Archive for November 2023

12 Tips To Buy Your Perfect Cutting Board   Leave a comment

There are 4 questions to answer before you buy a cutting board … but I have some tips that will help inform those decisions for you. No wrong answers here: your cutting board is yours, and you need to like it. What other people do is their business. Thank goodness.

So, here are those all important 4 questions:

  1. What size do you want the board to be?
  2. What color do you want the board to be?
  3. End grain or edge grain?
  4. Juice groove or no?

When you answer those, you will make sure you are getting the board or boards you want and need. But here are those tips that will help smooth your process.

  1. Where are you going to use the board? Is it mobile? Beside the sink? Beside the stove? On the island? Or … ? Wherever that special place is, get out your measure and see what the dimensions of the space are. If you have a galley kitchen with standard cabinets, you have 24” of depth to use. If you have appliances against the wall, then you only have 12” or depth or so to work with.
  2. How many are you cooking for? Cooking for a family of 4 is different from cooking for you and your spouse. If this is a general purpose board that will be used to prepare large meals, I would recommend at least 14” X 18”.
  3. Is this board single purpose? Some cooks like a dedicated board to only do onions and that stinking rose, garlic. Every cook is different. Maybe you want a set of 3 that are dedicated for meat, vegetables or bread. You get to choose. But, each of those purposes can dictate a different size and shape.
  4. Does the board live on the counter, or do you need to store it at times? Storage of a board can be difficult the larger the board is. A handled board, though, can hang on the wall and add to the warmth of your kitchen.
  5. Be Colorful! Most of the large retailers that sell cutting boards use overseas factories to make them, and they generally offer one or perhaps 2 woods or colors of boards. I have 40 woods in the shop, and all do find their way into cutting boards. So, you can match your décor. Contrast with your counter top. Indulge your eyes with your favorite colors.
  6. Bigger is not always better. Cooks that prepare large hunks of meat often want very large, thick boards – but those come at a cost. Heavy is difficult to move, big is difficult to clean, not to mention storage! There is no need for a board to be more than 1-1/2” thick. More than that is making a statement, for sure, but it is not improving the performance of the board.
  7. Smaller is not always better, either. The thinner the board, the less stable and more prone to warping or twisting it becomes. I do make my smallest boards, AKA Cheese Boards, about 8” x 10” x 5/8”, and those laminated assemblies are stable. People that use the ¼” thick bamboo boards sold in grocery stores … well, they will have issues using them, almost immediately.
  8. End grain boards are harder and show less wear, but they require more time and better tools to construct properly. Time is often needed to custom order a “perfect” end grain board. Plan ahead.
  9. Edge grain boards are perfectly fine when made from good hardwood. A quality cutting board will last for decades with minimal care. It all comes down to … do you like stripes? Or fancy patterns that look a little like a chess board?
  10. Mrs M is a hard NO for juice grooves, and she is a serious cook, smoker & BBQ boss. Many people want juice grooves (they get to choose!), but the grooves do shrink the usable space available on the board. Add 2” to the height and width if you are getting a juice groove.
  11. If you get a groove, make sure it is big enough to clean with your finger. And a brush or cloth! My standard is 3/4” wide x 3/8” deep.  Smaller and deeper will cause you problems. I do also make grooves 1-1/4” wide on my Carnivore Boards, which is needed if you want to corral the juices from your Thanksgiving turkey.
  12. Before you buy your board, pick one up. Move around with it. Cleaning it is a daily task, frequently multiple times in one meal when you practice good sterile technique. Make sure the board fits you as well as your kitchen.


Shop at Mr M’s Woodshop

Carnivore Boards!

Edge Grain, 14″ x 18″

Custom, Large End Grain Boards

Cutting Boards?   Leave a comment

I love talking to people about cutting boards. Good thing, huh?

But, seriously, I love the subject. Part of the joy I find is that everyone has a different view of what their cutting board should be. I think there are 4 questions:

  1. What size of cutting board do you want?
  2. What color do you want your board to be?
  3. End grain, or edge grain?
  4. Juice groove, or no?

