I. End Grain Cutting Boards Care and Maintenance
Each of our end grain cutting boards have been made from the highest quality hardwoods with the utmost care. We use only FAS (First and Seconds) grade wood, meticulously sawed, planed, glued and sanded, then finished with a high quality conditioner (food grade mineral oil)** The woods are joined with Titebond III glue (waterproof, non-toxic & FDA approved for indirect food contact).
Our Cutting Boards are made from a combination of fine hardwoods. The advantage of end grain cutting boards is their kindness to cutlery and inherent durability. When cutting, the knife edge goes between the wood fibers which decreases the dulling effect on knives while keeping the wood fibers from being severed. The natural properties of the wood allow the fibers to restore after cutting, leaving less knife marks. Although our boards look like “art pieces” they are designed to be highly functional. Each Board is hand sanded with up to 1000 grit sandpaper then coated over several days with food grade mineral oil and finished with a combination beeswax and carnauba wax.**
One of the alternatives we offer to our “end grain” cutting boards is a slightly less expensive but equally durable “edge grain” board. As the term indicates, these boards use a different portion of the wood (edge) for your cutting surface. Although these boards do not possess the same qualities of end grain they do offer some distinct advantages.
First you get a far different grain pattern from the edge of a piece of wood than you do from the end. Second, because less of the wood “fibers” are exposed, edge grain boards tend to hold their color longer than end grain. This can be particularly rewarding when choosing a board with stunning colors such as Padauk and Purpleheart. Finally, edge grain boards provide a slightly harder surface than their companions. Typically butcher block countertops are made from either the edge or the face of a particular piece of wood.
Why are these boards less expensive? The basic answer is that it costs less for us to make so we reflect that benefit to our customers. End grain boards take longer to make, are much harder on saw blades, and use more wood.
The flip side however is that since there are less cuts and glue ups in preparing an edge grain board, there is less waste. We can also make edge grain boards much thinner than their counterpart while maintaining the board’s strength. Thinner, lighter cutting boards provide an advantage to any chef who wants a board they can grab with one hand and quickly put to use.
By the way; we use the same high quality FAS (First and Seconds) hardwoods for both of our cutting board options.
Care and Maintenance:
Although sufficiently conditioned, all end grain cutting boards will require periodic resurfacing. Our recommendation is to clean your board with mild soap and water each time you use it; wash it and wipe it clean with a soft cloth or paper towel. Take care not to let your board sit in water or under continuous running water. A solution of 1 tablespoon clorox to 1 quart of water can be lightly sprayed on the board and then wiped clean for periodic sanitizing.
Depending on use, our recommendation is to apply a coat of mineral oil to your board monthly, at a minimum. Food grade mineral oil can be purchased at most grocery stores. If you notice fluids not puddling on the board surface, it's a good time for another coat.
Finally: Wood will in fact expand and contract based on the amount of moisture inside it. Keeping your board conditioned with mineral oil or a similar substitute (beeswax, carnauba wax, etc.) will most often keep your board from warping; however because of the natural properties of wood we can make no guarantees. If your board does warp simply dry off any excess water and stand the board on its end for a day; the moisture will draw out of the wood and most often the board will return to its original shape. (We've never had a board not return to it's original shape.... though we'd not leave one sitting in moisture for an extended period outside of normal use)
We believe that you will get many years of satisfaction from our boards. As time passes they may need sanding and resurfacing. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll guide you through the process. We will gladly resurface a board purchased from us for free, with shipping charges covered by purchaser.
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com.
**Salad Bowl Finish (SBF): A limited number of our boards have been treated with SBF which has different properties than our customary mineral oil finish. First , Salad Bowl Finish is food safe just as mineral oil finish is. We take several days to apply thin coats of SBF and allow the finish to dry completely. Between coats the board is lightly sanded, and after a minimum of 3 coats the board sits for at least 72 hours which allows the finish to cure. Salad Bowl Finish is rendered food safe after curing, and is a common finish for woodworkers making wooden bowls and kitchen utensils.
SBF provides a harder finish to your board surface however sharp knives will penetrate the surface just as with our mineral oil boards, and the natural wood characteristics of the end grain board will remain.
Because of its harder surface SBF cutting boards require less maintenance than mineral oil boards, however they will still need to be sanded and resurfaced when knife marks increase. Most of our SBF boards will serve 6-8 months prior to needing resurfaced, even under daily use.
The process of resurfacing the board includes thoroughly sanding the board with a rough grain sandpaper which removes the previous finish as well as your knife marks. This is followed by smoothing the surface with a minimum 600 grit sandpaper. Once thoroughly sanded and wiped free of dust the process of treating the board with several coats of SBF is repeated.
II. "Live Edge" Board Information
Our “Live Edge” Natural Wood Charcuterie Boards have become very popular of late so we wanted to explain our process for selecting, treating and finishing these functional pieces of art.
Our wood pieces are carefully selected and local sourced from trusted wood dealers. The pieces are then cut to size (if necessary) then planed & sanded just as our regular cutting boards are.
The primary differences between these boards and the others we make is in our desire to maintain the natural "rustic" beauty of the wood to the extent possible. On select boards we will leave the rough edged “bark” on the wood, then carefully remove any sharp areas to prevent harm. The bark is then sealed with several coats of Clear Grade Epoxy Resin which is FDA compliant and food safe.
The remainder of the board is sanded with up to 1200 grit sandpaper and finished with Salad Bowl Finish (SBF). Salad Bowl Finish is rendered food safe after curing, and is a common finish for woodworkers making wooden bowls and kitchen utensils. Our process involves a minimum of 3 coats applied over several days then the board sits for at least 72 hours to complete the curing.
We customarily attach stylish handles and rubber feet to the Charcuterie Boards, each attached with stainless steel screws.
To clean your board simply use a mild soap and water applied with either a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge then rinse and completely dry the board. Do not submerge the board in water and never place it in the dishwasher.
Although SBF provides a hard and durable finish, it will require periodic maintenance depending upon use. If the board surface becomes rough due to knife marks or drying out simply sand the board thoroughly and apply the SBF in thin coats as described above.
We will be happy to walk you through this process or the Prodigal Carpenter will gladly resurface boards purchased from us for no charge provided the purchaser pays all shipping charges. Feel free to email us questions about SBF or board maintenance at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our boards have proven to offer years of service with only periodic maintenance, giving the user a functional piece of artisan beauty.
. We like to say our boards are
“Beautifully Crafted yet Inherently Durable”.
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Enjoy and God bless!