Thin Cutting Boards

Sometimes cutting boards need to be thin. If you make a board thin, however, then it can be prone to warping. This is especially true with flat boards with no feet. They often get wet on one side during use, and the moisture will serve to warp the board if the owner is not very careful.

But there’s a way to prevent that problem.

If you mount an end board perpendicular to the rest of the board, then the strength of that grain going in another direction will keep the board flat. This method is traditionally used for pastry boards, and the common name for this technique is bread board ends.

This kind of board has been commonly used as an “in-counter” board, where it’s placed in a slot below the kitchen counter. You can pull the board all the way out to use it on the counter, or you can just pull it out partway to add to your counter space on a temporary basis. Unfortunately, this kind of cutting board has fallen out of favor. Builders often made them cheaply from very soft woods, so they chewed up quickly – but staying in the kitchen for decades through the life of the counter. When this kind of board was in an apartment or a rental property, then the new kitchen owner was faced with a “well used” cutting board in their “new” kitchen, with no knowledge of who used it or to what purpose.

So you don’t see new kitchens with in-counter boards in our area anymore; they are no longer allowed in new construction in LA County.

However, old kitchens still have them, and replacing those “well used” cutting boards is something that I do, replacing the old boards with much more decorative boards that will have a much longer working life as well. When I was just beginning to sell cutting boards, my first commissioned piece was such a board. Today, I’m still making them!

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