls dropped on it, as well as the stress on the far end from heavy wooden pins being flung against it.

Bowling Pins Are Made of Hard Maple, Too!

See bowling pins as well, are crafted out of rugged maple blocks that are turned on lathes to be transformed into the classic, iconic bowling-pin shape before being coated with plastic and finished with a high-gloss lacquer paint.

So What Should You Do to Celebrate National Bowling Day?

Obviously, get out and bowl a game or two, preferably with others, since some among us look askance at solo bowlers, sometimes disparagingly called “sowlers.” Better yet, get the whole gang together and try some “rock and roll” bowling or midnight bowling. There’s no better way to honor the sport and friends at the same time. If you have not bowled lately, you will be amazed at what a modern bowling alley has to offer…large screen TVs everywhere, music videos, sports channels, colorful lights, automated scoring, and more!

Five Important Things To Know Before Installing Butcher Block Countertops

Five Important Things To Know Before Installing Butcher Block Countertops

We sell a lot of butcher block countertops to DIY homeowners, contractors and designers. As “the experts in all thing butcher block,” we are happy to share our knowledge and tips to all of our customers and readers. Probably the MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE we can give you about your butcher block countertop, is how to install it correctly! I can’t emphasize enough, the importance of these 5 things to know BEFORE installing butcher block countertops.

  • ACCLIMATE YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP
  • USE EXPANSION HOLES IN THE BASE SUPPORTING YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP
  • DRILL PILOT HOLES IN THE BOTTOM OF YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP
  • DO NOT USE GLUE TO MOUNT YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP
  • NEVER INSTALL BUTCHER BLOCK OVER A SOLID SURFACE (SUB-TOP)

A very important consideration when installing butcher block countertops, that even some contractors forget about, is to be certain to DRILL EXPANSION HOLES IN THE BASE that will support your butcher block. installing butcher block to base

ACCLIMATE YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP

  • WHY? It’s important to allow a butcher block to adjust to its new environment prior to installation, to prevent cracking or splitting.
  • At least 72 hours prior to installation, place the countertop in the room where it will be installed.
  • Do not place it directly on a floor or table to acclimate as this could cause warping. Instead, place the block on 2 x 4s set on their ends and spaced 12 to 18 inches apart. This should allow air to flow freely across the butcher block’s top and bottom.

USE EXPANSION HOLES IN THE BASE SUPPORTING YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP

  • WHY? Expansion holes will ultimately allow the installed butcher block to “float” or slightly move as it will want to do with changes in temperature or humidity in the surrounding environment.
  • Using a 3/8” bit, drill expansion holes in the sub-top, or base cabinet near the corners where the butcher block will be attached.
  • Tops installed without expansion holes will likely NOT be covered under warranty.

DRILL PILOT HOLES IN THE BOTTOM OF YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP

  • WHY? Screwing into butcher block without pilot holes might crack the wood!
  • Place the countertop in position. On its underside, mark the location of each expansion hole and drill pilot holes into the top’s underside using a 5/32” drill bit.
  • Make the pilot holes only deep enough to accommodate the full length of the screws you selected.
  • General rule is, the screw should be only long enough to go 1/2 way into the thickness of the block.
  • Place a washer on a screw and drive the screw upward,from the underside of the sub-top, through an expansion hole and into a pilot hole. Make sure the washer is large enough to cover the expansion hole. Do not over-tighten the screw. Repeat the procedure for each expansion/pilot hole.

DO NOT USE GLUE TO MOUNT YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP

  • WHY? Glue anchors the wood too tightly and might cause it to crack and warp sometime after installing butcher block.
  • Do not glue your butcher block to any supporting structure. Because wood will slightly expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity you must allow it to move.
  • While silicone glue is more pliable, it is still not recommended.
  • Any resulting damage from using glue will likely NOT be covered under warranty, so don’t take any chances.

NEVER INSTALL BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOPS OVER A SOLID SURFACE

  • WHY? Butcher block needs “breathing” room on all surfaces, given it will slightly expand and contract with changes in temperature and moisture.
  • The standard procedure for mounting countertops is to place them over the base kitchen cabinets.
  • If you are remodeling, be sure to remove the prior kitchen countertop completely before you mount a butcher block countertop.
  • If it’s not possible/practical to remove underlayment such as particle board or MDF, cut large holes in it to promote ventilation.

