why did this take so long?

First it was walnut. Then Alaska yellow cedar. Now this. Maple? What’s next? What happened to oak? Nothin’ – it’s just not a suitable wood for this item. This project is another case of “why did this take so long?” – not so long to make, but so long to get around to.


I have hated this cutting board for as long as we’ve had it.


Clunky, boring – just awful. I made a small plain cutting/serving board years ago, and my wife & I both use it regularly. But it’s as simple as can be…it’s better than the one above…but…that’s not much of a yardstick.


When it’s in use, or needing cleaning, the other one is the store-bought thick piece of junk. In September I spent a couple of weeks watching Jogge Sundqvist work, and was inspired to finally rectify my displeasure with this kitchen beast. I didn’t want to copy Jogge’s cutting and serving boards verbatim – so time went by and I sort of let the notion go.

new one

Yesterday I finished up some carved panels a bit early, and had some time leftover. So I planed up this long-waiting piece of Norway maple (Acer platanoides). And carved the back of it. So when it hangs on the wall, it’s a showpiece, then when you get it down to work with it, you flip it over & chop away. It’s radially-riven stock. I usually keep some around for making applied turnings for case furniture. 

So like the spoon rack that was on the blog the other night, this is a mish-mash. 17th-century English design, on non-oak wood, for a simple cutting board. Who decorates this stuff? The English for one – here’s a particularly goofy item:

16th century trencher, Metropolitan Museum of Art

 It’s a round trencher with painted design and poetry on the “back” side…the story is these were used for small servings after meals, then the people at the table would flip them over & recite the inscriptions. They weren’t for display, when not in use they were stored in a turned lidded box.

Historical precedent or not, now we have a new cutting board at home. And I can take the other one to the dump. One more hand-made item in, one more mass-produced item out. I feel better…

new skewed



Two spoons left, along with baskets and boxes, https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-baskets-furniture-for-sale-november-2015/  There’ll be more in a week or so.


8 thoughts on “why did this take so long?

  1. Very beautiful. Why not carve the mass produced item also? It’s not the wood’s fault that it was made into something ugly. Put a few nice designs on it and give it to someone who needs it.

    • Stoopid iPhone! It took me straight from the email of the blog to my own space to comment and now we’ve doubled up.
      Good suggestion.
      I agree completely.

  2. Hiya. First, I love your blog, both for the timber and the birds.

    Second, a suggestion I offer for the board you don’t like: you could take it to a thrift/op shop for someone else to have. If you wanted to make it unique for someone else, you could perhaps carve the back first. Even if it never gets used for a chopping board again, someone will love it, and it won’t have become landfill.

    Cheers and keep up the good work.

  3. thanks to both of you – but a couple of flaws in the actual idea, not the concept. The store-bought one is made from 3 boards glued up together. Too dicey for carving. If it was worth carving, I could have just done that ages ago & got on with things. Secondly, I make carved woodenware as part of my living – I can’t afford to carve stuff & take it to the swap shop/thrift store/take-it-or-leave it part of the dump. If I’m carving another one, it’s for sale. Crass, but like all of us, I have bills to pay. If it’s any consolation, the dump has an area where people can drop stuff off & others pick through it. So the chopping board that’s outgoing might find a new home & not be landfill. It just won’t be taunting me any more…

  4. Ooh! I emailed you about those two spoons! I hope nobody else bought them. I hoped to surprise my husband with them for Christmas. Are they still available? :)

  5. I’m reading your blog today, enjoying it as always, when my wife looks over my shoulder and spies the trencher. As she read the saying, I felt the room temp drop significantly. Gotta love it.
    Thanks for your Blog, Peter!

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