I was asked by several newbies if I would take some time to do a blog on building cutting boards that will cover the basics that may not get covered in the blogs/forums that detail how to do the real fancy boards that we all aspire to. So I’m going to try my best to hit the simple things that a novice trying to learn on their own may not think about or not realize until after they’ve made the mistake. It’s been a very long time since I’ve taken on a task like this – so please feel free to help me along.
First I’d like to point out that my way is not the only way. My way works for me and can probably work for others – I don’t do anything that unusual – but since I pretty much taught myself – I may not be using the most conventional methods. I welcome all replies, suggestions or another explanation of what I’ve done.
I know that the holidays are coming up and some are going to be making their first cutting boards so I’m going to try to get some of the blog moving along soon. However, as I said the holidays are coming and I have two large holiday shows that I’m doing this year so I’m in full building mode. I’ll do the best I can and I will, at the very least, get the simpler face grain and edge grain boards covered before Thanksgiving.
My intent is to show all the warts, pimples and opps that I’ve made over the years and try to help those new to this wonderful hobby/sport/pastime to avoid the same. I’ll try to be picture heavy to help make up for any lack of literary clarity.
Finally – just a bit of my philosophy – a very little bit. There is not one single cutting board made that I think has a mistake, or error, that cannot be “fixed” in some way. There are multiple ways to do so and I’ve used many of them and will show them as well. I detest throwing a board out – I fix it or repurpose the lumber if I absolutely don’t think I would like my fix.
As examples – here are a few “mistakes” – fixed and sold within the last 2 or 3 years or so.
The first one was supposed to be a regular chevron board – I messed up the angle and could not get the corners lined up – so I punted to this. It sold for more than the typical board – at a friend’s suggestion I put a bigger price on it because it looked more “artsy farts.”
The second one was supposed to be a “full sized” board – about 15×11 – but I had a crack in the middle of one slice. I cut the board in half at the offending slice and sold both halves as individual boards.
Not sure I should do this next thing – don’t want to be a thought of as a braggart – but I wanted to give you an idea of how many boards I’ve made within the last 3 months or so – this load is 284 of all sizes and types. A great many of these sold at my last two shows and from calls from former customers. (It’s hard to see but there are actually 2 rows deep of boards on top of the piano.) All but one or two of these boards are your standard flat, edge grain and end grain boards that are simple and fast. There are a few that are not as easy – but are doable. I have a pretty good system down that works well for me. I’ll try to share some of that as we go along.
I hope you will come along for the ride. If anyone has questions or suggestions as I go along, as I’ve said, I welcome them.
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine