Mothers Day - Crotch Maple and Holly Cheese Board #1: Crotch Maple and Holly Cheese Board for Mothers Day

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Blog entry by IanB22 posted 05-10-2013 05:51 PM 2298 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Mothers Day - Crotch Maple and Holly Cheese Board series no next part

Here is my second ‘official’ wood working project. I also want to share a bit about my process and why I am doing this crazy hobby! (given in reverse order)

1. Wood grows all around me, and it’s cheap!
2. Due to some financial difficulties, my other hobbies had to sold off and the checks from work are a LOT smaller to pay down some debt.
3. My Grandfather built half of the town I grew up in, and there is a big connection to him as he built our dinning room table, and EVERYONE loves it, simple shaker leg long table.
4. I love to use the Chainsaw, and its super cheap to run too.


5. I think it is incredibly challenging, rewarding, and uses my own two hands to make something from scratch!

Ok, blah blah blah, onto the photo’s of this board.

1. This is reclaimed wood, from a portion of a property that was being cleared for a maintenance road. I just happened to find a few good pieces of maple sitting on the side of the road and threw them in the car. (well lifted HEAVY SHIT into my car) Probably had been down for about a year when I found them. The holly I purchased a 15’ long 9” diameter log that tapered to 4” for 35$ and cut it down on the bandsaw last fall, both the crotch and the holly have been drying in the garage for at least 4 months. (not great, I know, but hey, it’s only wood)

2. I ripped the crotch with the chainsaw free-hand, no guides nothing. (mistake but what are you going to do?)

3. I then band-sawed the piece you see below here on a saw from 1919, with a 1/2 hp motor and a 2 tpi blade with an 8” resaw capability.

4. I then took the piece above and started hand-planing it down. I created a make-shift bench out of a picnic table at my work with a few clamps and a bench hook. Nothing I could do but use hand planes, as I don’t have a planer or a jointer or even a hand-held electric planer. For the ‘big stuff’ and hogging off material, I may need to find a cheaper hand-held planer on craigslist and see if it helps in my process.

So far, this is where I am at, I have one coat of amber shellac on the crotch, and choose not to put any finish on the holly wood. Glue up was with hide glue. Another few coats of shellac should help, and a final polish with wax for the whole piece to help the holly stay ‘ok’ and food safe.

6 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2324 days

#1 posted 05-10-2013 08:10 PM

Great second project.

-- Joel

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3375 days

#2 posted 05-10-2013 10:31 PM

Good use of some found wood. The crotch piece is beautiful. The holly makes a nice contrast.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2960 days

#3 posted 05-11-2013 12:46 AM

That is an absolutely gorgeous piece of maple. Good eye finding that!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DocK16's profile


1186 posts in 4357 days

#4 posted 05-12-2013 02:01 AM

Nice project….but there’s just something about using the words mother and crotch in the title that just makes me a little ….uncomfortable

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View IanB22's profile


14 posts in 2231 days

#5 posted 05-13-2013 12:49 PM

Thanks so much guys, I am still new to this site, so it’s good when people see the Blog posts as well as the completed projects. I actually took my rotary polisher for the car, and the softest pad I had and buffed my shellac after getting it as ‘flat’ as I could when applying coats. Here is the updated photo’s.

My wife and mother of the kids really liked the board. Her first comment after putting it in the kitchen was “Boy, the other boards look so bad now?” I could only smile knowing I had lots more idea’s for replacing them with more cutting friendly versions using Maple, Oak, Walnut and Holly.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3136 days

#6 posted 05-13-2013 01:12 PM

Very nice board and the wood is beautiful. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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