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View Full Version : Boardsmith vs all others



slowtyper
01-20-2012, 01:08 AM
I know everyone here likes to say boardsmith is simply the best. I have no experience and they look great, but I get the feeling shipping to Canada isn't going to be that fun. Was looking at getting something like this:
skinny:http://toshoknifearts.com/shop/accessories/black-loon-cutting-board-24-x-18-x-1-12
fat:http://toshoknifearts.com/shop/accessories/black-loon-cutting-board-24-x-18-x-3-34

Am I going to regret this? Should I just get a sanituff instead?

mc2442
01-20-2012, 01:18 AM
As I am sure others are typing as I am responding to this, that is an edge (side?) grain board rather than an end grain board like the boardsmith. A lot of people swear by end grain since you are not slicing the grains of the board like you do in an edge grain. Edge you cut between the fibers, edge you cut across them.

Love my Boardsmith, but if you are that concerned about shipping costs, isn't there a Canadian maple company that does end grain boards?

JohnnyChance
01-20-2012, 01:19 AM
Most people here prefer end grain to side grain. You should be able to find a place in Canada that makes end grain boards. Are there Etsy craftsman in Canada? I know Pierre has made a few boards. Im sure our other canadian members will chime in with solutions.

slowtyper
01-20-2012, 01:28 AM
As I am sure others are typing as I am responding to this, that is an edge (side?) grain board rather than an end grain board like the boardsmith. A lot of people swear by end grain since you are not slicing the grains of the board like you do in an edge grain. Edge you cut between the fibers, edge you cut across them.

Love my Boardsmith, but if you are that concerned about shipping costs, isn't there a Canadian maple company that does end grain boards?
I already emailed the shop to see if the mill has end grain boards. I don't see why they wouldn't..I see the mill's website has end-grain "other stuff".

Basically...I know everyone says Boardsmith is best of the best. However, knowing nothing really about boards...i want to know why.
Is it a) quality of the wood and the knowing only the very best pieces are used during construction? I mean no doubt they look beautiful.
b) The glue and skill used to hold it all together is much better than others?

If its the first, I don't mind skimping out as I'm paying less. If its the second, I'd rather pay more than risk having to replace a board 2 years down the line (assuming it isn't abused).

And boardsmith is not totally out of the running...I don't like shipping stuff across the border but if I do pull the trigger I will ship within the US and pick it up the next time I'm there. Its just a lot less hassle to buy locally...I'm just nervous I'll end up with something I regret a couple years later.

slowtyper
01-20-2012, 01:33 AM
Also what is the difference between something like this and boardsmith
http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Maple-End-Grain-20x15-inch-Chopping-Block/3300227/product.html

Again, I'm not trying to offend the vendor here or anything...just trying to understand the product a bit before I purchase.

JohnnyChance
01-20-2012, 01:42 AM
Also what is the difference between something like this and boardsmith
http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Maple-End-Grain-20x15-inch-Chopping-Block/3300227/product.html

Again, I'm not trying to offend the vendor here or anything...just trying to understand the product a bit before I purchase.

Dave uses bigger blocks, so less glue and less movement. The way he constructs, assembles and treats his wood are also carefully designed to perform as best as a board can. I would imagine Dave is more selective when choosing wood to use as well. His shop is a two man operation, craftsmanship will be vastly superior to a factory made board, as would quality control.

slowtyper
01-20-2012, 01:45 AM
Alright, all very compelling and makes sense to me.

mc2442
01-20-2012, 01:52 AM
I am still pretty new to things, but since a lot of people are probably asleep....I think it is part of both. They are very attractive to look at, but he also uses bigger blocks and less glue, which is suppose to be better on the edges.

I am sure there are a lot of great boards by other makers out there, but I can say I am a big fan of my Boardsmith. Probably the same with knives, we pay quite a bit more for a slimmer and slimmer margin of quality. If so many knife knuts swear by something, over time, you start to believe the hype, and when you get a quality product in return for your money, you see nothing to dispute the claims of others.

Edit: What he said while I was typing

Johnny.B.Good
01-20-2012, 01:55 AM
Alright, all very compelling and makes sense to me.

