Wisdom Behind The Wood #6: Sourcing

Welcome back to the sixth installment of Wisdom Behind The Wood! This month we're covering sourcing and how that directly correlates to an excellent butcher block. In your kitchen, a meal is only as good as the ingredients used. Cutting boards are very similar, and we've spent the past decade honing in on the best sources for all of our materials.

Wood Sourcing

With butcher block, nothing is as critical as the quality of the hardwood. Fifteen years ago, John (owner) established a relationship with a small, family-run sawmill in Pennsylvania. This sawmill uses sustainable practices and is FSC-certified. (Read more on that here if you are interested.) John needed some special wood slabs for custom furniture projects, and they really delivered. Flash forward to 2024, and they are shipping us literal truckloads of high-grade lumber for our butcher block. They source logs just for us, mill and dry the wood to our specifications, and ship it down as we need it. We trust them, they trust us, and our customers get the benefit of our wood sourcing with the superior hardwood in their cutting boards. Their practices make a huge difference in the beauty and quality of the wood we use.

Wood Glue

Wood glue is often a forgotten item when you look at a butcher block. However, it literally holds the board together. We exclusively use Titebond 3 wood glue. Titebond has a long history of being the best wood glue you can purchase. In addition, Titebond 3 is the first one-part water-based glue that is waterproof and FDA-approved for indirect food contact. Titebond 3 is non-toxic and solvent-free making it the best glue for use in butcher blocks.

Mineral Oil and Beeswax

We go through a lot of mineral oil and beeswax here at the Boardsmith. We get our mineral oil from a small company in San Marcos, Texas that specializes in many different types of white mineral oils. They service industries ranging from the medical sector to industrial manufacturing. Our Beeswax comes from a couple in Ashland, Ohio who started beekeeping 27 years ago. Their farm has grown to over 200 acres in the past two decades and they still pack every order by hand, ensuring the best quality product they can. (A practice we also use because quality control matters!)

Everything Else

For all the other minor things (i.e. polyurethane bumpers for feet, screws, sandpaper, etc.) that go into making a butcher block, we partner with local companies who match our level of quality. This not only helps small business but also allows us to uphold our high standards. We believe this has a tangible effect on the finished product.

Next time you cut on a Boardsmith board take a moment to reflect on how many artisans and hands went into making the functional piece of craftsmanship sitting in your kitchen.

 

About Nolan Russell

Nolan Russell is the Operations Manager at The Boardsmith. His blog segment dives deeper into the trees, lumber, and the science that make our butcher block the best in the world. Nolan is a Certified Arborist, former Tree Care Professional, and all-around tree nerd.