Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cutting Board 2.1: Ash

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Merry Christmas to all, and to two people, an ash cutting board...

This shows a good view of the edge grain construction.
The boards themselves are very similar. Both are roughly 18 inches long by 13 inches wide and at least an inch and a half thick. As you can see, the cutting surface is edge grain up, which makes for a very durable surface.

You can see the contrast between the pale yellow and the more colored grain.
The primary material is ash. I haven't done a post on ash yet, but it's a hard wood (it was used for baseball bats for years) that is somewhat porous. It varies from pale yellow without much visible grain patterning to possessing grain patterns that are strikingly colored with darker streaks, richer browns, and even hints of violet. With finish the pale yellow turns into a soft golden hue.

The boards are ringed with walnut. The dark color of the walnut creates a strong contrast with the lighter-colored ash. I routed a round-over on the walnut, defining a top and bottom to the board and giving it softer edges.

The finish is butchers block oil. There's nothing fancy or permanent about it, but it is food safe (if it weren't it would be a pretty crappy cutting board). It will fade over time, but all you need to do to refresh it is rub another coat on.

Also, if you ever desire a "fresh" surface again, you can always just sand it down, apply more oil, and voila, you've got one essentially brand new cutting board.

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