Archive for April 2018

The Board Chronicles: KHTS Home & Garden Show 2018   Leave a comment

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

KHTS, my Hometown Radio Station (I do listen!), sponsors the city’s largest trade show every spring. In Santa Clarita, it’s a don’t miss event for any business that wants to appeal to homeowners.

The radio station partners with the city to highlight their Arbor Day celebration, and free trees are handed out to those attending the event. I’ve done this event for 4 years now; Mrs M has joined me for 3 of those years.

So – stay with me now – I get to do an event in my hometown, sleep in my own bed, and meet people that want to improve their home and, uh, garden.

You bet we wanted to be a part of this year’s event, the 9th Annual. Can we continue our hot streak and have another good event?

New Ideas

  • For only the 3rd time ever, we have a triple booth. It’s a funky L shape, with me getting a double end aisle (3 open sides), and Mrs M getting her typical 10×10. I get space to show everything I’ve got.
  • First event we’ve done in Santa Clarita in 4 months, and the first significant event we’ve done in 5. When we started, it seemed like every event was here, but not today!

Observations

  • This is event # 4 of 10 for our 4th Annual Spring Fling.
  • I love local.
  • Set up seemed to take forever Friday afternoon, but maybe that’s just because I was setting up a triple booth. I used the Trimline 10×20 along with an Undercover pop-up canopy, so there was plenty of work to do to get everything up.
  • Velda started Saturday with mismatched shoes … discovered before we left the house, thankfully. Still, she almost got the day off on the wrong foot.
  • I started Saturday by putting the awnings & banners up on the Trimline, which is absolutely my favorite setup for a large outdoor event. As people lined up to get their free trees and enjoy the opening ceremony with the local politicals representing, we were in the middle of it.
  • And then the wind came.
  • Across the aisle, in a protected location with neighbors on all sides and while facing away from the wind, a young lady setting up her canopy left it alone without securing it to terra firma. She went to get the weights, she said. In any event, moments later, her canopy was upside down and on top of a neighbor’s canopy. Fortunately, the only damage was to the flying canopy. It was destroyed. In a minute. It just takes one malicious gust … and that’s why she stood in the sun all day.
  • It sucks to be the windbreak. Or, perhaps I should say it blows. Doesn’t matter. When you are the one breaking the wind (which is very different from breaking wind, for the record), then it can be bad. That was our role at this event: we were in an unprotected, prominent position, with nothing between us and the wind sweeping across the valley. Wind was a steady 14-17 mph for about an hour … with a few gusts that were less pleasant. When the wind came, we got hit.
  • We survived … but there was one large gust (must have been 30-40 mph) that lifted the Trimline off the ground. Only an inch, mind you, but oh my goodness, it makes your heart stop. And yes, our big, heavy Trimline had additional weights attached to every leg. However, with the big canvas dome plus the 135 square feet of awning, that’s a lot of sail to catch the wind. And we did catch it.
  • I took the awnings down. I secured the Trimline to the cart with ratchet straps, adding several hundred pounds of weight to hold down the canopy. Be Prepared. There was no further incident, thank goodness.
  • The event finally got going at 10am, and there was a steady flow of people through the booth. Many commented that “they had some of my pieces,” or that “my work is beautiful.” Very artistic statements. I must be an artist.
  • I’m good with that. Finally.
  • Mrs M sold some soap; she quickly sold about half of one new batch that she had just labeled. New stuff sells … and it gets scary when your inventory is not deep. It’s a good problem to have, though!
  • Busy. We were busy. Love that.
  • I absolutely love to stand in my booth, point to the northwest and tell the shopper in front of me that I make the boards in our home about 3 miles that way. Local sells. There’s really nothing like selling what I love to make in my hometown, and several times during the day, buyers told me they love supporting local artists.
  • Thank goodness.
  • I didn’t have many transactions on Saturday, really, but activity was constant all day. Sales were steady. Fortunately, several sales were over $100. Sold a big cutting board. Sold another. Had a couple of people purchase multiple items. There were buyers in the crowd, and the crowd walking by at least looked at what we had to offer. Saturday was a very good day.
  • It’s important to wave the flag, especially when you’re local. It’s how you build a brand, and we build at this show.
  • But, you can’t choose your neighbors. Mrs M’s neighbor sold bamboo sheets, and spent all weekend telling every customer passing by, “50% off!”
  • Not our vibe.
  • More wind on Sunday, unfortunately. Not much, really – but it was enough. Mrs M is dealing with her PTSD as best she can, but there’s still that Flying Dry Soup Canopy to remember. This show, the booth behind and to the left of her booth (right behind the 50% off guy), launched at about 3pm. The owner had gone to pick up her daughter, leaving her booth unattended. It appeared the canopy was totally unweighted and unsecured. It launched, flipped, came down in our aisle, and rolled towards unsuspecting patrons sitting in the next booth over. Mrs M screamed at them to look out. No one was hurt. I ran to the canopy with many others, helped collapse it, and carried it back to its abandoned home.
  • Amateurs are dangerous.
  • The mistakes of amateurs not understanding that Wind. Blows. did mar an otherwise very pleasant weekend. Thankfully, no one was hurt. I don’t know if anyone gained wisdom from their experience or not.
  • Requests were for Cribbage Boards – 3 different requests! (I hear you, I just need more development time, and then more CNC time….), Coaster sets (I just sold out, and I need more shop time. See a pattern?), different colors of cheese & cracker servers (I NEED MORE TIME), and pizza peels (alright, alright, it’s on the list).
  • It’s not like I have anything else to do.
  • There just were not enough local crafters at this show. I know the show is viewed as being expensive – it’s not cheap! – but this is an essential Santa Clarita show. Highly recommended.
  • Sales analysis is a wonderful thing. It’s my thing. This is our 53rd event in Santa Clarita, which is 41% of our total of 130 events. As amazing as that is to me, here’s what’s more amazing: this was our best one yet.

