Breaking Bread

As I mentioned in the last post, I added to my cutting boards resume over the summer. I was fortunate enough to be the best man in my friends’ wedding and knew I couldn’t just get something off the registry. Not when the groom gifted me hand carved knives to temporarily substitute for the back-ordered blacksmith versions he ordered from Drew Langsner’s Country Workshops.

Thoughtful gifts

Thoughtful gifts

You see, Charlie and I have a kinship going on 20 years. The stories are many but for the purposes of this post I’ll just say we had a great time during his summer internship at North House Folk School. I had to be in Minneapolis for work first thing on a Monday morning. Instead of flying in late on Sunday, I left early on Saturday and flew into Duluth where I rented a car and drove up to see him. It was May 1st. It snowed. It was perfect. This trip was a turning point in our friendship as we transitioned many of our conversations from music, bands, and instruments to muses, banding, and hand tools. So when he asked me to be in his wedding, I knew my gift should reflect our relationship. Charlie is known for baking bread; a cutting board was an obvious choice.

Charlie on our hike many years ago

Charlie on our hike many years ago

I started by reviewing an old article from Fine Woodworking that I’d printed out when I first started woodworking. I had never made a cutting board long enough to cut up a large baguette and I knew this would be a good time to experiment and use up some scrap. I found some maple and some small pieces of purpleheart and padauk that would be perfect for “inlay.” I used the article to build a template for the long board.

The half inch exotics were still too clunky, so I resawed them on the bandsaw and then double-stick-taped them to a planer sled. When they came out of the planer I touched them up with a sharp hand plane. Next, I glued them up with a purposeful offset, roughed out the shape, and pattern routed them to the templates.

I was quite proud of the way they turned out. But, being short on time, I totally forgot to take any glamour shots when it was done. Fortunately, Charlie’s wife, Katy, sent me some artsy pics of the boards for me to post and share with you.


The only thing left in this story is to share some bread made by one friend and serve it on a gift from another.

About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
This entry was posted in General Philosophy, Kitchen Accessories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Breaking Bread

  1. I love it. These are really classy looking boards.


  2. tombuhl says:

    Nicely done, Shawn.


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