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End-grain vs Edge-grain boards/blocks

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

What is the difference functionally. Are end-grain boards/blocks more durable and easier on the edges of our knives? 

 

I see a lot of board/block makers using "edge grain" (Boos has both, The Boardsmith end-grain). Is there any reason why I shouldn't buy edge-grain boards/blocks?

post #2 of 23

Edge grain absorbs less and takes less wood to make a board so it's more cost effective. End grain is the best for your knife edge and has been described as "self healing" in that the small cuts on the surface of the board may close back up to some degree.

FWIW when you buy Maple boards from Michigan Maple Block or Boos you are buying North American Timber that was harvested and sized for cutting boards. BS boards are made from wood from a lumberyard and that's why the shape is different. The origin of some lumberyard wood is never truly known as it wasn't purchased at the source.

For Home use Edge grain is perfect to have as a butcher board and End grain for daily use with your good knives. Both Boos and MMB offer  NSF rated boards for those who require that rating.

Remember boards with feet are not intended by the manufacturer to be used on both sides so you end up with half the cutting surface. If you do you switch the feet you can end up with holes in the board that absorb bacteria.

Don't forget to pay attention to thickness no matter who you buy a board from. I wouldn't want a board thinner than 2" and I prefer 3" boards.

 

Dave


Edited by DuckFat - 5/30/12 at 4:39am
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post #3 of 23
Edge Grain vs End Grain: In my experience the overall quality of the board in terms of the quality of the wood, whether it's properly aged, the glue, and the integrity of the construction have more to do with how well the board will perform and last than simply whether it's end grain vs edge grain. That is, a good edge grain board will out perform a not so good end grain.

With end grain, the orientation of the fibers allow them to open up to accept the knife edge -- which makes them easier on the edge; and close back when the edge is off the board -- which makes them self-healing. Or, to be fair to Duck Fat, somewhat self healing.

Lumber yard vs Special trees making better boards? I don't know about that, and with all due respect to Dave (Duck Fat), the implication that custom stands of maple make for better boards sounds like BS to me. Whatever lumber Dave (Boardsmith) uses, is very stable and very well put together.

If you want to know why Dave Smith does something you should ask him. If he has the time (which he doesn't always), he LIKES to explain.

Okay. Maybe one exception. Dave made a conscious decision not to deal with the NSF. If you want the whole libertarian/ anarchist/ "screw 'em" rant email or call him. Or take my word for it; it's a long story when he tells it.

Regarding NSF certification, particularly: I don't care about DS's politics or business aspirations. My suggestion is if you're buying the board for home use, don't worry about it. It's a sticker which doesn't mean diddly.

I've used Boos boards for over thirty years, and have nothing bad to say about them. I've only used a Boardsmith for a little more than a year, but have been aware of them for quite a few. In the last ten years or so, I think I can recall one person complaining about a Boardsmith board because he didn't want feet, ordered them accidentally, got them, and wanted Dave to replace the board AND eat the postage. Hilarity ensued.

Feet are a mixed bag. Our Boardsmith has feet with all the advantages conferred by ventilation, plus the advantage that you can tuck a second knife and a board knife (scraper) under the board. On the other foot, you can't really turn the board over and use the other side. With the Boos board (no feet), we have to fight the moisture; which means that I have to clean up after everyone else. 90% of moisture control is turning the board over -- so that promotes more even use and might make the board last an extra decade or so. Or not.

It it seems I'm pushing Boardsmith, let me say that I don't represent Boardsmith boards, don't have a personal relationship with Dave Smith, don't care one way or the other if you buy a Boardsmith, don't have anything negative to say about Boos, don't care if you buy a Boos, don't have any experience with MMB, and don't care if you buy one of those either..

BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 5/30/12 at 10:39am
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post #4 of 23

Feet can be fashioned from a wine cork and glued on.  When the time comes, remove them and the glue and use that side for cutting.  No screw holes.

post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Lumber yard vs Special trees making better boards? I don't know about that, and with all due respect to Dave (Duck Fat), the implication that custom stands of maple make for better boards sounds like BS to me.