Best. Santa. Clarita. Event. Ever.

  • Nothing like having a good weekend to improve your outlook on Monday.
  • Great being out in our hometown. I saw young & old friends that were soccer referees. Scouters. Vendors. School teachers. And, of course, customers. Great weekend!

The Food

  • Best Meal: Saturday dinner at Pho Shure. S5, hold the squid, please. Delightful. Parting shot: the host told me to have a wonder-pho day. Good meal, served with humor.
  • Worst Meal: We ate from the food trucks for lunches this weekend, and Saturday was a teriyaki bowl that was both overpriced and unsatisfying. Sunday’s Polish sausage was very good, thankfully.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 18
  • Booth cost: $525
  • Food cost: $105
  • Travel cost: $9
  • Total sales: $2,686
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $2,047
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 3
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: several
  • Saturday alarm: 5:30a
  • Sunday alarm: Nope. Went to bed early (and tired), so I woke up early (but refreshed).
  • # transactions: 69
  • # soap & lotion vendors: There was one other soaper, and am essential oil person, I think. A few “soap and body products” people, but no one does soap like Mrs M does soap. IMHO.
  • # woodworking vendors: Only three that I found this year, and all do very different things. 2 are SCV artists that are well known to me. Good guys; one’s a scroll saw artist and the other does a lot of turning and makes home decor. The 3rd woodworker makes adjustable patio furniture out of redwood that’s really fantastic. All of them were in my booth chatting, and vice versa. Comradery is a good thing.
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 23:1
  • Returning next year? Yup.

Boards sold: 24

4x Cutting Boards

4x Cheese Boards

4x Hearts

2x Lazy Susans

2x Coasters

1x Wine Bottle Coaster

1x Large Cutting Board

1x Clipboard

1x Chess Board

1x Magic Bottle Opener

1x Small Sous Chef Board

1x Large Sous Chef Board

1x Custom Order

More

KHTS Home & Garden Show, 2017

KHTS Home & Garden Show, 2016

KHTS Home & Garden Show, 2015 (for a good dose of humility!)

End Grain Is The Best   Leave a comment

End grain cutting boards are the best … as long as you don’t have some innate fixation on stripes, requiring your cutting boards to be edge grain. If you do, no worries, I make those as well.

But they’re not as hard as end grain boards. They will show more wear than end grain boards. And they’re just not as much fun. Your mileage may vary, of course.

I just finished a large batch of end grain boards, in time for the Spring Fling. This weekend is my first 2018 hometown event, sponsored by my hometown radio station: the KHTS Home & Garden Show.

Drop by, and you’ll find me in a double booth (1401 & 1438), right beside the Arbor Day free tree giveaway. Mrs M is beside me, of course, in 1402. We’ll be there on Saturday, 10-5, and Sunday, 10-4. Come see us, and you’ll see these brand new boards!

