H. Arnold Wood Turning, Inc.

Why should you use wooden boxes and crates for packaging?

Wood is a great choice to enhance packaging and also give perceived added value to any product.  Custom wood packaging is more than just a container for your product.  It plays a variety of other roles.  In a marketplace where there are tons of product messaging, it’s important to make a unique first impression so that your brand stands out.  Custom finishing, as well as, branding, silk screening and laser engraving are also helpful to enhance your packaging and make your product stand out.  Wood crates and boxes are also useful for displays to show off ones product and give a good first impression.   Wood packaging is not only a smart choice it is an eco-friendly choice that can be used over and over again.

Wooden Boxes and Crates

Get in touch with us for a free quote on wood boxes and crates that are made to your specifications.

Woodworking Dowels

We offer a wide range of wood dowels that are perfect for so many needs. Wood dowels for crafts, cake dowels as well as hanging tapestry and curtains. They can be as wide and big as ballet barres or as small and thin as skewers, lolipop sticks and manicure sticks. Find your perfect fit!

Wood Porch Columns for Sale

Wooden columns are available in wood species that are best suited for outdoor or indoor use. Porch columns are generally made out of more durable wood species to withstand weather. They can be weight bearing or just decorative. Check out our photo gallery for ideas.

Large Wood Balusters for Sale

Our balusters and spindles come in custom sizes. From large to small, we can accommodate your unique requirements. Our products can be especially treated with the proper wood to be on the outside of the home. We all supply wood balusters for indoor use, based on the look and durability of what you like, with the appropriate wood species.

Cutting board care and cleaning suggestions

Before using a new butcher block, season it to prevent staining and absorption of food odors and bacteria. Proper surface treatment is important to guard against germs and/or mold growth on both new and older boards. The wood surface needs an oil that can be repeatedly applied to fill the wood pores and repel food particles, liquids, and oils. Never use any vegetable or cooking oils to treat or finish a cutting surface, as in time the wood will reek of a rancid spoiled oil odor.

USP-grade mineral oil is a popular choice as it is the cheapest pure food-grade oil you can buy (do not use vegetable or olive oils because they can turn rancid). Mineral oil remains safe throughout its life. There are various oils available for cutting boards and butcher blocks. Some are called “Butcher Block Finishes” or “Mystery Oil.” Save some money by visiting the local hardware or drug store and purchasing Mineral Oil. (not mineral spirits – this is paint thinner)


Beeswax is often added to mineral oil and walnut oil to give a tougher finish. The wax of bees has been used for centuries for waterproofing and sealing materials from baskets to cloth and for preserving foods and other perishable materials, including wood. It will make wood water-resistant (though not water-proof) and will help protect the wood surface from use and wear. It will also give a wood surface a nice smooth feel to the touch and leave a gentle, sweet fragrance. Simply shave about 1/2 teaspoon beeswax into a microwave safe dish with a cupful of mineral oil; microwave on high for about 45 seconds. Apple to the cutting board or butcher block while still warm. Save or dispose of the remainder of the oil.

Beeswax Top Coat – A beeswax top coat is an optional addition to the re-finishing process, but is well worth the time. The beeswax sits on the surface of the wood in contrast to the oil that soaks into the wood. As a result the beeswax fills in pores and gaps that thin oil can’t bridge. This helps to keep moisture, bacteria, and other contaminants from getting into the wood surface. To apply the finish, simply wipe it on with a clean cloth. The beeswax is a soft paste that has a similar consistency to that of a shoe polish. Excess finish can be easily buffed off with the cloth. Once the finish has had some time to dry it can be buffed to a shine.

Before applying oil to butcher block, warm the oil slightly. Apply oil with a soft cloth, in the direction of the grain, allowing the oil to soak in between each of the four or five coats required for the initial seasoning. After each treatment, wait about four to six hours and wipe off oil that did not soak into the wood (oxidation or hardening of the oil will take approximately 6 hours). Re-oil the butcher block monthly or as often as needed.

How To Maintain and Sanitize Cutting Boards

Caution must be taken when using any type of cutting board. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

Whichever kind of wooden cutting board you use; all cutting boards should be cleaned and sanitized frequently.  Some of the various techniques recommended for cutting boards are as follows (you decide which is best):

Hot water and soap – Scrub board with hot water and soap. Rinse and dry thoroughly. NOTE: NEVER submerge cutting boards in a sink of water! Wood is porous and will soak up water causing the cutting board to crack when it dries.

Vinegar – To disinfect and clean your wood cutting boards or butcher block countertop, wipe them with full-strength white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in the vinegar is a good disinfectant, effective against such harmful bugs as E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Vinegar is especially good for people with chemical allergies. Keep a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning and sanitizing.

Hydrogen Peroxide – 3% hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a bacteria-killer. To kill the germs on your cutting board, use a paper towel to wipe the board down with vinegar, then use another paper towel to wipe it with hydrogen peroxide.

Bleach – Sanitize both wood and plastic cutting boards with a diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution consisting of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Flood the surface with a sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes, then rinse and air dry or pat dry with paper towels.