Please reference this blog post before installing butcher block countertops to help prevent damage and keep your warranty in place. Plus, view our detailed installation instructions for John Boos butcher block countertops.

Visit our website to see our standard size butcher block countertops or use our online instant quote tool for pricing custom butcher block countertops from John Boos and Butcher Block Co.

 

 

Summertime Care for Your Butcher Block Starts with Mineral Oil!

Summertime Care for Your Butcher Block Starts with Mineral Oil!

Whether you have a traditional end-grain butcher block, a butcher block countertop, or a cutting board version, it is critical this summer that you apply mineral oil to your butcher block.

Moisturize – Butcher Block with an oil finish needs to be re-oiled with mineral oil to keep it from drying and cracking.

Summertime is here!  Temperature and humidity changes could cause your butcher block to dry and crack. Exposure to extremes in humidity can swell and shrink a butcher block enough to cause checks in its surface. And high temperatures certainly can dry out the wood and cause cracks. What is the remedy? Oil your butcher block with food-grade mineral oil!

You can extend the beauty and life of any butcher block with a natural oil finish by reapplying butcher block mineral oil NOW and every 4 weeks.

If you use your block every day, moisturize more often. This will help prevent it from drying out and cracking.

Apply a generous amount of mineral oil to the butcher block surface then spread it evenly using a plastic grocery bag. (This is preferred to using a cloth, which will absorb too much oil). Smooth it over the entire top and sides of the block. Allow it to stand overnight. In the morning, remove any excess oil with a paper towel.

Protect – Reapply a board cream to lock in moisture and provide a protective barrier.

An especially effective maintenance regimen involves the use of both block oil and board cream. We recommend you first apply a coat of John Boos Mystery Oil (their proprietary mineral oil based product) following the instructions above. The mineral oil will penetrate deep into the block moisturizing the wood. Then apply John Boos Beeswax Board Cream to lock in the moisture and leave a silky, wax barrier on the surface of the wood. Mineral Oil and Cream


Avoid Sun and Water – Store your butcher block and cutting boards out of direct sunlight and keep them away from standing water.

Direct sunlight on wood is a no-no. When possible, move your wood blocks, cutting boards, and even wooden utensils out of direct sunlight.  And always wipe up spills on butcher block right away. Any standing water on a butcher block, especially one that is not moisturized and sealed, can cause damage.

Given the cost of butcher block can be significant, caring for your butcher block will protect your investment down the road. 

More Butcher Block Care

These helpful tips are applicable any time of year, not just summertime. So, remember to keep your butcher block healthy and protect your investment with a little tender loving mineral oil care.  If you seek more information, reference our Complete Butcher Block Care and Repair Guide.

 

National Week of Making – Learn How John Boos Makes Their Renowned Butcher Blocks

National Week of Making – Learn How John Boos Makes Their Renowned Butcher Blocks

June 16-22, 2017 marks the National Week of Making, dedicated to “celebrating the innovation, ingenuity and creativity of Makers.”

Trees are sustainably harvested and taken to the lumberyard, where it all begins.

With that in mind, Butcher Block Co. is pleased to share with you how John Boos & Co. makes its famous Boos Blocks.
Step 1 – Harvesting

It all begins with the procurement of high-quality raw material harvested from North American hardwood forests. Boos & Co. sources hardwood only from forests which are certified as followers of sustainable forest management practices. Thanks to vigilant oversight by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA), since the 1940s, U.S. forests have added more new growth each year than the country has consumed.

Lumber is stored then dried in a kiln to the optimum moisture content prior to production.

Step 2 – Drying

Harvested hardwood is stored in an outdoor staging area for several weeks before it is moved into a huge kiln, where it is dried for up to four weeks. The boilers used to heat Boos’ wood-fired kilns are fueled by burning scrap wood and sawdust – byproducts of the butcher-block-making process.

Dried wood planks are passed through a planer and sander prior to being ripped down into rails.

Step 3 – Sanding & Sawing

Wood planks transferred from a kiln to the manufacturing plant are first planed and sanded, then rip-sawed into rails 1-3/4 inches wide. Inspectors use fluorescent markers to identify defects in the wood rails, enabling a scanning & sawing tool to cut rails void of major defects. Lower-quality rails are set aside for use in industrial-grade countertops, in which imperfections are likely to show.

Industrial-grade glue is applied to wood rails to bond them together.

Step 4 – Block Construction

In making an edge-grain butcher block, Boos uses industrial-strength glue to bond together any number of rails cut to the same length. That block is subjected to heat and pressure for a specified period of time in order to ensure thermo-bonding is thorough and complete.

