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Cutting Boards


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  • 1 month later...

How is mesquite as a board material? Is it too hard? What will using a wood with a janka rating of 2345 do to a knife? What's the maximum hardness you'd want? What are the best wood options for darker colored cutting boards?

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How is mesquite as a board material?

not sure

What will using a wood with a janka rating of 2345 do to a knife?

Kill it

What's the maximum hardness you'd want? What are the best wood options for darker colored cutting boards?

See my July 5 post above. I probably wouldn't go beyond 1500. Walnut is a great dark board color. I actually have a walnut board on order as I speak.

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just received my end-grain board yesterday. The quality of craftsmanship is outstanding and I recommend this guy (David) without reservation. It's made from Walnut and is 12x18. I probably should've asked for a 14x18 but it's fine. Just got to get used to the fact that it's much smaller than my other board. Also had to throw in a pic of my new favorite knife I received the week prior. Man, it's been a good couple of weeks.

www.theboardsmith.com

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Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow. That cutting board is lovely. I've just added it to the top of my Christmas wish list--and the walnut will complement my new kitchen perfectly!

Question, though--it looks like you got feet on yours. Are they non-skid enough to keep the board in place when you're working?

And I'd be worried about being squeamish about getting such a beautiful work of art messy--do you use the board for "special occasions" or for everyday chopping.

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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Hi Bekki, everyday this board is used. I have a bigger maple board for larger prep but this one gets used for pretty much everything. I've even used it as a presentation cheese board. The feet are VERY non-skid. It's tough to move even when I try. I do suggest getting larger than you think you may want. Also, I got mine without juice grooves to give me more usable cutting area. Don't worry about getting it messy. It cleans up real well and as long as you keep oil it with food grade mineral oil once a week, you'll be fine. Keep in mind that Dave is officially ending his online board making business at the end of the year. He did tell me he would take orders as they come in but he won't be keeping a stock of boards to sell. I got my board in about a month because he didn't have enough wood in stock. I think normally it's a couple of weeks to make/ship.

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Octaveman, I'm wondering why did you get walnut over the others like maple or mahogany? Is it just for the look (it really is beautiful!)? I really don't know the difference, but now I'm intrigued and want to make an informed decision on which type would work best for me.

Thanks.

Edited by Cleo (log)
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Octaveman, I'm wondering why did you get walnut over the others like maple or mahogany?  Is it just for the look (it really is beautiful!)?  I really don't know the difference, but now I'm intrigued and want to make an informed decision on which type would work best for me.

Thanks.

I believe that mahogany is mildly toxic and thus not generally used for cutting boards.

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Scubadoo...thanks. His other boards are just as nice too. The knife...ah well, the knife is now in a tie as my favorite with another one. If anyone is interested I already have a bunch of shots uploaded of it HERE (yes, I love to take pics).

Cleo...I chose Walnut soley for the deep brown color. I've seen pics of walnut boards from people I know that have bought them from David and it kinda sold itself really. I would love to get one of his maple butcher blocks but I already have an rather expensive 18x24 maple Boos board I got a few years ago. All the boards he sells are very nice and you honestly can't go wrong with any wood type.

There is a scale that is used to judge the hardness of wood called the Janka scale. Woods in the range of about 1000 to 1500 on this scale are not too soft and not too hard for use as a cutting board. This is no steadfast rule just an opinion of a guy I know that works with wood. Then there's the issue of whether the grain is a tight or an open grain. I don't know the details on Mahogany so I suggest just emailing David and ask questions. He's real nice to deal with. Wood that make for really good boards are below. Whatever you do get end grain at least 1.75" thick. My board is 2" thick. I really like the look of his Mahogany boards too but chose dark brown over dark red. Honestly, talk to David and see where that takes you. Remember that this would be a custom board so you could also ask for a special pattern to your board just like his pics. Or even with or w/o a juice groove.

Rock Maple 1450

Mahogany 750

Cherry 950

Walnut 1010

Teak 1150

Ash 1320

Birch 1260

Bamboo 1180-1800 (hardest of all the above but still within a decent janka range)

Menon...I've never heard that before but I'm no wood expert so it could very well be true. I do know that there are usually several different species of the same wood so maybe there really is a species of Mahogany that is mildy toxic but I seriously doubt David would make boards out of it.

I know, I rambled. The kids are in bed and nothing on TV I'm interested in so why not.

Bob

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Menon...I've never heard that before but I'm no wood expert so it could very well be true.  I do know that there are usually several different species of the same wood so maybe there really is a species of Mahogany that is mildy toxic but I seriously doubt David would make boards out of it.

