The biggest event of the year for us has, for the last 2 years, been Santa’s Art Shop in Ridgecrest. That event – its 35th annual – is this weekend, so I have been working long hours to get the inventory in shape for the big event.
And, since the inventory is growing again (and during our busiest month, too!), I am pleased to announce my 200th cutting board. This is only the 5th time that I have had that number of boards in inventory … and, as always, the number will be a fleeting memory by Saturday. In the meantime, however, it’s time to celebrate the accomplishment. Here’s the story of this unusual board.
After my years of a Cub Scout being square, I’ve seldom made square boards. It’s an occasional request, though, and I do like to show different kinds of boards to get the customers’ creativity flowing when they visit the booth.
This square, edge grain board features 6 kinds of wood:
- Jatoba – AKA Brazilian Cherry
- Hard Maple – which is in almost every cutting board I make
- Cherry – AKA American Cherry or Black Cherry
- Purpleheart – the # 1 commented upon wood in my booth, and these pieces with quilted grain will continue that tradition
- Bubinga – I love using it because it’s just fun to say
- Bloodwood – delightful fluorescence in these pieces
One of my current challenges in lumber supply is finding one of my favorite cutting board woods, Jatoba, in 8/4 thickness (that’s 1-3/4″ thick, sanded smooth, to you non-lumber types). The wood is commonly available in 4/4 thickness (3/4″), but rarely in the dimension I need for my thickest, big cutting boards. I did find some 8/4 earlier this year, and this board uses the last of it.
Bloodwood is crimson colored, and it’s the most challenging wood that I currently work with. It seems that every piece – every piece – is warped: bowed, twisted, cupped, or some combination of all of those.
It’s been said that woodworking is the art of solving problems, and it’s certainly true that using Bloodwood is one of those challenges that I face. But, I enjoy the work, and I always let the results speak for themselves.