Prodigal Ponderings — wood sourcing RSS

Choosing Wood for End Grain Cutting Boards

After making dozens of end grain cutting boards over the past couple years I wanted to share a bit about which woods I consider the best (and most available) for constructing boards.  We’ve said, time and again, that end grain is the premium construction method for cutting boards because of it’s antibacterial properties and kindness to our knife edges. A crucial basis for determining the wood we use is in it’s hardness.  I’ve found the best online source for wood characteristics, including hardness is:  When looking through the database, try to select wood in the hardness range of 850 - 1700; You also want to look for a hardwood with a relatively tight grain pattern, free of knots and other blemishes.  The most common...

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Have you ever wondered what to do with all those leftovers?  I apologize up front to all the “foodies” out there but I’m actually referring to wood.  Whether a seasoned carpenter or a woodworking hobbier we all end up with extra pieces from various projects which usually end up collecting in the “just in case” pile, or eventually find their way to the trash.   I hate to waste things, especially interesting pieces of wood that I’ve taken the time to cut, plane, and glue after matching up contrasting colors and grain patterns.  I’ve discovered that there is another option, and after talking to a fellow woodworker this weekend, I realized I’m not alone. By taking the various leftovers from my end...

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Don't Be Intimidated by Lumber Stores

  Being a guy means I suffer with a common problem of male ego. We don’t always like to ask for help nor do we like to feel intimidated by what we don’t know.  My first few trips to the lumber yard shopping for quality hardwoods were all about breaking that barrier.   On my first trip I was asked by different employees if I needed some help, but I kindly replied “no thank you” and proceeded to walk around, observe the variety of woods, trying to not to look like I was new.  After 30 minutes of “wandering” I finally swallowed my pride and went up to a guy and asked for help….and help I got!  After that, it...

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