 

I don't have a clue what "special" trees are but certainly when some one orders a board with a species of timber like Mahogany that's what they expect to get. Not some unknown species from a lumberyard that kinda sorta looks like mahogany harvested from an unknown foreign source. Wood at a lumber yard gets transported and stored with pressure treated wood. eek.gif

There's a few threads at ChowHound with complaints about the mahogany and poor customer service from BS. Threatening to sue one of your customers just because they return a product is more than a little over the top. Read it in Davids own words on his blog if you like. Then there are those who received boards with feet that didn't order them and plenty of complaints about receiving boards with broken or loose feet.

The only "BS" I see is the absurd rant David wrote about NSF. Those who need a NSF rated board won't care much about any sales shuck n jive or some ones political aspirations.

As far as feet and moisture Maple boards have been used for over a hundred years with out them. Stand the boards on edge after use and allow them to dry.

No matter what you buy just understand that a more expensive board is not always better. Boos, MMB or BS are certainly the top three I could suggest that are made in the USA. Boos and MMB have a 1 year warranty.

 

Dave


Edited by DuckFat - 5/30/12 at 11:09am
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post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mano View Post

Feet can be fashioned from a wine cork and glued on.  When the time comes, remove them and the glue and use that side for cutting.  No screw holes.

 

That's a good idea. I've seen some use those thicker rubber stick ons that you can buy at the hardware store that are meant to be put on the inside of cup board doors to prevent them from banging shut.

 

Dave

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post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

With edge grain, the orientation of the fibers allow them to open up to accept the knife edge -- which makes them easier on the edge

 

Not trying to be a wise guy, but in the interest of disseminating accurate information

 

Quote:http://www.theboardsmith.com/purchase.htm
End grain boards are easier on the knife edges and will last much longer.
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post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

So maybe both types of boards have a "self healing ability". To what ever the degree. And both are durable. Edge-grain boards don't absorb as much. Etc.

 

I agree that in the end it comes down to the build quality. And since Boos is so established. Used throughout the industry and at home. On Food Network cooking shows (I think Iron Chef America). I don't think I'd go wrong buying one. Especially being that I'm cooking at home and not a chef. Perhaps I will buy the  Black Loon (Black Loon Millworks International) 3.75"x18"x24" board from Tosho (Toronto...https://toshoknifearts.com/shop/accessories/black-loon-cutting-board-24-x-18-x-3-34). Respected Japanese knife shop. So I don't have to order a BS board and pay what I believe is a $40-50 shipping fee and hope it arrives undamaged.

 

They said this board is "long grain". DIdn't say if it is either end or edge-grain. Is "long grain" another way of saying "edge grain"?

 

Feet. Cork. Good idea. Could also velcro on the felt feet meant to be put under sofas legs too. Or just roll up two hand towels and put them underneath. If you want to use the other side just remove the towels. Then toss the towels in the washer when done. No need to use glue or velcro. 

 

Any how thanks guys.


Edited by BDD8 - 5/30/12 at 10:40am
post #9 of 23
I apologize for any confusion caused by my erroneous use of the term "edge grain" when I meant "end grain." I knew when I wrote that end grain tends to heal better than edge grain. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'll either edit the mistake out, or already have -- depending on when you read this.

BDL
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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post

So maybe both types of boards have a "self healing ability". To what ever the degree.

 

No. Edge grain boards do not have the same fiber/cell exposure due to the way the wood is cut.

Boos and MMB have been around over 100 years but boos is having some issues with cracking. I've had two Boos boards split and Americas test kitchens had one split as well. I think you'll find some others that had the same experience with on CH as well. If you go with Boos buy from a local vendor like SLT or WS that will honor the warranty hassle free at the store if you have a problem.

The black Loon looks like a fine board and it's local to boot! That is an edge grain board.

If you use hand towels under a board don't roll them up. That would probably not be stable. Nothing wrong with using a damp towel under a board to stop it from slipping though.

Enjoy the new board.

 

Dave

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post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post

 

No. Edge grain boards do not have the same fiber/cell exposure due to the way the wood is cut.

