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Aug 22, 2011 03:30 PM

compact-sized Boardsmith boards

Although we have a regular-sized maple board from The Boardsmith (bought last year) I still found myself reaching for one of the polyproplyene ones on days when I just have a relatively small cutting job to do, and when my wrist was acting up and I just didn't feel up to moving the big board around from storage spot to counter to sink to drying-off area (I place it atop an upside-down Rubbermaid drainboard to dry, so that air circulates 100% freely around both sides and all edges) etc etc. I couldn't find any brand of end-grain compact size board, the 'best' I could find was an edge grain. So I emailed David to ask if it might be possible to get a smaller board, say about half the size of my regular one, and if so how much it would be.

He replied that he indeed has had requests from customers for a smaller/lighter end-grain board and as a result he does have stock material available in widths of 8" and up to 16" long (so 8"x16" would be the biggest) and 1 1/4" thick, in either maple, mahogany, cherry, or walnut. This sounded like exactly what I needed and since my larger board is maple I decided to go with that so that they would match.

I received the board over the weekend and am really happy with it -- beautiful quality just like the larger one. The size and weight is perfect for those jobs when I don't need to cut a lot of stuff and thus don't need to haul its Big Brother around, and even on a "bad wrist day" I can handle it with no problem at all. And I can happily use my best knives on it, whereas I would always shift to one of the "lesser quality" knives instead when using a poly board.

I'm really glad I asked him about it because I just assumed that "special order" would mean an oversize or custom board ... not a basic board in a more compact and manageable size (and more manageable price as well, of course).

So I just want to give a heads-up to anyone who might be currently lusting after a Boardsmith endgrain board but not yet having either the kitchen room and/or budget room for a fullsize one, that there is definitely the option of getting a compact version even though it's not mentioned specifically on his website, if you contact him to ask for it. And of course later on when either a larger kitchen or larger budget permits, to expand into a "small job/big job" pair. ;-)

Wish I'd thought of asking about the smaller one a year ago but better late than never, LOL!

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  1. I have a large BoardSmith cutting board that is my primary board. However, I like you, sometimes want a small light but well made board that is portable and can be used also as a cheese or sandwich board. I have an Edward Wohl board for that. Check these out! Made out of birds'eye maple. Not cheap but really are well made and great looking. Also OzarkWest has small boards too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: SpringRam

      But the Wohl boards are obviously edge grain, not end grain. And the price I see for his board that is comparable in size to my small Boardsmith is higher than what I paid for mine. ;-) Also, if the size of the Wohl board is the overall size, it includes a hole that doesn't exist in a Boardsmith one.

      I didn't see a board smaller than a 12"x16" cherry on the Ozark West site. (although yes those are end grain). The size board I asked David for is an 8"x12" (with no feet so that I can use both sides).

      1. re: skyline

        I do not think you have seen all of the sizes from Wohl unless he has discontinued his smaller sizes that do not have the holes. To be honest, I have two OzarkWest boards , one BoardSmith and one Wohl. I know, I know, too many boards. I do use them all, however. As a user of the Wohl for years, do not get too infatuated with the end grain boards to the detriment of well made edge grains. This is not the usual Boos stuff here. The main thing is to take proper care of them. All of them will last for umpteen years if you do so. Get what you like at the price you want to pay and do not over think it. They are mere tools for the kitchen like every thing else.