My Kitchen Board, the Redwood and Sycamores

DSC_0047It’s a lot of work to make one of these by hand. I could see someone setting up a series of machines or machine operations to make them, as with the wall clock we built on woodworkingmasterclasses.com. Time-wise this is about a 4-hour project by hand. Most likely it will take you longer if you haven’t any experience but the whole process is enjoyable. Remember also that making one by machine requires only minimal machine knowledge surrounding safety issues and none of the hand skills we aspire to develop and establish permanently. I often think how many hundreds of thousands of people are robbed of the enjoyment they can have working by hand early on in their lives. As a commercial venture cutting boards like this could be set up for manufacture to a point that one machinist could make fifty in a day or so. Depends on what you want.

DSC_0034I wandered back down to the Castle kitchens to compare my work and see how it fits in the kitchen. It looked right at home there. DSC_0050Throughout the kitchens I found many breadboard-end projects using the system of through-tenons and draw-bore pins – 12’ long by 5’ wide kitchen tables, sink troughs, doors, post and beam construction. My mind escaped the present to enter realms 160 years ago. The kitchen dates back to that time and so what’s there in substance was made by men, local workmen like myself, craftsmen joiners and cabinet makers. DSC_0052DSC_0036I remember making sink drainers from sycamore 45 years ago and running the draining channels with 3/4″ hollows. this spoon is sycamore too. I can make one by hand in about half an hour and plan to show you how on wmc soon.

DSC_0013I spent time walking the woods today too. A break from benchwork. The foresters culled out some 16 and 25 year old sycamores, some pines and a couple of rowens so it was a harvest-a-plenty for spoons, spatulas and rolling pins made off the lathe!!! I sat for a while and soaked in the silence of evening.DSC_0017DSC_0023Under a massive redwood more than a century old I rested to watch the sun settle beyond the sanity of the woods. Some limbed branches were rotting on the outside and solid inside. I thought about that and saw how there is order in disintegration as wood returns to the earth. I’m still startled at whiteness! DSC_0028How when you roll over a log and the underside can lies in dirt and something thriving on decay can be so pure white. On another limbed segment of redwood the redness too inflames the heart that congealed like dried blood leaked.

The sycamore is white too. It’s a lovely whiteness and the limbs feel heavy even in short lengths. It was full day really. Working in mahogany I cut dovetails, I carried sycamore and I enjoyed redwoods on a wrong continent. My hands gripped, pulled, pushed and twisted tools and woods of different types. DSC_0003

1 thought on “My Kitchen Board, the Redwood and Sycamores”

  1. Great find. Whenever I encounter felled wood here in urban Los Angeles, it is usually Eucalyptus or Camphor. Not sure if those woods have much practical use for woodwork.

    I would like to see you do a turning video making a rolling pin or furniture part on the lathe. That would be a treat. I can see a wood lathe being in my future.

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