Boos and MMB have been around over 100 years but boos is having some issues with cracking. I've had two Boos boards split and Americas test kitchens had one split as well. I think you'll find some others that had the same experience with on CH as well. If you go with Boos buy from a local vendor like SLT or WS that will honor the warranty hassle free at the store if you have a problem.

The black Loon looks like a fine board and it's local to boot! That is an edge grain board.

If you use hand towels under a board don't roll them up. That would probably not be stable. Nothing wrong with using a damp towel under a board to stop it from slipping though.

Enjoy the new board.

 

Dave

Hey Dave,

 

Just noticed BDL's correction. 

 

Problem with boards...obviously few brands are immune. I think especially large scale producers like Boos. Hopefully Black Loon is more consistent. So far I haven't heard any one complain. 

 

In the end I don't think it will really matter which way I go. End-grain or Edge-grain. No "boardsmith" is immune to producing bad boards/blocks. Things happen during shipping. Etc. Plus, being a home cook, it becomes less crucial. We spend maybe 1/10th the time prepping out dinners than a working chef. Thus, we put MUCH less wear and abuse on our boards/blocks than chefs/ex-chefs I'm sure. 

 

As  you said. As long as we buy from a reputable franchise like SLT or WS with "no hassle' policies buyers should be fine. Or, buying from an established knife shop like Tosho. 

 

Any how, thanks for the information Dave et al.!! :)

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post

Problem with boards...obviously few brands are immune.

 

All makers can have production issues at some point but it's how they deal with it that counts. I hope you will let us know how the Black Loon works out.

BTW if your ever over in Detroit drop me a line and you can test drive the two types of boards SxS.  

I've put those shops we talked about on a list to visit soon.

BTW you may want to consider the one that's 20x18x2.75. I use 18x12x3 and it's plenty at home.

There's a photo of a 270mm Yanagi on it in my profile photos.

 

Dave


Edited by DuckFat - 5/30/12 at 12:19pm
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post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post

 

All makers can have production issues at some point but it's how they deal with it that counts. I hope you will let us know how the Black Loon works out.

BTW if your ever over in Detroit drop me a line and you can test drive the two types of boards SxS.  

I've put those shops we talked about on a list to visit soon.

 

Dave

Thanks for the offer Dave. Might take you up on it one day.

 

And I might be looking at a Larchwood board. Canadian. And they specialize in end-grain boards. So I'm guessing they only produce end-grain products. I asked them for a price quote for a 4"x18"x24" board. Will let every one know their asking price. Nice you can custom order a board size from them. 

 

Have a good one Dave. 

post #14 of 23

Here's one way to differentiate between end grain and edge grain.

 

Imagine you have a fist-full of soda straws.  With the straws running the length , you have "edge grain",  with the ends pointing up you have "end grain.  All wood is composed of hollow fibers that transport water, and held together by lignin, a natural wood "glue".

 

Wood is a commodity and comes in many, many forms.  For years, "Michigan Maple" brand was found all over Canada for butcher's blocks and baker's tables.  Most of it came from Quebec, Canada which is also famous for maple syrup.

 

Cutting a log into lumber is an art.  If you were to slice the log into slices--like a carrot, you have "flat-sawn" lumber featuring the typical "cathederal flame" grain pattern.  Flat-sawn is more prone to warping and cupping than quarter sawn or rived wood.  Quarter sawn lumber is made when you quarter the log, then cut the quarters into slices.  This lumber is very stable and has very little warping--if any. Riven or split wood is where you split log rounds into slices.  Since wood splits along it's fibers, this results in the strongest, straightest wood with darn near 0 shrinkage, but is the most labour intensive method to produce.  It is not done commercially, but many custom chair makers do it.

 

Trees growing on  mountain slopes or in stressed conditions result in lousy lumber--always warping in the direction that the tree was stressed in.  Orchard or back-yard trees commonly yield screws, nails, bullets, lead shot, car springs(!) and even the odd horse-shoe or two.  Not all that great for saws or operators....

