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Wood Cutting Boards: The Topic


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What’s everyone’s preferred type of wood for an end grain board? Maple and walnut, and to some extent cherry, seem to be recommended for being a good mix of appropriate hardness and closed pores. 
 

I like the Boos and Boardsmith boards/blocks, but can’t find one in the size I want. Catskill has a 20”x20”x3” end grain that is perfect for my needs, but I think it’s birch and I can’t find anything about whether birch is a good choice. Catskill boards/blocks certainly are more affordable than Boos and Boardsmith.

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12 hours ago, blbskue said:

What’s everyone’s preferred type of wood for an end grain board? Maple and walnut, and to some extent cherry, seem to be recommended for being a good mix of appropriate hardness and closed pores. 
 

I like the Boos and Boardsmith boards/blocks, but can’t find one in the size I want. Catskill has a 20”x20”x3” end grain that is perfect for my needs, but I think it’s birch and I can’t find anything about whether birch is a good choice. Catskill boards/blocks certainly are more affordable than Boos and Boardsmith.

I'm no expert, but IIRC birch is one of the harder woods. I seem to recall my father cussing it as he sharpened his chainsaw repeatedly.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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birch is similar to maple - dense, very close grain - used by many makers.

 

btw -The Boardsmith will do 'custom sizes' and Boos board have had quality issues for some years now.

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4 hours ago, chromedome said:

I'm no expert, but IIRC birch is one of the harder woods. I seem to recall my father cussing it as he sharpened his chainsaw repeatedly.


It’s definitely a hard wood, but softer than rock maple on the Janka scale (1450 for hard maple vs 1260 for birch). Kind of falls between hard maple and walnut (1010).

 

3 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

birch is similar to maple - dense, very close grain - used by many makers.

 

btw -The Boardsmith will do 'custom sizes' and Boos board have had quality issues for some years now.


Good to know. As mentioned above, I knew it falls between rock maple and walnut on the Janka scale so in that regard it seems ideal, but I wasn’t sure if there were other issues to consider since it doesn’t seem to be used as much for end grain boards as maple and walnut.

 

6 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

I'm pretty sure Boardsmith will make you any size you want.

 

 


Great to know! Thanks. Probably worth getting a custom quote then.

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I reached out to John at The Boardsmith and he does indeed take custom orders. He was super helpful and good with communication, but unfortunately is running about six weeks lead time on custom orders right now which was longer than I wanted to wait if I could avoid it.

 

I found a woodworking outfit here in Kentucky, LIMBA Woodcraft (https://www.furniturehomecraft.com/collections/end-grain) that makes some beautiful looking boards and also take custom orders. They do ship nationwide, and are making me a 20” x 20” x 3” end grain walnut board that will ship next week. Also good communication, and prices are comparable to Boardsmith, maybe moderately less expensive.

 

I’ll post some pics when I receive it.

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My new board from LIMBA Woodcraft was hand delivered this afternoon by Adam, the guy who made it, since he’s local. Nice guy, and I appreciated the personal delivery touch (he was properly masked and chatted though our storm door).
 

As promised, here are a few pics. I think it looks beautiful.

887985F4-B420-4568-A709-6C13FF639F46.jpeg

6A305A4F-8D07-4561-A252-DC08EBCC10EB.jpeg

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Very nice. End grain butcher block is one option I'm seriously considering for my countertops, a few years down the road when we (hypothetically) get to build our "forever home."

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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On 1/24/2021 at 5:03 PM, palo said:

 It DOES look beautiful !!! Almost too nice to use. 😛

 

p

 

On 1/24/2021 at 5:37 PM, blbskue said:

I kind of feel the same way. Ha!

 

No way - they get better looking with use! Sorta like us old guys.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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On 1/18/2021 at 12:29 PM, blbskue said:

 

 


Good to know. As mentioned above, I knew it falls between rock maple and walnut on the Janka scale so in that regard it seems ideal, but I wasn’t sure if there were other issues to consider since it doesn’t seem to be used as much for end grain boards as maple and walnut.

 

 

It's relatively expensive in the most of the US, and it's not as dramatically pretty as walnut (which is also expensive).  In areas where it's common, it gets used for cutting boards.   I have a large edge grain board made of birch; it came from a restaurant supply place.  It claimed to ave been made in finland, home of many  birch trees.

 

 

 

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Only caution is to instruct any household help re your gorgeous board's requirements.    Son's fabulous au pair spent hours scouring down his precious work station.    He was able to spend equal time restoring it.   But a little guidance could have prevented both.

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