Multiple edge-grain blocks are glued on top of each other to create a classic, end-grain block.

An end-grain butcher block – easily recognizable due to its checkerboard cutting surface – is actually constructed of multiple edge-grain blocks. In making an end-grain block, glue is applied to the surfaces of edge-grain blocks which are then stacked atop one another.

The resulting composite block is then placed in a giant vice called a screw press, which applies pressure over time. Once set and dry, the block is rotated 90 degrees so one of its two “checkerboard” surfaces faces up. This surface shows the cut ends of the wood rails used in its making; that’s why it’s called an “end-grain” block.

A liberal amount of Boos Beeswax Board Cream is brushed onto this end-grain butcher block.

Step 5 – Finishing

Next, the butcher block is machine and hand-sanded to provide a smooth finish. Finally, a coating of food-safe Boos Beeswax Board Cream with beeswax is applied to the entire surface of the block. It’s important to keep a butcher block well-oiled in order to protect it from drying out and cracking and to extend its useful life.

As the premier online dealer for John Boos butcher blocks, Butcher Block Co. is proud to highlight John Boos & Co. during the National Week of Making. Visit our website to browse John Boos standing butcher blocks, countertops, tables, carts, cutting boards and more.

Select Your Butcher Block by Wood Hardness and Aesthetics

Select Your Butcher Block by Wood Hardness and Aesthetics

With 15 different species of wood to choose from for your butcher block, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by so many great-looking options. The purpose of this article is to help you filter your options using two important criteria: the wood hardness and the aesthetics of each wood species.

Comparing Wood Hardness

First, let’s address hardness. It’s a critically important variable to weigh when choosing a material for kitchen, commercial or industrial countertops. Your consideration set might well vary depending on whether you will be installing these countertops in a residential or a commercial kitchen; in an office or a garage workshop; in a commercial showroom or a manufacturing plant.

If you’re the type of chef who prefers a cutting board for cutting, slicing and chopping and will rely on your countertop for less aggressive tasks such as rolling and kneading dough and cutting out cookies for baking, or if the most rugged work you will do atop these counters is pushing papers or giving customers change, you will have the option of considering even soft woods, giving you many more options you might want to consider.

On the other hand, if you will be doing serious cutting, chopping and pounding, or operating power tools and maneuvering heavy hammers and wrenches for example, then of course it will make more sense to stick with a wood hardness that is less likely to suffer dings, dents and gouges. Fortunately, there’s a standardized test that’s used to measure a wood’s hardness, making it easy to compare hardness ratings different species.

The Janka Test Measures the Hardness of Different Woods

The Janka Hardness Test involves forcing a steel ball – 11.28 mm in diameter – into a piece of wood to the depth of half its diameter. The amount of force required to accomplish this feat, as measured in pounds-force (or lbf) tells us a lot about a wood’s resistance – a proxy measure for its hardness.

The wood hardness of different types of wood will vary depending upon the orientation of the wood sample being tested. For example, testing hardness on the surface of a plank (i.e., perpendicular to its grain) provides a measure of the wood’s side hardness; whereas testing on either end of the plank measures its end hardness. Moreover, there can be variation in hardness across wood harvested from different trees of the same species and even across specimens collected from a single tree. The point of all this is that you should not view Janka readings too literally. Rather, consider them as measures of  wood hardness relative to others.

The chart below shows the wood hardness, i.e., Janka scores, for all 15 species of wood that Butcher Block Co. uses in making butcher block and plank countertops.

First, note that based on Janka scores, Brazilian Cherry is about FIVE times more resilient than Poplar. wood hardness chart

Hardest – As you can see, Brazilian Cherry is far and away the hardest of the wood types we use at BBC. It earns a Janka hardness rating in excess of 2500 pounds-force. Hickory comes in second, scoring just under 2000 lbf.

Very Hard – Next in order comes a cluster of six hardwood stalwarts: Maple, White Oak, Ash, Beech, Birch and Red Oak. All achieve Janka scores between 1200 to 1500 lbf.

Hard – Tier three includes Walnut, American Cherry and Mahogany, each registering about 1000 lbf.

Not so Hard – Softest among the bunch are Spanish Cedar, Knotty Alder, Knotty Pine and Poplar, at 500 to 700 lbf.