 

 

Kiln dried lumber has advantages and disadvantages.  For construction lumber it is great, for furniture grade not so great, and can be prone to "case hardening" (baked on the outside, and when you cut into it, reacts violently) and serious checking.  Most serious high quality wood workers prefer air dried lumber, which takes a lot longer--usually 1 year per inch of thickness to season properly.

 

I've got an old monster butcher's block, about 24" x 30" and about 20" thick, weighs about 300 lbs.  It's all end grain construction, but dove tailed.  That is, each strip of wood is shaped with a "female" wedge on one side and a "male" wedge on the other that interlock. It won't come apart unless I take a chainsaw to it.

 

Whatever you choose, remember that wood is a natural material, it swells with humidity changes and shrinks with humidity changes.  It stains easily from contact with wet metal and some fruits, an it is far, far , far more easier to look at than plain-jane white nylon boards.

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post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post

Edge grain absorbs less and takes less wood to make a board so it's more cost effective. End grain is the best for your knife edge and has been described as "self healing" in that the small cuts on the surface of the board may close back up to some degree.

FWIW when you buy Maple boards from Michigan Maple Block or Boos you are buying North American Timber that was harvested and sized for cutting boards. BS boards are made from wood from a lumberyard and that's why the shape is different. The origin of some lumberyard wood is never truly known as it wasn't purchased at the source.

For Home use Edge grain is perfect to have as a butcher board and End grain for daily use with your good knives. Both Boos and MMB offer  NSF rated boards for those who require that rating.

Remember boards with feet are not intended by the manufacturer to be used on both sides so you end up with half the cutting surface. If you do you switch the feet you can end up with holes in the board that absorb bacteria.

Don't forget to pay attention to thickness no matter who you buy a board from. I wouldn't want a board thinner than 2" and I prefer 3" boards.

 

Dave

 

Why would an edge grain board take less wood than an end grain board?  If a board is 24 x 24 x 2, you have 8 board feet, whether or not it is edge, flat, or end grain.  The might be some slight difference in cutting loss, but not much,   I would be curious as to how a log would be cut differently for a cutting board rather than for other uses.  I make my own boards, and regardless of the size of the original plank, it does not alter the shape of the final product.  All the planks are put through the table saw and the thickness sander and/or planer.  What is the difference in lumber yard lumber and that from North American Timber (is that a brand, or a harvesting area)?  While it is true that you may not know the geographical source of a plank, any woodworker can tell the difference between maple, walnut, cherry, or other woods, even if the wood is labelled similarly. 

 

I don't put feet or grooves on my boards. and intend to use both sides.  The weight of a board is sufficient to hold it in place on a counter top.  I seldom go over 2 inches thick as you are altering the counter top height when you add a board. This can be a problem for short people.  There is also the weight factor.  IMO, end grain boards are the best for all home kitchen use.  Edge grain or flat grain tend to be less costly as they are less labor intensive to make.

I don't think I would use an edge grain board for butchering and an end grain board for daily use.  All my knives are my good knives.

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo68 View Post

Why would an edge grain board take less wood than an end grain board?  If a board is 24 x 24 x 2, you have 8 board feet, whether or not it is edge, flat, or end grain.  

What is the difference in lumber yard lumber and that from North American Timber ?  While it is true that you may not know the geographical source of a plank, any woodworker can tell the difference between maple, walnut, cherry, or other woods, even if the wood is labelled similarly. 

 

I don't think I would use an edge grain board for butchering and an end grain board for daily use. 

 

 

 While it's true the board feet may be the same in two equally sized cutting boards of either edge or end grain that's a fairly moot point. End grain is comprised of far more pieces because of the way the wood is cut. That results in a higher cost. If you think all board feet are the same I would have been VERY happy to sell you timber in the past!

Some woodworkers may be able to tell the difference between most species but that doesn't imply all boards sold as a specific species are from North American or are even the species they are labeled for that matter.  As you noted when you buy lumber from a lumber yard the geographical source is unknown. Lumber yards typically purchase exotic woods from a distributor, who purchases from an importer who is buying it over seas from an exporter who bought it from a mill who bought it from a forester.

