Design & Make

Vintage Oak Board

by Sebastian Kaufmann February 08, 2011
ReadVintage Oak Board

Thin cutting boards  are used in Germany as a plate, especially for breakfast, or as a small serving dish. This board fits a sandwich perfectly, with just enough room for a bit of mayonnaise, ketchup or mustard on the side. It’s also great if you want to cut your sandwich, fruit or other food into bite-size pieces. Cutting into wood instead of a porcelain is much easier on the knife (and the ears).

Since it’s made out of wood, there’s also no danger of it breaking when dropped on the floor. Because it’s so thin it’s really nice to handle, light  and easy to wash.

Sideview of a wood cutting board.

Cutting board, side view.

But being thin doesn’t only have advantages. When carelessly left in water it will warp much faster. I forgot it a few times in the sink but managed to warp it back to its old shape with steam and pressure. This may be in part because it is at least 40 or more years old.

It is also still in good shape because it is made out of oak. Oak is a fairly dense, strong, hard wood, and its high tannin content prevents fungal attack, so nasty molds don’t grow in the grain. In fact, from the 16th to the 19th centuries, Oak was used to make armed ships.

Detail of vintage oak wood cutting board

Cutting board, detail.

Despite this, the wood isn’t so hard that it’ll ruin you knife — the hundreds of little slices on the surface is proof that the wood isn’t needlessly dulling the edge of the knife with every cut. This board belonged to my grandparents and eating off them is one of my earliest childhood memories.

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