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Cutting Board with a difference

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Project by sharad posted 04-23-2009 07:15 PM 3197 views 1 time favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Summer is very harsh in my city, the maximum temperature reaching as high as 42C (about 107F). It is very difficult to do any hard woodworking in such a climate without air conditioning which I don’t have. To remain in touch with my hobby I made this cutting board from about 1” thick piece of Mango ( Manjifera Indica) Plank This wood is quite hard and long lasting. To cut the curved part of the board with hand tools was quite a task. The Korean Magic saw was very useful for doing it. I have used boiled linseed oil for the finish. This board is attached at one end with a specially made curved cutting blade with a scraper to scrape coconut. The blade is made in one piece out of mild steel. Stainless steel is also used for this purpose. Vegetables and fruits can be cut very easily and efficiently using both hands. After shelling, a coconut is cut into two pieces and each piece is scraped as shown in the picture. This requires a little practice but shredding can be very neat. The cutting and scraping is generally done by the ladies in the house. (I am an exception.) The blade can be folded back on the board for safety. Scraping can be done sitting on the ground as well as standing by locking the board against the kitchen platform. This cutting board is being used in India for centuries but is slowly falling back in popularity because of western influence of using knife, I believe. The board can be used as a traditional cutting board for cutting bread or similar things with a knife when the attached curved blade is not suitable for the job. With better workshop facilities the board can be made as beautiful and attaractive as the various designs posted by many of you on LJ,. Any questions, suggestions and comments are welcome.

Sharad

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein





28 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2327 days


#1 posted 04-23-2009 07:25 PM

Thanks for posting this interesting piece. It’s kind of hard to tell from the frontal view, is the blade locked into position when open, or do you have to hold it up higher when using it?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2654 posts in 2178 days


#2 posted 04-23-2009 08:14 PM

Very different! VERY!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112076 posts in 2228 days


#3 posted 04-23-2009 11:14 PM

Unique cutting board.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View woodbutcher's profile

woodbutcher

592 posts in 2817 days


#4 posted 04-24-2009 02:52 AM

sharad,
Very interesting cutting board. That wood looks like it is hard as a rock! Is the wood very brittle also? I’m most curious about the balde as well. Did you shape and grind the blade yourself? Now for my biggest interest, can you actually lay the coconut on the cutting board and split it open with the blade? I understand the need for the serations in the blades handle for shredding the meat from the coconut, really neat! Thanks for sharing this with us, I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Hope the weather moderates soon so you can get back to your other wood working projects in comfort.

Sincerely,
Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3275 posts in 2586 days


#5 posted 04-24-2009 03:49 AM

Sharad, Thanks for sharing a very neat device. I too am curious if you van use that blade to open the coconut as well as scraping it. I am sure the fresh coconut is quite good tasting and useful in the kitchen there, we use very little of it except to bake some things.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2631 days


#6 posted 04-24-2009 04:51 AM

Hi Sharad;

Great job. I couldn’t stand the heat there for sure!

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View FJPetruso's profile

FJPetruso

303 posts in 2361 days


#7 posted 04-24-2009 05:21 AM

Very interesting cutting board! It reminds me of an early “stock knife” that was used by early woodworkers to cut & trim small pieces of wood. It’s also similar to a “tobacco cutter” that was used to cut “carrots” or twists of tobacco. It’s interesting how woodworkers in different parts of the world come up with similar tools for similar jobs. That’s a cool tool Sharad. Great work!

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

View sharad's profile

sharad

1063 posts in 2456 days


#8 posted 04-24-2009 06:41 AM

Thanks all of you for your kind remarks.
TopamaxSurvivor, the blade is locked when open by resting on the metal piece fixed on the front of the board. To avoid toppling of the board while scraping coconut you press the board with your folded leg while doing the scraping sitting. When using it standing, a strip of wood fixed at the bottom of the board ( not seen in the picture) is held against cooking platform to lock the board. from toppling. I will try to send a picture showing how the scraping is done while sitting. I know most of the westerners except those who practise yoga or similar practices find it difficult to do anything sitting. You are welcome to ask any more questions.
Sharad

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View sharad's profile

sharad

1063 posts in 2456 days


#9 posted 04-24-2009 07:21 AM

Ken McGinnis, the wood is very strong but not brittle. It can warp sometimes in very humid conditions. The coconut cannot be cut into half by this blade. Coconut is so hard that it requires a stronger tool for splitting it. It can be broken by hitting it hard on hard ground but then it may not split into equal two parts making it more difficult to scrape. The shelled coconut has three lines on its surface longitudinally. To cut it into fairly equal halves make the coconut wet and hit hard with a strong metal strip on all the three lines at right angles to the lines in the center of the coconut. A very nice metal tool is available for shelling a coconut which is so difficult to do. I will write about it in some other post.
I have not made the blade. They are available readymade and cost around $2
Weather here will become moderate in the month of June when rainy season starts.
Sharad

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View sharad's profile

sharad

1063 posts in 2456 days


#10 posted 04-24-2009 07:22 AM

CtL, the shredded coconut is very tasty and there are innumerable recipes made out of it. I don’t know if you have tasted tender coconut water. it beats all tha soft drinks in the world, tastewise as well as nutritionaly.
Sharad

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View sharad's profile

sharad

1063 posts in 2456 days


#11 posted 04-24-2009 07:29 AM

FJPetruso, you are right. Similar blades have been used for different purposes all over the world. There is one variation of it used here for cutting raw mangoes for various recipes. In this the mango is kept on the board after the blade is lifted and cut into small pieces by pressing the blode against the fruit. But here the blade is not curved. Thaks for your remarks.
Sharad

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2327 days


#12 posted 04-24-2009 07:43 AM

What do you call “tender coconut water”? Is that the juice of a fresh coconut? How do you tell if they are ripe?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View sharad's profile

sharad

1063 posts in 2456 days


#13 posted 04-24-2009 08:00 AM

TopamaxSurvivor, tender coconut is the watery part of the coconut before the kernel of the coconut has developed.
A tender coconut is greener in colour, heavier than a ripe coconut and does not make any sound inside when it is shaken because it is full of water. Once the coconut starts ripening and the kernel starts forming, the water is reduced and makes noise when shaken. There are different stages of tender coconut. One is when there is no kernel at all, next is when partial kernel is formed at different stages. Even in the fully mature coconut there is some water. Once the water is over the coconut starts drying and then you get what is called copra. The kernel of a partially tender coconut is very tasty.
Sharad

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2327 days


#14 posted 04-24-2009 08:38 AM

Hmmmmmmm?? It doesn’t sould like I’m gonna find “tender coconut water” over here in North American does it? :-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View sharad's profile

sharad

1063 posts in 2456 days


#15 posted 04-24-2009 08:51 AM

TopamaxSurvivor, is there any part of US where you get coconut?
Sharad

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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