Culpability for illegal timber harvested in Africa and the Amazon etc often ends at the Mill. No one knows the exact species or sub-species of imported timber in many cases today unless that timber is certified or plantation grown. Geographic location may not be an issue for some woodworkers but I'd much rather have Northern Maple irrespective of how similarly it may be labeled.

How many cooks do you think realize there is both soft and hard Maple let alone the difference between the sub-species of maple?

Board makers like MMB, Boos and I'm assuming Black Loon as well just based on it's location buy Mill direct.  This allows those board makers to control not only their source but to control the process and assure that their wood is never kiln dried, stored or transported with pressure treated wood. Visit MMB or Boos and you can see the stacks of wood drying in the yard.

If you can afford all end grain I agree end grain is better but edge grain makes a very good and cost effective butchering surface for most home cooks.

 

Dave

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post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post

 

 

 While it's true the board feet may be the same in two equally sized cutting boards of either edge or end grain that's a fairly moot point. End grain is comprised of far more pieces because of the way the wood is cut. That results in a higher cost. If you think all board feet are the same I would have been VERY happy to sell you timber in the past!

Some woodworkers may be able to tell the difference between most species but that doesn't imply all boards sold as a specific species are from North American or are even the species they are labeled for that matter.  As you noted when you buy lumber from a lumber yard the geographical source is unknown. Lumber yards typically purchase exotic woods from a distributor, who purchases from an importer who is buying it over seas from an exporter who bought it from a mill who bought it from a forester.

Culpability for illegal timber harvested in Africa and the Amazon etc often ends at the Mill. No one knows the exact species or sub-species of imported timber in many cases today unless that timber is certified or plantation grown. Geographic location may not be an issue for some woodworkers but I'd much rather have Northern Maple irrespective of how similarly it may be labeled.

How many cooks do you think realize there is both soft and hard Maple let alone the difference between the sub-species of maple?

Board makers like MMB, Boos and I'm assuming Black Loon as well just based on it's location buy Mill direct.  This allows those board makers to control not only their source but to control the process and assure that their wood is never kiln dried, stored or transported with pressure treated wood. Visit MMB or Boos and you can see the stacks of wood drying in the yard.

If you can afford all end grain I agree end grain is better but edge grain makes a very good and cost effective butchering surface for most home cooks.

 

Dave

 

When I buy a  board foot of lumber, I expect a board 12 x 12 x 1 inch.  Anything else delivered and I would have an issue with the vendor.  That is not a moot point.  If you purchase a surfaced plank, you will receive less finished wood as the measurement is taken at the mill.   While end grain consists of more individual pieces, a board foot of end grain board is exactly the same quantity as a board foot in an edge grain or flat grain board.  My method of producing the end grain is not all that much different in terms of time and labor than an edge grain board.  It is one extra step. 

Start by ripping  2 x 2 squares the length of the board in question.  Ripping into squares is not totally necessary,. but will produce a more attractive board.   I generally make mine counter top size, so you will need 12 squares 2 feet long + cutting waste.  Glue up a panel 12 squares wide.  At this point you have an edge grain board.  Crosscut the panel into 2 inch square sticks.  Rotate the squares 90 degrees, glue, and you now have an end grain board.   If you want a patterned board, say a checkerboard pattern of walnut and maple, you will need to make 2 shorter panels with the pattern reversed.  I have access to a wide thickness sander, and the boards are finished on the sander.

 

When you speak of sustainability of species, that is a different issue and typically does not affect the quality of the board.  Most boards made in the US are made from walnut, cherry, or maple.  None are endangered in the US.  Mahogany is sometimes used, and there are many species labelled as mahogany.  Spanish cedar, for instance, is neither Spanish nor cedar, but is a mahogany.   Timber labelled as African or Philippine  mahogany may be most any brown wood.  What you want is Swietina.   I can tell the difference between farm raised and naturally grown timber. Farm raised is grown faster, straighter, and is typically softer. Whether one is better than the other is debatable.  Hard northern maple and the softer southern maple are also different.  I have used both, and there is little difference in board performance.  The issue of kiln dried and air dried is also debatable.  I purchase green planks and air dry for a few years.  Sometimes they will then go into a solar kiln for finishing.  There are case hardened boards,  This is the result of improper drying.  I'm not sure transporting furniture grade timber with pressure treated is a major issue.  If they were stacked together and the pressure treated is still wet, as it often is, it could be.

