Sunday, May 09, 2010


A large fault of mine is that I regularly become infatuated with consumer products that I heavily research, and it sometimes ends with me dropping way too many dollars on something that I promise to use for a lifetime. Because my tastes never change. (Wrong.) Like this kitchen knife. I drooled over it for two days, and then ordered it. It's a beautifully constructed tool, but I didn't realize how high maintenance it was until I used it. You must dry it immediately after washing, otherwise it will be corroded the next day. Lesson learned. I appreciate having two chef knives; however, my no-frills, black handled Spanish J.A. Henckels chef knife occupies the large slot in the knife block. (It is still a large step up from my old $15 stamped santoku knives that needed daily sharpening. Don't go this cheap!) Understandably, fine products take a bit of extra upkeep. Anyway, so I was going down this route with wood cutting boards. They can be such a work of art. I'd much rather hang it up than toss some raw meat on it and grind a blade against it. Then, I recalled how much fun I had building our two tables, and I decided to try my hand at making a cutting board. Get a piece of hardwood and finish it by hand. Can't be too hard, right? I bid on and won a large slab of curly black walnut wood on eBay, for $35. I got the seller to cut into 4 medium-size pieces of 14" x 9.5" x 1" before shipping it to me. If I had purchased something like that instead (4 of them), it'd probably cost at least $80.

This is the first one I sanded and finished with 3-4 coats of mineral oil. I'm still unsure whether it could serve as a cutting board, as it felt less smooth after a rinse. As I will probably give most of them away, the last thing I want to do is put anyone in danger by turning it into a bacteria pit. Bread/serving boards, perhaps?

The second slab I chose to work on still had bark on it. I know carpenters have some sort of special tool to remove it, but I had to painstakingly chip it off with a screwdriver. Whew!

Three sandings.

Halfway there. Fine sanding, then oil. Notice that little knob? It's part of the growth. But first, break. Sunday ride time!


SuzyFormager said...

i love this idea! so glad you're posting about the experience. hope you are happy with the results!

Fern said...

dude, i have one reserved for you guys, once i can get confirmation that these will be food safe and durable.

Brandon W. said...

One reserved for us?! Rad! Looks beautiful.