The FAQ page on the Boardsmith site is worth a read:

http://www.theboardsmith.com/purchase.htm

Might just shoot him a PM here and ask about shipping to Canada. Maybe it's not that bad. And his prices seem pretty reasonable all things considered. A nice hand crafted board from an exceedingly nice and well respected craftsman. Worth a few dollars more to me for the personal touch and forum connection alone.

apicius9
01-20-2012, 04:25 AM
Fully agree. This is a typical case where I would be willing to pay more because I know that David fully stands behind his products and a lot of thought and experience goes into his products. I also prefer to support craftsmen over large companies if I can. The fact that you don't even have to pay more for his products than for others makes this a no-brainer to me. I have two of his boards and I never looked back. They are so sturdy that I can't even think of anything I could complain about. Clearly a lifetime investment. And I don't say this because I have met him and he is a really very nice person, the products just stand for themselves.

Stefan

echerub
01-20-2012, 06:48 AM
It's been a while since I got my Boardsmith boards... if I recall shipping was not fun, and with something that size, Customs would've had to be blind not to ding me as the shipment came across the border. That said, I've been very happy with the boards and am glad I got them. The $$ sting has pretty much faded away and I just enjoy using the boards any chance I get.

Andy Benko another option who's from around Southern Ontario somewhere pops up at craft shows here and there during the summer. He's got some really cool looking end-grain boards. Not as big blocks of wood as the Boardsmith boards, but still looked pretty nice.

See what the folks at Tosho say when they write back. Maybe the mill they work with or someone else they know have end-grain options available.

Lefty
01-20-2012, 07:37 AM
I have a patterned end-grain board from a Canadian maker that uses smaller pieces than David does, but I've been more than pleased with the product itself. Almost a year in, and no warping or signs of letting me down. It's not the same as everyone else's board, which I actually like, and it helped another independent craftsman when my wife bought it for me.
David's work speaks for itself, but we shouldn't forget there are often other great options available to us right in our own backyards.

karloevaristo
01-20-2012, 08:03 AM
if you can get hold of the materials, why not ask a local wood worker to make one for you? I don't know if it's going to be more expensive (which I doubt it will be) but, it's worth checking out...

Karlo

Eamon Burke
01-20-2012, 08:22 AM
Lots of folks think making an end-grain board is like a birdhouse--a fun weekend project for scraps. But Dave has taken this to a new level:
1. His decisions are based on experience and dedication to quality, not profit-mindedness or preferable workflow and sourcing.
2. The wood is carefully selected for cutting board specific qualities.
3. The glue has been chosen carefully to be durable, food safe, and easy on edges(glues in bamboo boards are the culprit for dulling)
4. He arranges the grain on the blocks with an eye that few others have--and it's a touch that is not required for performance.
5. He does what he does for function--the rubber feet, how they are attached, how thick the blocks are.
6. The same goes for what he does not do--cutting grooves and handles in, etc
7. If you have a problem, one man stands behind his product and will do what it takes to make it right.
8. Even barring defects, he often will refinish a board for his customers that have spent many years on the same board. The guy bends over backwards for his customers.

It seems expensive, but if you tried making a few, you'd wonder how he makes any money! Plus you will never have to buy another one! It's something that can be given to your grandkids.

shankster
01-20-2012, 08:29 AM
I was lucky enough to convince my sister to lug back a 22lb "Carolina Slab" from her condo in Florida.If you can get it shipped to an address in the U.S and pick it up yourself,I'd say go for it.
I bought 2 Black Loon boards from Tosho for my sisters for Xmas.Great little boards,solid, well made and yes,they're edge grain but neither of my sisters have any high end J-knives so...
If you're in Toronto,there's a kitchen store in Kensington market that carries boards made in Canada(east coast I think)that are beautiful but pricey.Sorry can't remember the name of the store or the co. that makes the boards.

shankster
01-20-2012, 08:41 AM
The store is calle Good Egg and it's on Agusta Ave.
The boards are Larch Wood and you can see them on their website.
I'm not trying to talk you out of purchasing a boardsmith(Love mine),but buying local and not paying $$$ in duty and shipping + other unforeseen hassles,due to the incompitence of Canada Customs, is a good option to have.

