Just wonderng how many 'perfect' boards David may have made. I know that I have yet to make a 'perfect' knife handle... Nothing wrong with aiming for it, but there has to be a little bit of tolerance when things are just close enough to 'perfection' IMHO. Especially with wood as a natural material there can just be different interpretations of what is acceptable, and there are plenty of examples where some wooden product was shipped out as good as it gets but things moved or changed during travel or in the new climate zone and were not given the right attention to adapt. Just saying...
Dave clearly does great work making some awesome cutting boards, for that he does charge top dollar and rightfully so. Hopefully I'll be ordering one for myself soon. What I am saying as a customer is, that for that top dollar I don't think I'm out of line for expecting the board to be perfect. Which is why I asked HIM about what the meaning of his OP is. That's all.
Just because something is expensive doesnt make it care free. Like Stefan said there are a lot of variables with a natural materials. If you don't oil your board the wood can shrink and small cracks can appear.
It's not even really a crack, just a natural variable that goes hand in hand with using natural products. As David noted it has already sealed up.
A perfect cutting board; what a wonderful idea.
Wood is a natural and organic product that unlike metal, glass or other solid materials, isn't perfect. (Look closely enough at those surfaces and defects can be found.) Each board that goes out is inspected prior to final sanding and oiling to ensure they are as close to 100% as possible. Larger boards with previously unseen defects are cut down to smaller sizes and the smaller boards usually end up in the dumpster. Wood moves and will crack given the proper circumstances, if it gets to dry or to damp, cracks, bends, splits and warps will happen. Even if the customer does everything right, things can happen. During UPS shipping, if enough weight is placed on the box, a board can be bent. I have seen that happen. In a case like that a few days on a flat counter in a new location and the board will flatten.
In this case, after going back and forth with the customer about what she wanted me to do I saw from the language and tone of the emails this was going to go no where in a hurry and I doubted if I would have been able to provide a board that would have satisfied her. So rather than letting the exchange deteriorate further, I gave her a refund and told her to keep the Board Butter I included at no charge. I hate to lose a customer.
Back to wood - Cherry has natural places some people will call defects and some will call accents. I call spalted wood a defect but others will call it an accent. Some customers ask for highly contrasted boards in walnut and some ask for all dark boards. Is the lighter wood a defect? Some say yes and some say no. In maple, we saw that some people call mineral stains a defect but some like the look. In all woods, the sap wood, lighter toned wood, is usually called a defect. In maple, the heart wood, much darker toned wood, is called a defect. So which is it? I now have some quarter sawn white oak in the shop I will be making lazy susans from. Some of the wood has some curls and waves making the look rather spectacular. The way the tree grew makes this a defect but a desirable defect. It is the same with the burls you guys like for handles. The tree grew a defect and produced a burl. Very desirable and attractive, yet a defect none the less.
In this case the "split" was so small as to be unseen during the final sanding and oiling. Once oiled it was filled with oil effectively sealing the interior, if it was actually there during sanding. It could have opened up during shipping or once at the customers home. BTW She kept it for almost a week prior to returning. Whatever the case, she has a refund and I have the board back. Since it was at a customers home for a period of time, I will remove the feet and stainless steel screws and send it to the dumpster. I can' be sure of how it was used during that time. (There is a knife mark on one end.)
Yes, if I had purchased a Ferrari with a dent or a chip in the windshield I would have complained and had those items fixed. But changes in humidity will not alter the paint or glass surface like it can in wood.
As for my costs, check out Boos and Ozark West. I am lower than Ozark West, or whatever name they are going by now and am on a somewhat even level with Boos.
One final thing, if someone can come up with a method to make the perfect cutting board from wood, please let me know and I will be happy to entertain that idea.
IME, making light of customers expectations is pretty common. It's usually reserved for the backroom and amongst friends.
I think it's safe to say Dave is among friends here.