This was something I remember a cabinet maker telling me once. Upon reflection I realize that my synapses are crossed. A ship's carpenter told me once about a couple of South American hardwoods that are toxic. The cabinet maker told me that it is good to wear a mask when working with mahogany because particulates within the wood dust can cause respiratory problems. Sorry about that. Slice and chop away..........

Nice board, by the way.

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Well, you're not far off with that. He was right with regard to mild toxicity of dust from dark woods. I've been reading a thread started on another forum and the tannins in the Mahogany and even Walnut can be toxic to some that may cause an allergic reaction but this is no different than tannins in tea for example. Some people are even allergic to pine so it all depends on the individual. Of course breathing dust could cause problems regardless of the material but from what I gather one could wipe down the surface every now and then with bleach if there is a serious concern. Besides, any new board should be thoroughly cleaned and oiled to remove any remaining dust from being made. I personally haven't experienced any issues with my board.

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Thanks to this thread, especially the posts by Octaveman, I've had a very pleasant exchange of emails and a couple of enjoyable phone conversations with David Smith (The Boardsmith) over the last few days. He is going to make a custom size maple block that will fit over the unused half of my double sink. It should take three weeks or so.

I'm so happy about this that I'm driving my husband nuts with my incessant bubbling.

pat w.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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Cool, Pat, I'd love to see pics when you get it. Glad people are enjoying my posts too. Speaking of pictures, it would be great if people posted pics of their boards to see what's out there.

On a side note, I can't recall if it was in this thread or another thread about someone looking for a tree cross section to use as a chopping block. It just occurred to me that the place linked below has them and quite reasonable too. Get one wide enough, attach it to a small table top and you have a mobile chopping block. If I had the room, I would definately like one of the thick Chinese blocks.

Chinese Chopping Block (thick sucker)

Ironwood Chopping Block

Bob

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Ok, now I'm really not sure which one to get. I sort of like the Chinese chopping blocks, and they certainly are cheap.

While I love the look of the Boos boards, and the Boardsmith ones too, I'm thinking that I wouldn't keep it out at all times. I pretty much keep my current cutting boards (I only have, gasp, plastic, which is why I want a new one) standing on their sides and just pull them out as needed.

So maybe it's not worth spending a ton of money on something that nobody will really see?

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I keep my boards on their side on the counter when not in use. The joy not only comes from looking at the board but also from using it. Like I said before, my board gets daily use and gets dirty and I don't care. I don't buy things to not use them or be afraid to use them. I have knives costing thousands and I use and abuse them (within reason, of course) so why would I treat my board any differently? Go ahead and get the end-grain board that you desire and enjoy it to the fullest. The Chinese chopping blocks sold by the Wok Shop are really only practical if you have the room. Bolting it down to a small table would be cool and would certainly be a conversation piece too. But they're rustic and very heavy. Completely different from those sold by The Boardsmith.

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to this thread, I ended up ordering a 16x22 mahogany butcher block from David Smith. It *is* really beautiful and solid, and both a pleasure to view and use. My only slight regret (which has nothing to do with the product) is that I ordered it with the juice groove. My old cutting boards all had juice grooves because I cut a lot of messy and juicy stuff, but they were light enough for me to just tip them into the sink and lightly rinse and scrape. My new one is not only too heavy to move, but of course I don't plan on abusing it in the same way, so wiping down the surface is more difficult with stuff getting into the grooves.

David was delightful to talk to and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend his boards.

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Cool peggy. Care to post a picture? I love to see pics of his boards. Funny too when word got out that he was closing shop he recently said this time is the busiest he's ever been. Yes, his boards are very solid and well made so I can imagine how heavy your 16x22 board is. That's a big board.

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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I also ordered a Boardsmith 16 x 22 Walnut Butcher Block. I wont have it for a few weeks since he has to source enough walnut for the board. I love the dark color of the walnut.

How do you like the feet on the Burcher Block? I was wondering if I should add the feet on the board. I figure without the feet I can atleast use both sides of the board. What do you guys think?

Octaveman...How do you like your board? I love the look of your board.

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Mambwe, thanks. I'm so glad I got walnut. Very elegant. I shoulda got a big one. I wasn't sure if I would like the feet because it raises the height close to an inch and I thought I might need to rotate use from one side to the other just to keep any single side from getting all cut up. After using the board now for a while the height doesn't bother me and after all this time cutting, chopping, slicing on the board there is nary a cut from my knives that can be seen. The end grain is doing it's job of reducing knife marks to practically none. This board is a dream to use.

So, I say yes, add the feet. The only reason I can think of for using both sides is when you have the juice groove on one side and the other you don't. But with a board the size you're getting it frankly is a moot point as you'll have plenty of room to do your work. I specifically asked to not make it with a groove because the board is so small. I think he does it automatically unless you say you don't want it.

Gotta post pics when you get it. I would love to see it.

Cheers,

Bob

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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