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Thread: Cutting board removable cover for gas cooktop - is this safe?

  1. #1

    Cutting board removable cover for gas cooktop - is this safe?

    Afriend of mine asked me to design and build a removable cover for their gas range cooktop. They want a wood top that could be used for food preparation, then removed for cooking. They have a very small kitchen and want more workspace.
    Myquestion: Is this safe? Allowed by code and/or safety standards? Seems like an opportunity for a fire; putting combustable construction over gas burner that"should" be off.
    I have a nice maple cutting board cover designed, but thought it best to get input from you before proceeding.

    Anyadvice, or pointing me in the right direction for help, much appreciated.
    Bill

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    How much insurance do you have?
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    Most gas stoves these days have electronic ignition, hence no pilot light. But I still follow my teachings of NEVER leaving anything on the stove that could ignite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wells View Post
    Afriend of mine asked me to design and build a removable cover for their gas range cooktop. They want a wood top that could be used for food preparation, then removed for cooking. They have a very small kitchen and want more workspace.
    Myquestion: Is this safe? Allowed by code and/or safety standards? Seems like an opportunity for a fire; putting combustable construction over gas burner that"should" be off.
    I have a nice maple cutting board cover designed, but thought it best to get input from you before proceeding.

    Anyadvice, or pointing me in the right direction for help, much appreciated.
    Bill
    Check your local building codes. In many places they don't allow combustible material within 18 inches (or more) above the cooktop. They are thinking about cabinets, but that gives you an idea of the fire danger.

  6. #6
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    Bad idea. What can go wrong often will. I'd look for other ways to improve the use of the available space.

  7. #7
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    NO - this is a very bad idea. Perhaps they could use a piece of dishwasher safe glass with polished edges and even in this case if there are kids in the house I would not do this. If the sister-in-law comes to visit and decides to cook breakfast, but doesn't notice a glass top - then what .

    See? Lots of potential for disaster.
    Sam

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  8. #8
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    There has been a wood cutting board covering the tops of my gas stove for 20 years when the stove isn't in use.
    The current board is 20"x30" Bubinga 1" thick. It covers the 5 gas burners and knobs on a Viking cook top. It is extremely convenient to have.
    The code compliance issues will be for the built in appliance/combustable clearances. A cutting board on top of the stove would be outside of codes.
    Is it safe? That would be up to the user. In our case there are two adults, and no kids. So for us we consider it a non issue.
    I wouldn't build a cover though that completely encloses the burners. Not specifically for fire reasons, but for the instance of gas accumulation.
    I would feel more comfortable with a wood cutting board covering gas burners, than electric burners. Gas has a flame and is readily apparent when it is on. the newer electric are not so visually safe.
    Build them a nice cutting board, but not a cover. Where they put it is their decision.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 06-05-2012 at 10:06 PM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  9. #9
    I've used cutting board "covers" for almost 10 years now with no problems. As a matter of fact, John Boos, Viking, Thermador, et al sell these at an unbelievable markup.

    A big +1 to Mike's point above, as well.

  10. #10
    OMG, so much valuable help, thank you all very much!

    Codes, etc, are one thing, but common sense, experience, and caution are another. Also considering advice from good people like you is important. You see, they do have a small child, and that concerns me immensly. I may have to say "no" to my friends, still thinking this one over.

    Best wishes and my thanks again...

    Bill
    Olympia WA

  11. #11
    Tile. Metal frame.

    Edit: I just realized that this site is called "Sawmill Creek" so using tile and a metal frame may be inappropriate. However, the best non-flammable solution to this problem is to ignore the request to make it out of wood. There are some really big tiles at Home Depot that would work well. Making a metal frame that would allow you to lift out the tiles separately if the whole thing should prove too heavy would work. I recently started welding smaller projects and this would be a great starter project. You could even even make elevated platforms that cover just two of the burners and leave it in place while using the other burners.
    Last edited by Floyd Mah; 06-06-2012 at 2:50 AM.

  12. #12
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    While I agree with caution around this, many of the high-end range manufacturers provide something like this as an accessory. Obviously, they are not intended to be used on a hot grate or over a burner that's turned on... I would also be cautious of using something like this in close proximity to burners in use as ranges these days can put out a lot of heat...our DCS generates over 18,000 BTUs on a burner and adjacent surfaces can get very warm.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

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  13. #13
    Could someone burn down their home with the proposed cutting board set up? Sure. I deep fry using a wok and oil on my gas range and I'd say that this is much more of a danger than the cutting board scenario posted here. If space is tight then utilize it as best as possible!

    And if your concern is "what will the lawyers think"? then I'd suggest hiding in the dark with the blinds drawn shut and don't answer the door. Lawyers don't endorse anything but their services and even that they qualify.

    Help your client out and make their kitchen more effective for them!
    Last edited by Chris Fournier; 06-06-2012 at 7:14 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fournier View Post

    Help your client out and make their kitchen more effective for them!
    They are friends not clients. The point of everyone's concerns is not - I believe - litigation - but the danger of the unexpected. Maybe put a cutting board on
    1-1/2" legs to give an extra degree of warning. Helpful, but is it smart? I don't know. I would talk my friends out of it.
    Sam

    ~ Hard to take a guy who looks like this seriously but his 2˘ is worth all of that ~

  15. #15

    Legs

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Murdoch View Post
    They are friends not clients. The point of everyone's concerns is not - I believe - litigation - but the danger of the unexpected. Maybe put a cutting board on
    1-1/2" legs to give an extra degree of warning. Helpful, but is it smart? I don't know. I would talk my friends out of it.
    Put it on legs above the burners and you've got a more efficient incendiary set up! My snipe at the litigators is just that - a shot at the litigious. Litigation and the ramifications thereof sadly seems to be an activity that is very prevelant in the US. As I mentioned in my post a conflagration is far more likely whilst actually cooking over an open flame than it is by intentionally placing a combustable material over the range while you prepare food for cooking.

    My point is simply don't let lawyers usurp commonsense.

    And for friends I would chill out even more.

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