The 300th Cutting Board, 3rd Time ‘Round   Leave a comment

Here I go again, flirting with inventory growth. I’m back over 300 pieces in inventory – if only for a day or 2 – so it’s time to commemorate the best of the cutting boards I’ve just made.

Sometimes, simple is the best.

I’ve made this design for a few years now … but I never have them in stock. I make them about once a year for some unknown reason.

I’m an artist. I make what I want. Deal with it.

No one said I was in this for the money, or I’d be smarter about what I make. Maybe.

In any event, this board is made with basic American hardwoods: Black Walnut, Black Cherry (AKA American Cherry, or just Cherry), and Hard Maple.

This is a classic design. I think I need to make it more often!

Cutting Board 18 – 715. Cherry, Black Walnut & Hard Maple. End grain. 12″ x 17″ x 1-1/4″.

More

The 300th Cutting Board, 2nd Time ‘Round (4/4/18)

The 300th Cutting Board (2/9/18)

The 250th Cutting Board: Back In The Pig Business (10/13/17)

The 250th Cutting Board (4/8/17)

The 200th Cutting Board, 6th Time ‘Round (2/9/17)

The 200th Cutting Board, 5th Time ‘Round (11/30/16)

The 200th Cutting Board, 4th Time ‘Round (10/7/16)

The 200th Cutting Board, Third Time ‘Round (8/5/16)

The 200th Cutting Board, 8 Months Later (4/9/16)

The 200th Cutting Board (9/18/15)

From The Shop: Restoring A Cutting Board   Leave a comment

I say it at every event: yes, a steel knife will mark wood. That is true, even though I make boards out of hardwoods. My boards will not mark as easily as plastic or softwood boards that many people are used to. With proper care, my cutting boards will last for decades.

Also said at every event: restoring a cutting board takes me 5 minutes. In this case, though, it took me 8.

Here’s the board, as it looked when presented, Christmas ’13. This was one of the first 5 cutting boards I made:

Cutting Board 13 – 08. Goncalo Alves, Black Walnut, Jatoba, Cherry & Honey Locust. Edge Grain. 14″ x 21″ x 1-1/4″.

Here’s the board, as it was returned to me after a few years of use. This was the 2nd time the board has come back to me in 5 years:

So, nothing to do but get to it.

To restore a board, I use the same 5 grits of sandpaper that I used to smooth the board originally. I progress through each grit, removing the knife marks to reveal the smooth wood beneath. Each piece of sandpaper is ruined in the process, with the grit quickly clogging with the oil-laden wood that I’m removing. Typically, each grit gets about a minute of work … in this case, the first 2 grits got about 2 minutes due to the deep marks that I needed to remove.

The grits: 80, 120, 180, 220, 320.

And just like that, the hard work is done. I did use my 5″ sander, the lightweight Festool ETS EC 125/3 EQ Random Orbital Sander to clean up the 4 edges … THEN I was done. Brush off the sawdust that the dust extractor didn’t remove, and here’s what the almost-raw board now looks like:

 

Applying mineral oil to an unfinished board is about as close to pure joy as a woodworker can get. Finally revealed: the “new” board, looking glorious.

Once the oil has soaked in, only 3 steps remain:

  1. Apply a topcoat of Board Butter, which is my mix of locally-harvested beeswax and mineral oil, and
  2. Practice Mr Miyagi’s “wax on, wax off,” and
  3. Take a picture for posterity!

Cutting Board 13 – 08, as restored in 2018. 2nd restoration. It took 8 minutes.

More

From The Shop: Just Like New

The Board Chronicles: Vintage Days 2018   2 comments

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

I don’t know what I was thinking.

When I put together the calendar for this year – consulting with Mrs M, of course – I scheduled 3 events in Fresno in 8 weeks.

That’s a lot of Fresno.

However, the first event proved to be my best solo event ever, and the 2nd event proved to be … wet. Can’t win them all.

We’ve been told by people for years that we should do Vintage Days: “It’s perfect for you!” Finally, the stars aligned and it’s time to see what all the buzz is about.

This event is the largest special event put on each year by Fresno State University: it’s a community outreach event for them, done right. Free music. Beer garden. Fun for the kids. Vendors with – only – handmade goods. They invite thousands to come onto the campus and see what they’re about.

They even invited us.