 

Nuff said about woodworking and lumber purchasing.  My recommendations for a home cook is to purchase a board as large as you can handle in terms of price, weight, and space requirements.  If an end grain board is too pricy, get an edge grain board from a reputable makers, I am familiar with Boos and Boardsmith, and both produce good boards and the price is not all that much higher than the foreign stuff from Kitchens R Us.  It will last for years if cared for.  All wet boards should be dried standing on edge.  Laying on a counter top is liable to warp the board.  Another reason for no feet.  A warped board can be turned over and warped back into shape.  Wood twists and cracks along the length and cups across the width, so an end grain board, with its 2 inch long sticks, will do less of both.

 

Jim

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo68 View Post
Hard northern maple and the softer southern maple are also different. I have used both, and there is little difference in board performance. The issue of kiln dried and air dried is also debatable. I purchaseHard northern maple and the softer southern maple are also different. I have used both, and there is little difference in board performance.                                    
What you want is Swietina.

 

  I sincerely hope I never buy a cutting board and get taken for a ride by some one passing off kiln dried soft Maple for air dried hard Maple. Soft Maple is by no means exclusive to Southern states and is easy to distinguish from hard Maple by looking at the end grain. Soft Maple is not as hard or strong. 

Hard Maple sells for more per board foot.  As I already noted if you think all board footage is the same I would have been very happy to sell you timber. 

The origin of timber absolutely affects the quality of the wood. Sustainability is another issue but certainly worth considering before ordering an exotic wood board.

Swietina is all CITES listed and the focus of several environmental groups as a species that's being illegally harvested in Brazil and elsewhere.

Not what I'd want at all.

Unless you want a display piece IMO hard Northern Maple is certainly the best wood for a cutting board or butcher block.

 

 

Dave


Edited by DuckFat - 5/31/12 at 8:46am
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post #19 of 23

I would agree with you that anyone passing off Southern Maple as Northern Rock is not being honest.  I do not make boards professionally at all, and do not pass them off as anything but what they are.  Southern Maple is readily available in this area, and for most purposes serves the needs of the home cook.  I have a couple of mills nearby that cut pallet wood and will let me pick planks out of the stack as they come off the saw.  I've got enough wood so that I can afford to stack and sticker for years if need be.

 

All Swietenia is not endangered, and is readily available for sale.  The environmental groups issue is a matter for another thread and perhaps another forum.  I typically do not use Mahogany of any species as I prefer local species.  I will grant you that much rainforest wood is being pirated.

 

I would agree that Northern Rock Maple makes a very good cutting board, perhaps one of the best. 

 

I think that we will have to agree to disagree on many of the issues presented above.  I am strictly an amateur woodworker, using what I have on hand in most cases.  Generally, the recipients of my woodworking projects just say thank you and use them for years.
 

post #20 of 23

If your building boards for your own use or gifts that's a separate issue and a bit detached from the conversation. 

AFAIK all Swietenia is CITES listed. I'm not normally the tree hugger type but exotics from unknown sources are not my first pick .

I'm just not a fan of wood from a lumberyard being used in cutting boards. I've seen that wood on a truck many times mixed with pressure treat. In the rain I have to believe some of that washes off and absorbs in the other wood. To what extent I don't know but it's certainly not something I want in my kitchen.

The bottom line for me is that there is a viable difference between lumber in a lumberyard and timber sourced at a local mill for cutting boards.

I'm not sure you could get that NSF rating on a wood board with lumber procured from an unknown source.

Sometimes those ratings do mean a good bit more than diddly.

 

Dave

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Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #21 of 23

Amazing discussion!  A lot of good points.

 

The Canadian customer mentioned was a pain.  I don't believe I threatened to sue him but he was more than a royal pain and chose to skewer me on another forum.  When I responded, the reply was removed.

