Chopping Block - My first

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Project by Karson posted 03-13-2012 04:21 PM 4244 views 3 times favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Many people on LumberJocks have designed and created their cutting boards. And I’ve often thought about making one.

But, I just came into close proximity of my first cutting board.

This was made over 40 years ago. Back in the day when we didn’t care if we had sharp knives hanging off the side where children could reach them.

I had come into possession of around 20,000 Bd Ft of hard rock Maple at the astronomical price of 2 cents per Bd Ft. This wood was sitting in a salvage yard and they had 2 Million Bd ft of this stuff. I had been paying 4 cents a bd ft, until I offered to take an entire stack. He then quoted the price of 2 cents. So I spent the next month moving a 3’ X 3’ X 3’ cube home in the back of my van. Each cube was about 300 Bd FT.

I made a lot of toys that I sold at flee markets and school craft fairs.

But I also made something for the house.

The top is 22” X 22” and the center is 6” thick the outer apron is 9” thick The legs are two laminated pieces 3” x 3” As you can imagine I had to put casters on it.

The finish is what I understood was the finish for the real chopping blocks in Butcher shops at the time and down through history.

The finish is melted paraffin and then ironed in using an my wife’s electric iron. I’ve since bought my own, or she since bought a new one.

We had this cutting board in our home for close to 30 years. My son who is/was a professional chef wanted it in his home, so he took it. He had it for a few years.

He was then moving into an apt in New York City when his wife went in a Medical Fellowship in the city. So the cutting board was inherited by my youngest daughter and her family. They had it for a few years.

Then they were doing some remodeling in their kitchen and floor space came a little tight so it was inherited by my middle daughter and her family and it’s sitting in a 100 Yr old house in Maryland.

We had a birthday party for a couple of my grandchildren and so I had my camera and took a couple of pictures of some of my early woodworking and my ”First” Cutting board.


-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

44 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118252 posts in 4817 days

#1 posted 03-13-2012 04:31 PM

wow that’s a killer of a chopping block ,I bet it’s heavy too. Super job Karson.


View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4675 days

#2 posted 03-13-2012 04:40 PM

That’s the real McCoy Karson.
I used to see ones just like it in butcher’s shops.
Very authentic. Very well done.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4888 days

#3 posted 03-13-2012 04:43 PM

what a lovely story this block as to tell.

reminds me of the good-ole-days when climbing on trees, and running around was still considered a legitimate fun time.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5458 days

#4 posted 03-13-2012 04:44 PM

Looks like you could chop the whole cow on that one!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 5325 days

#5 posted 03-13-2012 04:47 PM

Beautiful project, Karson. With a full-fledged family history! Still looks good after all these years.


View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5645 days

#6 posted 03-13-2012 04:54 PM

good story and project Karson.
I was able to picture you taking all of that wood home in the back of a van.
enjoyed reading about it.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5122 days

#7 posted 03-13-2012 04:56 PM

What a sweet project and a sweet story.
I remembered you mentioned this years ago on LJs. Nice to finally see it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jdh122's profile


1266 posts in 4057 days

#8 posted 03-13-2012 05:02 PM

20,000 bd ft of maple for only $400! One of the most amazing wood purchases ever. Congratulations.
Oh, and nice cutting block too.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5640 days

#9 posted 03-13-2012 05:06 PM

It was nice for me to see it after all of these years also.

Thanks for the comments. It does bring back memories of all of the lunch hours spent in the salvage yard. I wonder if that place is still there and what happened to all of that maple. I’ve only got maybe 100 bd ft left. I used some to make the legs on my current workbench here in DE.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

501 posts in 5022 days

#10 posted 03-13-2012 05:06 PM

The history, the story, these are the things that truly make woodworking so enriching.

Thanks for sharing, Karson


View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4581 days

#11 posted 03-13-2012 05:26 PM

and generations to go still

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5292 days

#12 posted 03-13-2012 06:05 PM

Well, Karson, I’d call that a real Blockbuster!

An heirloom for sure!

Congratulations on making such a nice piece!

And what a DEAL on the cost! Amazing how inflation can change things… isn’t it? LOL
... any of that Maple left over? :)

COOL… ... and not a Chip off the old Block! :)

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View KMT's profile


603 posts in 3902 days

#13 posted 03-13-2012 06:06 PM

Great story, its nice to know that projects like that are used and cherished by family members.

-- - Martin

View Gary's profile


1508 posts in 5564 days

#14 posted 03-13-2012 06:08 PM

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

-- Gary, Florida

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4431 days

#15 posted 03-13-2012 06:11 PM

I guess at 2 cents a BF you can afford to go big!!!!

Great quality, I wish you would have gotten a better snap shot of the top,
I would have liked to seen what 40 years of use has done to it.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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