Considering Aesthetics

Of course, there’s more to consider than wood hardness when choosing a wood for new countertops. Odds are you’re searching for a wood that will look great regardless of its destination. Are you interested in a counter or island top that matches the room’s décor; one that slightly contrasts with surrounding cabinetry; or one that accents the room?

Of course, there’s no equivalent to the Janka score to help us standardize along the dimension of beauty, but we’re happy to share with you our own way of thinking about the aesthetic dimensions that distinguish any species from others.

In the image below we arranged samples of all fifteen woods along two dimensions; one of which is wood hardness, as already discussed. Along the horizontal axis wood samples are lined up in accordance with their relative hardness (although not to scale). And they are arrayed vertically into four tiers according to their respective visual impact. wood hardness vs aesthetics chart Most Visually Striking: Mahogany, Walnut and Brazilian Cherry

Attention-Getting: Spanish Cedar, American Cherry, Red Oak and Hickory

Subtle but Elegant: Knotty Pine, Knotty Alder, Beech, Ash, White Oak and Maple

Most Neutral – Poplar and Birch.

So for instance, if you are seeking a wood that’s harder than most AND visually interesting but not overpowering, you might want to consider one among the quartet of Beech, Ash, White Oak and Maple. On the other hand, if you do most of your food prep on a cutting board and don’t have kids on hand who are prone to toss around backpacks or laptops, you might feel comfortable sacrificing a bit of hardness (remember, it’s all relative) in order to achieve the look of your dreams exemplified by Spanish Cedar or American Cherry.

At Butcher Block Co. we appreciate the magnitude of the decision you face. We hope this guide will help you think through the decision-making process and find the wood that’s perfect for your new countertops.

During the month of April, Butcher Block Co. is offering our biggest-ever savings opportunity on BBC-brand butcher block and plank-style countertops: 10% OFF. Enter code: 10BBCCT. Good through April 30, 2017.

 

Kitchen Tips – How To Clean Butcher Block

Kitchen Tips – How To Clean Butcher Block

I have admitted this before…I am actually one of those people who enjoys cleaning!  I find the process to be relaxing and almost cathartic. And for me it is very rewarding because I can usually see a huge difference in a short amount of time – instant gratification so to speak! While most people don’t enjoy it the way I do, I would guess that nearly everyone would admit that after they are done cleaning they feel better, maybe “lighter,” happier, or just plain glad it is over.

Springtime brings with it a new energy. A zestfulness. And for many, the willpower to tackle some household chores that they have been putting off during the winter season. For us at Butcher Block Co., springtime is a good time to remind our customers how to take care of their Butcher Block investment.

So, let’s review some best practices and how to clean butcher block cutting boards, standing blocks, tables or countertops…

Daily Cleaning – Clean butcher block after every use.

  • Scrape – Gently remove any food particles with a scraper or spatula. If you happen to have a varnish surface, remove food particles with a sponge so as not to scratch the surface (remember, you shouldn’t be cutting directly on a varnish finish).
  • Wash – To clean butcher block, wipe the surface with a clean wash cloth dipped in hot water and mild dish soap. Rinse the wash cloth and wipe the butcher block again. (Never submerge your butcher block in water).
  • Dry – Using a paper towel or dish towel, dry the surface of your butcher block thoroughly. Store your cutting boards on edge to dry both sides completely, and to save counter space.

Deodorizing – Keep your butcher block smelling fresh.

  • Neutralize odors before they arise.
  • Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar.
  • From time to time, after you prepare food on your butcher block, clean the butcher block then spray vinegar onto it.
  • Allow it to stand for a least 30 seconds before rinsing and drying.

 Disinfecting – Occasionally disinfect your butcher block, especially after prepping raw meat, fish or poultry.

  • Clean butcher block first following the steps above.
  • It’s necessary to kill germs, not just reduce their count. You’ll need a disinfecting solution that destroys ALL microbes in 10 minutes.
  • Use a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. You can blend your own solution using 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide by mixing one part with 11 parts of water.
  • Pour the hydrogen peroxide onto the butcher block, spread it around using a clean sponge or cloth and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse the solution off of the butcher block surface by wiping with a clean, wet cloth. Then dry the butcher block thoroughly with a paper towel or dish cloth.
  • Follow the steps below to moisturize your butcher block.

Moisturizing – Butcher Block with an oil finish needs to be re-oiled to keep it from drying and cracking.