New Ideas

  • I drove up on Thursday to set up Thursday afternoon. Mrs M followed after work: she didn’t want to drive up with me. Or her “job” was important. Or something. In any event, I drove up and set up the basic booth on Thursday, and then we went to the event early Friday to set up the product displays.
  • The event is on grass! I set up the booth on luxurious green grass.
  • We again stayed at an AirBNB for this event. This time, we were in a townhome. The cost is not less than a motel, really, but it is private and you have access to a full kitchen, so we did not eat out. That’s where the saving were: eating leftovers & frozen stuff from home.

Observations

  • Load in was about as easy as it could be. I drove to my booth on wide sidewalks, and unloaded. I only had to carry the stuff about 30′. Lovely.
  • You don’t choose your neighbors at events, and I wasn’t happy with mine.
  • No, I’m not talking about Mrs M. I did choose her, a long time ago (though not as a neighbor, come to think of it).
  • This event is exclusively for handmade goods, and the artist is to be in residence. My back door neighbor, though, was a reseller of very artfully made intarsia wall art & veneer-top tables. They are really very pretty … but he is not the artist, and the company that makes them (or, perhaps, imports them?) is famous in the art show business for reselling their work. I’m offended by lying liars getting into shows they don’t belong in.
  • Thankfully, my neighbor seemed to be the exception. I saw one other booth that had too much buy & sell merchandise for my taste (including a big display of sports team key fobs), but all of the other vendors at this show I looked at seemed genuine. Love that.
  • Love the vibe of this show. Love being in a handmade show.
  • The Lady said she came to Vintage Days to buy 2 things: a large cutting board, and a toe ring. I could help her with one of them.
  • Best t-shirt of the weekend:
    • Haikus are easy
    • Sometimes they do not make sense
    • Refrigerator
  • What is it with Fresno? When I came to the Home & Garden Show in March, I sold 6 chess boards. Way, way beyond expectations! This time, I sold zero chess boards … and sold out of coaster sets. Go figure.
  • Requests were for Magic Knife Holders (hmmmm), an expandable board for over a sink (nope), a “breakfast in bed tray” (nope), a magnifying glass (sorry, not a turner!), a mah jong board (nope), and many requests for a backgammon board (nope).
  • We had big hopes for this show … and we didn’t quite get there. I did some checking though, and this show is actually the best show we’ve ever had in April! Funny how everything else in April has been an underachiever. This show is definitely on the calendar for 2019.

The Food

  • Best Meal: Mrs M cooked breakfast on Sunday. Always a treat.
  • Worst Meal: We ordered pizza from a Fresno pizza chain called Me & Eds, and that was a mistake. Not my style.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 937
  • Booth cost: $565 (which includes $50 discount for a first-time vendor, as well as a $30 overnight parking fee for the trailer)
  • Food cost: $21
  • Travel cost: $815
  • Total sales: $2,020
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $619
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: several
  • Saturday alarm: Nope
  • Sunday alarm: Nope
  • # transactions: 103
  • # soap & lotion vendors: There were several. No one does soap like Mrs M, IMHO, but there were many alternatives.
  • # woodworking vendors: Again, several. Noteworthy was a box maker that did very nice work.
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 31:1
  • Returning next year? Absolutely

Boards sold: 32

23x Coasters

1x Magic Bottle Opener

1x Large Cutting Board

1x Cutting Board

1x Cheese & Cracker Server

1x Bread Board

1x Serving Tray

1x Trivet

1x Cheese Board

1x Cribbage Board

New: Wine Bottle Coasters   Leave a comment

I’ve got this problem.

I have a perfect gift idea for the beer drinker in your life: Magic Bottle Openers. People gasp when they see the demo. It’s a Perfect. Gift.

But for the wine drinker … I got nothin’.

Well, I did have nothing. Then I tried Wine Bottle Holders, which I introduced last year. They looked like this:

Wine Bottle Holder 17 – 02. Bloodwood, Hard Maple & Jatoba.

And, basically, nobody cared. I made a few, and one guy LOVED them, but most people thought they were doorstops.

I don’t make doorstops.

So, back to the drawing board. I got a CNC to play with, and I am pleased to introduce my latest idea to serve the wine drinking crowd: Wine Bottle Coasters!

These are carved in 3 dimensions on the CNC. Cherry wood, with a urethane finish (so no staining, even if there’s a spill). Please enjoy!

Wine Bottle Coaster 18 – 501. Cherry. Urethane finish. 9″ diameter.

Want A Handy Handle?   Leave a comment

I call them Sous Chef Boards, because I think they are for your assistant in the kitchen, or Sous Chef.