Lefty
01-20-2012, 09:30 AM
I agree with Shankster, even though David has a product that might be worth the extra cash. Another thing to keep in mind is that you will likely only need one, so what is $50 extra for a truly well built piece?
The larch wood boards are beautiful, but I have seen them in person a few times and the joints are all from end to end, and larch is also known as Tamarack (which is a soft wood, unless I'm mistaken). The craftsmanship on the larch boards is well executed, but I just don't trust that they would hold together like a Boardsmith (or mine, for that matter). Of course, this is just the opinion of a caffeine fueled Canadian.

chazmtb
01-20-2012, 09:44 AM
Isn't the Canadian exchange very good now? You will be paying in US dollars in Canadian dollars. It may be worth it then.

echerub
01-20-2012, 09:47 AM
Mmm.. it's just under parity right now. Not as nice as it was a half-year or a year ago, but better than it usually was pre-2009 (or so).

chazmtb
01-20-2012, 09:54 AM
This may be something, not saying it is right, but just have the board be declaired the same cost as a "rubber wood" board that comes from the far east. Oh well.

Lefty
01-20-2012, 10:08 AM
Now that I'm thinking about it, there's no reason to pay duties on a Boardsmith. If it's clearly marked "MADE IN NORTH AMERICA, of North American materials", the free trade agreement comes into effect. As long as there is no ban on shipping American Maple or cherry across the boarder, you should be good to go.
One word of caution: DO NOT use UPS or Fed Ex, as they tack on a handling charge for bringing it across the boarder. The cheapest I have seen this fee come in at is around $25, and for something as heavy and valuable as a Boardsmith, I suspect it will be $40+.
USPS doesn't charge anything on top of the regular shipping fee from the US and the cost is only a few more dollars to send it to Canada.

echerub
01-20-2012, 10:16 AM
Yeah, it's not duty. It's sales tax plus another $8 for the pleasure of paying the tax.

Customs used to let a portion of things through without tax & handling fee, but these past few months I find they're tagging everything now. Fair's fair, I suppose, but it's just something to keep in mind in terms of final cost before something gets in your hands.

Monchoon
01-20-2012, 10:29 AM
Yes but you still have to pay tax on something you buy in Canada.

echerub
01-20-2012, 10:56 AM
True true. Just something to work into one's mental calculations is all :)

Cadillac J
01-20-2012, 02:29 PM
Also what is the difference between something like this and boardsmith
http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Maple-End-Grain-20x15-inch-Chopping-Block/3300227/product.html

I have that exact board from overstock as well as my Boardsmith...I prefer the Boardsmith, but the other one is nice too. Here is an old thread from when it arrived:

http://www.foodieforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?10029-Boardsmith-heaven&highlight=

The BoardSMITH
01-20-2012, 03:07 PM
The kind comments in this thread are humbling! Thanks to all!

SpikeC
01-20-2012, 05:08 PM
Any extra cost is minuscule in the long range. The boards are so satisfying to work with that they are really worth any extra effort to acquire one.

Ratton
01-20-2012, 08:25 PM
Any extra cost is minuscule in the long range. The boards are so satisfying to work with that they are really worth any extra effort to acquire one.

+1!!! You pay HST from all sources, so the slight extra shipping cost is all that is in question........ the quality is well worth the extra shipping cost!!!! I have 4 of them!!! :2cents:

half_hack
01-24-2012, 08:14 PM
The $$ sting has pretty much faded away and I just enjoy using the boards any chance I get.

^^ This.

I've ordered two boards from the boardsmith. Shippping on the 2nd one, which was a 12x18, was $38 a couple years ago, just to give you a rough idea. got it sent USPS. It took its sweet time getting to me (3 weeks or so), but that's not David's fault. I don't really remember what the duties/taxes were -- I don't care, to be honest. the board itself is awesome, and that's all that matters.

I see a lot of end grain boards popping up recently, as they seem to be gaining favour and popularity, but none of them are as nice as the boardsmith ones, imho.

aser
01-25-2012, 04:14 AM
I have the 15" x 15" michigan maple board since my kitchen isn't particularly big. I was also in the same boat as you, hesitant with shipping & Canadian customs biting my ass. The main difference is the size of the blocks on the Michigan Maple, which are much smaller. Hence more seams, which equals more glue.

Has it performed decent, yes, edge retention for my variety of knives are great. I sharpen weekly for my work kit (used on poly), whereas I can go a couple months w/ my home knives on the end grain maple. Obviously lack of volume is also a factor.

One drawback, a seam at the edge has started to separate slightly. This I have a feeling has to do w/ also the smallness of my kitchen, with the stove close to the board. Alas my space is small, can't do anything about that.

Once in a bigger kitchen, I'll upgrade to boardsmith. This can still be used as a secondary board due to its more compact size. For someone living in an apartment/condo, the Michigan Maple is a good fit.

Also, Tosho is working on getting end grain boards from Black Loon.