Archive for the ‘bread board ends’ Tag

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.


Thin Cutting Boards   Leave a comment

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeSometimes cutting boards need to be thin. If you make a board thin, however, than it can be prone to warping. This is especially true with flat boards with no feet. They often get wet on one side during use, and the moisture will serve to warp the board if the owner is not very careful.

But there’s a way to prevent that problem.

If you mount an end board perpendicular to the rest of the board, then the strength of that grain going in another direction will keep the board flat. This method is traditionally used for pastry boards, and the common name for this technique is bread board ends.

This kind of board has been commonly used as an “in-counter” board, where it’s placed in a slot below the kitchen counter. You can pull the board all the way out to use it on the counter, or you can just pull it out partway to add to your counter space on a temporary basis. Unfortunately, this kind of cutting board has fallen out of favor. Builders often made them cheaply from very soft woods, so they chewed up quickly – but staying in the kitchen for decades through the life of the counter. When this kind of board was in an apartment or a rental property, then the new kitchen owner was faced with a “well used” cutting board in their “new” kitchen, with no knowledge of who used it or to what purpose.

So you don’t see new kitchens with in-counter boards in our area anymore; they are no longer allowed in new construction in LA County.

However, old kitchens still have them, and replacing those “well used” cutting boards is something that I do, replacing the old boards with much more decorative boards that will have a much longer working life as well. When I was just beginning to sell cutting boards, my first commissioned piece was such a board. Today, I’m still making them!

Two of these boards are commissioned pieces to replace old in-counter boards; the other two will be for sale at my next event in March.

Bread Board Ends   Leave a comment

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeOne frequent request is for a “big enough” cutting board to be lighter. The only way to do that is for the board to be thinner … and as a board gets thinner, it is going to be more prone to warping.

I have a way to help prevent that. It’s called “bread board ends”, which are boards on the end of the laminated piece that are attached with tongue & groove joinery. These end pieces run perpendicular to the rest of the board. The cross-grain orientation help ensure the board will stay flat, even though the board is as thin as 3/4″.

This kind of board is often used as a pastry board (hence the name); a variation of the pastry board includes a “counter hook” that grabs the edge of the counter. This way, the board doesn’t creep away from you as you roll out the dough. But I digress.

Bread board ends are also a feature of well-made “in counter boards” which are a feature in many kitchens. These boards fit into a slot in a cabinet, and slide out when a cutting surface – or just more counter space – is required.

Due to a change in the building code, these boards are now difficult to find in LA County. Replacing older boards can be very difficult – and essential.

These are the latest 4 boards out of the shop with bread board ends. 3 are commissioned pieces, and the 4th is the first ever cutting board with bread board ends I’ve made to sell in the booth.


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