That’s how it’s worked in our home, anyway.

However, I do know that cooks want more than one cutting board in their kitchen. Some boards are supposed to be pretty, some are supposed to be sized “just right,” and some are supposed to be easy to move around.

That means you need a handle. I believe.

So, Sous Chef Boards were born. These are the large variety, with about an 8″ x 11″ workspace – 2 sided – as well as a 10″ handle with a convenient hole to hang the board, if you’re so inclined.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but these have proven to be popular offerings from the Wood shop. This batch is special: they were cut out on the CNC. This is the first time I’ve had a vector file cut these out. There are 2 sizes as I worked through the possibility … and found the right size.

The Board Chronicles: Big Hat Days 2018   3 comments

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

April is a big month for our family: 2 birthdays for the granddaughters are in April. That means events take 2nd place to them.

As they should.

We did Big Hat Days when we were babies, way back in 2015. We had a single booth and no clue. At the time, that event was our Best. Event. Ever. It wore that crown proudly for all of 7 days, until it was surpassed by our first time at the California Poppy Festival – another April event that we don’t get to do very often.

This year, we carefully planned with the other Mrs Mowry, and decided to do Big Hat Days on the weekend between the 2 girls’ birthdays.

When a birthday party eventually got scheduled.

I’m not bitter. But I was in Fresno to try and recreate our early success.

New Ideas

  • The most different thing about this event was that the Lady & I obsessed over checking the weather. We were both checking the weather multiple times a day leading up to our trek north. Rain was forecast for Friday & Saturday. It was pretty clear we were in for it.

Observations

  • Event # 2 of 10 of the 4th Annual Spring Fling.
  • Our 6th event of the year … and 5 of those have been wet. I’m done with rain. Please.
  • This large vendor event (500 vendors!) takes place on a main street in “Old Downtown Clovis.” It’s full of what we, in a nice moment, call buy & sell vendors that are re-selling imported items for a few dollars. In the vernacular, we call it Chinese S***.
  • It is. When an event gets to where almost every booth seems like it’s offering imported goods for less than $10, then the event is probably not a good one for us. On the other hand, there is SO much traffic at this event (30,000+ I am sure), you’d think success would be there, even for vendors of handmade luxury items.
  • And then rain happened.
  • Load-in was at 5:30am. We just about got both canopies up when the rain started. I was wet until the rain stopped 7 hours later.
  • Wet & miserable.
  • We bought a new canopy to replace them one crushed by the Flying Dry Soup Canopy, but we decided to use the old top to see if we could get some use out of it. We could … and learned the difference between waterproof and water resistant. Both canopy tops are about 7 months old, and they did repel water. Unfortunately, there was enough falling from the sky that the fabric saturated and we had drips just about everywhere.
  • As we were setting up, I looked across the street to the vendor setting up his booth of wind spinners – made in China, naturally. He had a canopy of sorts, but all of his product was getting wet. He didn’t care. Made me think I was in the wrong business. Thankfully, sanity returned quickly.
  • There was really nothing to do but close the walls in a bit, move everything away from the walls as much as possible and just endure. Mrs M’s front corner, with the samples, was soaked. My back table with my biggest boards was soaked, too. Good thing I put rubber feet on them; they were up away from the table cloths.
  • We were on a city street, remember, so water ran from the crown down to the side of the street all day long. Everything on the ground was wet – all of the tablecloths were wicking up moisture. It. Was. Wet. Thankfully, we could set up away from the gutter.
  • Mrs M didn’t put out ZooSoapia because of the, uh, advanced humidity. I cut down on my display, too. In the end, I have a few boards that want to be resurfaced (really not a big thing), and Mrs M will have to launder all of the table cloths. But, honestly, we endured.
  • First sale of the event was from a guy I met at the Home & Garden Show a month ago; he came looking for me to buy his cutting board. In the rain.
  • There was still business to be had, thankfully, and even in the rain there were customers walking down the street eating ice cream. But, of course, the day was impacted by the rain and many, many people stayed home. We were far below our expectations. Far below our results from 2015.
  • Sometimes, it rains.
  • The rain stopped about 1p, and the crowd did grow until the end of the day. Sunday, the forecast was for clouds – but no rain – and we hoped for much bigger results.
  • Nope. We ended the event lower than we did in 2015. When we were babies in a single booth. This year, as drenched veterans in a double booth (twice as expensive) with some pride in our accomplishments, we were quite disappointed in the event. But, there’s nothing we can do about the rain, so all we can do is pack up, drive south … and prepare for our next event, which just happens to be in 2 weeks, right back in Fresno.
  • Sold the chaos board recently chronicled as the 300th Cutting Board, 2nd Time ‘Round. It sold on the 2nd day I showed it, and it had already been touched by oh so many people that walked by and had to feel it. Thank goodness I have a 4 more boards with a similar design on the way….
  • Requests were for an ocean-themed cutting board (you know, like a starfish. HUH?), a grill cleaner (that’s a first), knife blocks (2x, but no) and a backgammon set (nope).