 

NSF is another issue.  You can purchase a NSF rating for a few thousand dollars without them ever inspecting either the manufacturing facilities or finished product.  To some it is important.  To some it isn't.  I even saw a NSF sticker on a non-related food item recently.

 

Wood   Treated and non-treated lumber remain separated because of the chemical issues and since treated wood is mostly soft wood like pine, they tend not to be grouped together in either the sawyers or dry kilns. 

 

Air dried vs kiln dried.  Air dried does take an extended period of time, 1 year per inch, and can result in checking and cracking along the ends.  Kiln dried produces a very even moisture content and all the furniture made uses kiln dried wood.  (The wood seen at furniture plants stacked outside is there drying prior to entering the kiln.)  The design I use is a running bond pattern, like the pattern of bricks on your house.  Also, larger pieces of wood result in less glue joints meaning the knife edges contact the harder glue less often.  The major manufacturers use smaller pieces because they rip the wood first into smaller pieces and use a random pattern.  I don't use this patter because of the wood I use, it is a tried and true engineered pattern. 

 

When I say I use a lumber yard, it is a covered building specializing in furniture grade hardwoods for the professional industry in this area.  All the wood arrives by truck with the loads either covered by tarps or in enclosed trailers.  I don't us a BORG like Lowe's or Home Depot.  Those are lumber yards!  High prices and low quality.

 

Lumber contains stresses that occur naturally and are produced by where and how they grow.  To avoid a hill side tree is impossible to avoid.  I try to by very picky about the woods I choose but defects can't be avoided and are cut out and discarded.  When a defect shows up in final sanding or somewhere along the way, the board hits the dumpster it it can't be saved as a smaller board. 

 

End grain vs edge/face grain - I don't sell the edge/face variety.  To easily marked by knife edges resulting in splinters. 

 

Exotic woods should be avoided and are used mostly by hobby builders to make them look pretty.  Neither MMB, Boos or any of the other major makers use exotics for good reasons. 

 

The rubber feet are there for several reasons and I am happy to leave them off if ordered that way.  Very few are ordered without feet.  Using some stick-on foot or wine cork will probably not work.  Once treated with oil, the surface will not let the adhesive adhere. 

 

Boos, MMC, Catskill Craftsmen, all make quality boards.  The odd split and crack in any of them is a small percentage of what they produce.

 

If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me anytime.  My numbers are listed on my web site.

David The BoardSMITH
www.TheBoardSMITH.com
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David The BoardSMITH
www.TheBoardSMITH.com
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post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by The BoardSMITH View Post

When I say I use a lumber yard, it is a covered building specializing in furniture grade hardwoods for the professional industry in this area.  All the wood arrives by truck with the loads either covered by tarps or in enclosed trailers.  I don't us a BORG like Lowe's or Home Depot.  Those are lumber yards!  High prices and low quality.

 

 

David,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'm glad you did because after I read you purchased from a lumber yard in the past I certainly was thinking along the lines of HD, Lowes or Wickes.

I've seen them stack pressure treat with other woods at that was always a concern.

I was under the impression the person you had the issue with on the return was from LA but if there was an issue unknown to me on another forum I can certainly appreciate the frustration that might arise.

 

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #23 of 23

DuckFat - I am so accustomed to calling the supplier I use a lumber yard that I do it all the time.  I suppose it sounds like Lowes, Home Depot, 84 or Wickes (are there still Wikes out there?) so I guess I need to be more careful in my description.  Thanks for pointing that out to me. 

 

Each year I run into at least one hard to deal with customer.  You referred to the California customer who complained to PayPal then kept the board for 45 days and all but destroyed it.  Even if it was returned in a pristine condition, I would have had to trash it anyway.  The Canadian customer was another person I would just as soon not hear from again and tried to make me miserable.  But, as bad as those two, the others I run into each year are a dream.  I'm tickled with the good customers and they make the bad ones look minuscule.

David The BoardSMITH
www.TheBoardSMITH.com
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David The BoardSMITH
www.TheBoardSMITH.com
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