  • At least once a month (more often if used heavily), oil your butcher block.
  • Use a food-grade mineral oil like John Boos Mystery Oil. Apply the oil with a plastic grocery bag, spreading the oil over all surfaces. Let the oil stand over night to penetrate the wood.
  • The next morning, wipe off any excess oil using a paper towel.
  • Whereas oil penetrates the surface of wood to moisturize it, a good board cream will leave a silky, wax barrier. Seal in the moisture with John Boos Board Cream. Apply the cream over the butcher block like you would apply a moisturizing lotion. Let it sit for a few hours or over night. Wipe off any excess with a paper towel.
  • Note – Butcher Block with a varnish surface does not need to be moisturized with oil or cream.

These helpful tips are applicable any time of year, not just springtime. So remember to clean butcher block to keep it healthy and to protect your investment. All it takes is a little tender loving butcher block care.  For more information, check out our Complete Butcher Block Care and Repair Guide.

Ever Wonder Why Basketball Is Played On Maple Hardwood?

Ever Wonder Why Basketball Is Played On Maple Hardwood?

Everyone Knows March Madness Is Played on Hardwood. Ever Wonder Which Hardwood?

In 1891 parents in Springfield, Massachusetts challenged Dr. James Naismith to invent an indoor game that would condition and tire out kids during the long, cold New England winters. Famously, he nailed two peach baskets to the railing of the balcony in the YMCA gymnasium and changed history. The gym’s wooden floor was made of hard maple (acer saccharum).

More than a century later, rock maple remains the hardwood used by local Ys, the NCAA and all but one NBA team.(1)

 

So Why Rock Maple?

Maple flooring gained popularity in late-nineteenth-century America. Among other things, it was relatively abundant and hence, affordable. Plus, maple was known to be strong, durable and stable. Less likely to expand and contract in response to changes in temperature and humidity, maple is largely resistant to splintering. Measured on the Janka scale(2), rock maple is North America’s most resilient hardwood.

Moreover, maple’s exceptionally tight grain(3) prevents dirt and dust particles from seeping in between the wood’s fibers, making it an easy wood to clean and maintain. Finally, maple can be easily restored to look new again. These are all traits equally important for sports courts.

The ideal playing surface must be solid and consistent throughout to ensure that a basketball will bounce exactly the same (i.e., without recoil or dampening) when dribbled anywhere on the court, since even small differences can impact the game. But the ideal surface must also provide some degree of shock resistance or bounce-back, in order to minimize players’ fatigue and damage to their joints. Also, maple’s coloration is perfect for basketball, given the contrast between the game’s orange ball and the floor’s light to medium tans and browns. This helps make it easy for players to spot the ball on the court. The lightness of maple also aids in brightening arenas via the reflection of light off the floor.

 A Professional-Grade Basketball Court Will Set You Back $80 to $100k

The actual playing area of courts used by the NCAA and NBA measures 94 feet by 50 feet, but most incorporate a large perimeter, bringing overall floor dimensions to about 140 feet by 70 feet. The hard rock maple planks used are typically slightly thicker than ¾ of an inch, so it takes 80 to 100 trees to construct a single hardwood court. By the way, the NBA requires teams to replace their floor every 10 years.

The Big Dance Floor Will Be Offered to the Winner

Connor Sports (Elk Grove Village, IL) made the basketball courts used for 13 different NCAA conference championships. The modules that comprise these portable courts are shipped to regional tournament sites where they are assembled and eventually disassembled after play. Connor has also supplied the floors used in the Men’s and Women’s Final Four since 2005. These floors are also modular, but one-off custom designs that are offered for purchase to the winning schools who often display portions of the floor or cut the modules into smaller segments that can be sold to alumni or collectors via fundraisers.

The manufacturing process is remarkable; it even involves riding sander machines! Click the image below to watch this video on Youtube.

Here’s another time-lapse video showing workers installing the 2015 Final Four court – made of Northern rock maple harvested from Wisconsin – at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Smartest Bet This March Madness Is on the Floor, Not the Brackets

It’s estimated that $10.4 billion will be wagered on 70 million brackets this time around (only 3% of those bets will be legal). Be smart and bet safe: for certain, all games will be played on North American rock maple!

(1) The famed Boston Garden features red oak in a distinctive parquet design, instead of maple.

(2) The Janka Hardness Scale measures the amount of pressure required to mar a wood sample.

(3) “Grain” typically means the physical structure and appearance of a wood surface and traces to the orientation of the wood’s cellulose fibers – the remnants of once-living longitudinal cells.