The Food

  • Best Meal: We stayed in an AirBnB cottage behind the owner’s home that was really quite lovely. Mrs M planned our meals so we could eat in and save money, thankfully. Meals came from the fridge & freezer, so you ask me to choose between Velda’s Chicken Piccata (leftovers) and Velda’s Spaghetti (from the freezer). Not going to happen. Both were excellent, as always.
  • Worst Meal: It’s sacrilege, I know, but lunch on the road at the Arvin Black Bear Diner was not satisfying. Too much steam table, not enough comfort food. Should’ve had the omelette.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 412
  • Booth cost: $750
  • Food cost: $76 (we don’t count food brought from home)
  • Travel cost: $414
  • Total sales: $1,561
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $321
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: none
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: none
  • Saturday alarm: 4:15a
  • Sunday alarm: 6a
  • # transactions: Not nearly enough.
  • # soap & lotion vendors: No clue.
  • # woodworking vendors: No clue.
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 17:1
  • Returning next year? Maybe

Boards sold: 18

Coasters: 4

Trivets: 4

Magic Bottle Openers: 3

Cutting Boards: 2

Small Board: 1

Lazy Susan: 1

CNC Engraved Board: 1

Custom Order: 1

Soap Deck: 1

Cheese Boards Are Just Small Cutting Boards   Leave a comment

It was a lesson learned early.

I may call these cheese boards – and I do – but to most customers, these are just little cutting boards.

Most cooks have multiple cutting boards in their kitchen. Some have separate boards for meat, vegetables, and bread. Some have a large counter-top, show piece board, and then smaller portable boards to complement the nice big board.

It’s their kitchen. They get to choose.

Some people like to have a small cutting board to slice fruit for after school snacks.

And, thankfully, some people do actually use these small boards as cheese boards. That’s what we do, and that’s why this small-sized board will always be called cheese boards when I make them!

Bread Board Ends   Leave a comment

They are called bread board ends.

“Bread Boards” are large, thin boards that were made for rolling out dough. Some of these boards had “bread hooks” which were a stop against the edge of the counter, so that when you rolled out your dough, the hook caught the edge of the counter and the board was held in place as you were rolling out the dough towards the back of the counter.

Those boards are rare today … as are bakers in the home.

However, the thin boards with the “bread board ends” are still around, and are most often found as in-counter boards that slide out from underneath the counter. They’re conveniently stored in a slot just below the counter – often above the silverware drawer.

The reason for the specially named ends is that the cross-grain strength helps to keep the board flat. Thin boards might warp without that mechanical stress put into the board.

“No one makes these anymore,” is a complaint I often hear at our events. Well … some woodworkers do.

Some woodworkers do.

This is a re-build of Cutting Board 16 – 023. That board somehow got stuck in the counter, and to unstick it, the owner had to get pliers out. When the board got to me, it looked like a screws had gotten stuck in the slot holding the board in place: there were 1/4″ deep gouges on both sides of the board. Couple that with the damage done by the pliers to the bread board ends, and I had to cut off all 4 edges and re-frame this board with splines holding on the bread board ends. It’s all Hard Maple, 20″ x 22″ x 1″.

One more thought about the above board: the damage happened in the owner’s home, and it had nothing to do with the board’s construction. Still, I repaired it. No charge. All the owner had to do was pay me for shipping … and then wait patiently. I took a while to repair it, so they had to be really patient, but they got a “just like new” board when I was done.

Cutting Board 18 – 311. Hard Maple, Purpleheart & Jatoba. 16″ x 20″ x 3/4″. This is the standard size for most in-counter boards, I’ve found.

Cutting Board 18 – 312. Red Oak ends (to match the kitchen), and a cutting surface made from Hard Maple & Jatoba. 16″ x 21″ x 3/4″. Commissioned piece.

 

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