All cutting boards, and other food surfaces, should be kept dry when not in use. Resident bacteria survive no more than a few hours without moisture. Keep moisture of any type from standing on the block for long periods of time. Beware of moisture collecting beneath the board if you leave it on the counter. If you can, prop one end up when not using your board.

To eliminate garlic, onion, fish, or other smells from your cutting board:

Coarse salt or baking soda – Rub the board with course salt or baking soda. Let stand a few minutes and wipe salt or baking soda from board, and then rinse. You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting board/chopping block.

Lemon – Another very easy technique is to rub fresh lemon juice or rub a cut lemon over the surface of the cutting board to neutralize onion and garlic odors. You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting board/chopping block.

Vinegar – Keep a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning and sanitizing. You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting board/chopping block.

Use a good steel scraper or spatula often when using the board. Scraping removes 75% of the moisture that builds up on a wooden cutting board. An occasional sanding will return a wooden board to a smooth luster. But never scrub a wooden board with a steel brush (a steel brush will ruff up the finish and should be avoided).

Wooden boards need oiling or reseasoning once a week to seal the grain against bacteria. An oil finish helps to prevent the wood from cracking or pulling apart at the seams.  See Seasoning A Cutting Board above (top of page).

When refinishing a butcher block, you may wish to sand the surface of the wood to remove old stains, scratches and marks. When sanding out kicks and scratches, remember that if you don’t sand the top evenly you will end up with “hills” and “valleys” in the top.

Cedar Wood Spindles and Balusters

Although considered softwood, cedar is very strong and weathers well. It is not prone to warping, sagging and is decay-resistant. So, it’s an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor applications. Cedar wood has varied uses that include building boats, log cabins and musical instruments.  It is a beautiful and versatile wood species to consider for your porch posts, balusters and spindles.

There are several different types of cedar trees.  Some examples of some uses for wood from the following trees:

  • Aromatic and Western Cedar is common for closets, trunks and shavings for pet bedding.
  • Eastern Cedar is tolerant of the outdoors and can be used for fence posts, outdoor furniture and small specialty items.
  • Spanish Cedar is used for diverse products such as veneer, cabinetry, humidors and boats and instrument construction.
  • Northern Cedar is common for log cabins, canoes, fences and shingles.

Small Diameter Wood Dowels

Wood dowels come in a variety of commercially available sizes that range from 1/12” up to 3” in diameter and larger.  These dowels are produced on different types of equipment based on production efficiency as well as available stock of wood allowing optimal yields.  While the larger diameter dowels of 1 ¼” and up are typically made from rough sawn squares run through a single rod dowel machine such as a Hawker-Dayton, smaller diameter dowels are made on various types of molders using sawn boards and even veneer. Making round shapes from square or rectangular stock generates considerable waste, so yields are closely monitored to produce the most cost effective product.

When people hear the term wood dowels, they generally think of larger diameter dowels, such as wood handles, broom sticks, banner dowels and tool handles.  Many people don’t realize that smaller diameter dowels are found in interesting and varied application, particularly in the health and food industries.  Manicure sticks are typically 5/32” in diameter with ends pointed and / or beveled.  Originally intended for the cosmetic industry, these dowels have found considerable application in the electronics industry as a non- conductive, heat-resistant tool for assembly and repairs.  While often called orangewood sticks, these small diameter dowels are made almost exclusively from white birch.

Another important application of small diameter dowels is for wooden skewers.  Wood skewers are typically produced at diameters from 1/8” – ¼” that range from a couple inches up to 10” length for large scale food processors .  The end of a wood skewer is pointed to varying degrees of sharpness depending on the food it must pierce, balanced with safety considerations for the end users.  Dense meats require a sharper point than chicken or vegetables do.  Apple sticks have a blunt point to ensure kids and adults have a safe experience working their way through the caramel or candied coating.   Some large scale producers use automated equipment during their process and packaging, requiring extremely accurate dowel diameters, so as to not jam equipment.

While bamboo has been imported during the past decade, white birch dowel reigns supreme as the wood of choice for skewers and food applications based on its smooth grain that does not splinter and it is tasteless.  White birch dowels have been used in the food industry for more than a century, having early beginnings in Maine with production of small diameter dowels for the lollipop market, long before the development of rolled paper sticks used today.

Smaller diameter dowels are also popular with crafts. As you can see, when you think of “dowels” now you can think of the benefits and uses of small diameter dowels and their place in everyday life!

small diameter wood dowels

Do You Need to Reproduce a Broken or Missing Baluster or Spindle? That’s Our Specialty!

Reproductions of staircase parts is one of the things we are known for. You can bring by or mail a sample of the product – or, email pics and sketches. We work to make sure you are thrilled with your finished product. While we do generally work with quantities, we can match small orders as well. So, get in touch for a free quote! And, visit the photo gallery for ideas.

Check Out Our Article on WoodWorkWeb – A Great Site!


What is the difference between hardwood and softwood? Learn which type of tree has which type of wood and which type of wood is best for certain applications – wood dowels, for example, are usually made from hardwoods.