The 200th Cutting Board, 4th Time ‘Round   9 comments

Mr-Ms-Logo---Large“Go big or go home,” she said.

Of course, we were home at the time, which makes the statement somewhat curious.

The philosophy was first expressed by the eldest in the Rocky Mountains of Arizona, as the boys & I backpacked through the outback of the Philmont Scout Reservation. We were on a 52 mile trek, and that saying became one of our touchstones. We were doing the big idea, and we were going to summit the ultimate peak at dawn. The Tooth of Time would lay beneath our feet as the sun rose. Go big or go home.

Yes, we made the summit at dawn and viewed the world beneath us as we munched on our breakfast. And THEN we went home.

Four cutting boards made it out of the shop this week, and one needed to be selected as my official 200th cutting board, celebrating the 4th time that my inventory had grown to this number. I asked the Lady for an opinion on which one, as I think all 4 are rather nice pieces … and she wanted the big one. So, here you go.

This board is 16″ x 21″ x 1-1/2″. It’s a beast of a board, called Colorific. The woods selected are from 3 continents, and combine to make a striking statement. These are the 7 woods used (and if you follow the first strip of woods on the left, you’ll be able to identify the species in this order, top to bottom):

  • Cherry, AKA American Cherry or Black Cherry. This traditional choice for American furniture primarily grows in the Eastern US.
  • Yellowheart, AKA Pau Amarello – which is Portuguese for “yellow wood.” This vibrant wood grows in Brazil, where it’s commonly used for flooring and boat construction.
  • Bloodwood, AKA Satine. This crimson favorite is a very hard wood that grows in tropical South America.
  • Purpleheart, AKA Amaranth. This vibrant wood is one of the most popular exotic hardwoods, and is grown from Mexico to southern Brazil.
  • Hard Maple, AKA Sugar Maple or Rock Maple. Hard Maple is the standard of hardwoods for cutting boards according to the FDA. This light-colored, dense hardwood grows in North America, primarily in the northeast.
  • Canarywood, AKA Canary. This wood can sometimes seem to be rainbow colored, with streaks of reds, yellows and browns. It grows from Panama to southern Brazil, and, believe it or not, one of the common uses of this incredible wood is to make railroad ties.
  • Bubinga, AKA Bevazingo, from equatorial Africa. This rose-colored wood is quickly becoming one of my favorites to work with.

The board went through 2 glue-ups, and was sanded smooth each time on my drum sander using 80 grit sandpaper. After the board was rough sanded there, it was cut square and sanded by hand through 5 grits: 80, 120, 180, 220 and 320. On the table router, the edges were rounded and handholds were added under each end.

The finished board was saturated with mineral oil, and then a top coat of Board Butter was added. I use Mrs M’s Board Butter, of course, which combines locally harvested beeswax and mineral oil. Finally, non-skid rubber feet were added, and they are held on with stainless steel screws for long life.

Please note the photos are not enhanced for color: this is how the board really looks.


In the shop, glued up in its final form but not yet smooth – I was about 3 board hours from the finish line. This is when I knew the board would live up to its name.


Cutting Board 16 – End 040. “Colorific.” Cherry, Bubinga, Yellowheart, Bloodwood, Purpleheart, Hard Maple & Canarywood. End Grain. 16″ x 21″ x 1-1/2″.


Cutting Board 16 – 040 detail. Non-skid rubber feet & routed hand hold.


Cutting Board 16 – End 040 detail. Non-skid rubber feet & routed handhold.


Cutting Board 16 – 040 detail. Close-up of the grain patterns in the center of the board. All colors are natural; only mineral oil has been applied.


The 200th Cutting Board, Third Time ‘Round

The 200th Cutting Board, 8 Months Later

The 200th Cutting Board

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