No answer is wrong. Everyone’s situation is different! My job is to (hopefully) have a nice selection for people to choose from … because the choices are truly infinite.

Here are the latest additions to the selections I have on hand.


Cutting Board 101: Choosing A Cutting Board

Mr M’s Surprising Trivets   1 comment

The sign in my booth says “Mr M’s Trivets – Protecting Hot Stuff Since 2017.”

And people still ask me, “What’s a trivet?” It’s a funny word, so I can see how people that are non-native English speakers might be challenged, but it’s more than that. Many people just aren’t familiar with the term – in any language. I’ve watched the younger generation ask their elders what a trivet is in their native language and get blank stares.

So that’s the first surprise: many people do not know what a trivet is. So my task is to help educate people, one trivet at a time.

The second surprise is much more artistic.

My trivets are popular, and the most popular purchase … is two, mismatched trivets.

I make the trivets from “blanks,” as I call them. Each blank makes 2x trivets, so people can buy a matched pair. They just don’t want to!

Well, not usually, anyway. Mrs M did want a matched set, so she did not embrace her love of chaos in this particular case. Not predictable, that one. Believe me, after 45 years, I don’t even try to predict her.

But I do work to protect the wonderful hot stuff coming from her kitchen.

Here are the latest trivets for shoppers this holiday season.


Buying Trivets from the Woodshop

Posted November 2, 2023 by henrymowry in Woodworking

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All Susans Are Lazy   Leave a comment

And with that statement, I define the most interesting thing about Lazy Susans.

No one knows WHY we call Lazy Susans … Lazy Susans. No one.

The first written instance that has been found was in a Vanity Fair magazine over a 100 years ago. My first Lazy Susans introduced this fact way back in 2014, when the Woodshop idea was but a dream. I did quickly learn that I could make Lazy Susans that people really liked … even as they had no idea why they called Susan Lazy.

See the link below back to that original post that explored the origins of a favorite serving piece. And, here you see the latest additions to my collection of the latest torments to all of the Susans in the world.

My Susans are about 17.5″ in diameter. The bearing that revolves is rated for 500 pounds … but I wouldn’t go there. As the weight increases, inertia will be a powerful problem to overcome. Because … physics.

Who knew that Susans being lazy could be so instructional?


The Cleverest Waitress In The World

Buying A Lazy Susan From Mr M

Posted November 1, 2023 by henrymowry in Woodworking

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Cheese Needs Slicing   Leave a comment

This problem vexed us for a few years, it did.

Then I found the hardware needed to make cheese slicers. And, here we are.

Slicers are all approximately 7″ wide and 11″ long. The tightly stretched wire will cut hard cheese, soft cheese … all cheese. If you are an eater of cheese, you need to be a slicer of cheese.

There are now 22x of these slicers available, and pricing is between $50 and $90.


Buying a Cheese Slicer from Mr M

Posted November 1, 2023 by henrymowry in Woodworking

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Wooden Coasters Need Cork   1 comment

I’m going to insist on this.

I’ve been making wooden coasters for a while now (though I’ve been out for over a year, so….).

In any event, I have seen wooden coasters made by others … and found them wanting.

The purpose of a coaster is to protect the table surface from water condensation and scratches from the bottom of the glass. The purpose of the coaster is NOT to use up a woodworker’s small “scrap.”

I don’t have scrap. Ever. I use the wood that I have, and find what each piece of wood should be. That’s my job.

So, I make coasters on blanks that make 4x coasters. Each blank is 22″ long, and has to go through the CNC and the table saw to make a 5″ square piece of wood … with a 4″ cork insert on one side.

I have found that some people like 4 matched coasters, how I make them. However, there are many people that like a set of 4 coasters that are similar but not exactly alike. These are what I call chaos coasters, and these are Mrs M’s people. My mind is much more linear. Hers is more … chaotic.

I mean no disrespect. Believe me?

So, coasters come in sets of 4. Some are matchy matchy, and some are … in chaotic groupings. Y’all get to choose.


Purchase @

The V Board

Posted November 1, 2023 by henrymowry in Woodworking

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