Today is unseasonably hot. Working in my basement shop was the coolest part of the house but still a warm sweaty place. The result of the day's work are these three cutting boards. I have talked about and featured boards in my blogs over and over and I have got a pretty good system in place for making them. The other day I was talking to someone who wondered out loud why my cutting board cost so much more than the ones available at department stores.
So lets review. At a large department store there are cutting boards made from wood (sometimes) Usually the wood is an unknown species from Asia, glued together with heat activated epoxy. Small wonder people have switched to plastic cutting boards. Not only are they cheap but you at least know what they are.
My cutting boards are oak and maple, (roasted maple in the case of the two tone board) or elm. All the wood I use is from eastern Canada or the United States and since it is common domestic wood there is little chance of the lumber being over exploited. In other parts of the world it is much more difficult to be sure how they manage their lumber resources.
I have also been very careful about the finish I put on my boards. I use hemp oil as a finish, it is food grade. In fact it is possible to cook with hemp oil.
As I was working on the boards I was also aware of the number of tools needed to get a high quality result. I big factory some place certainly has the advantage over my little shop. Things like cutting boards are a product that is affected by the efficiencies of scale. Of course you end up with 100's of cutting boards that look exactly the same. My boards are nice enough to be used as serving boards, they don't come out looking the same.
One of these days I am going to make a board start to finish with hand tools alone. That will be a hand planing challenge.