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Thread: Board thickness

  1. #1
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    Board thickness

    I had this question for quite some time and decided that It may have interest to some KKF users, so I'm asking here.

    What board thickness would you consider optimal in home environment?
    I understand optimal thickness is the minimum possible thickness that would allow board to keep its shape under normal daily home usage. Does optimal thickness depends on wood type?

    Here's the board that's being used in our kitchen daily:



    390x290x35mm made from Ash and Sapele if I'm not mistaken. I love everything about this board except its weight. Almost 3kg. While it's not a problem for me, my wife complains way too often when she needs to move this board around kitchen. And in the smaller kitchen like ours, it's inevitably a need to move board around while cooking.

    So my ultimate question here: is it possible to make thinner board that would still behave nicely in home environment? I do understand that technically it's possible to make even few millimeters thick board, but I believe it would break and/or warp immediately.

    But assuming there would be no intentional abuse and I oil board regularly, what the minimum thickness?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    I have three end grain boards.

    2X13.25 cherry walnut checker pattern

    2X12 Proteak. Teak

    3X18X14 Proteak. Teak

    The checker board is my go to. My girl uses the small teak and we almost never break out the big one. For me a two inch thick board is best.

    I'm 5'10" and usually wear a cooking clog with a two inch heel
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  3. #3
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    I had a discussion with David the BoardSMITH and he said the thinnest he would feel comfortable going was 1.5 inches.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mucho Bocho View Post
    The checker board is my go to. My girl uses the small teak and we almost never break out the big one. For me a two inch thick board is best.
    I'm 5'10" and usually wear a cooking clog with a two inch heel
    Sacrifice width and height of board instead of thickness is another option. Maybe I'll go that way.
    I'm about 5'7" and my wife is 5'4" so additional board thickness doesn't really add anything in the comfort department for us. I wouldn't mind if my wife wear high heels in the kitchen, but it will be difficult to convince her

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by icanhaschzbrgr View Post
    Sacrifice width and height of board instead of thickness is another option. Maybe I'll go that way.
    I'm about 5'7" and my wife is 5'4" so additional board thickness doesn't really add anything in the comfort department for us. I wouldn't mind if my wife wear high heels in the kitchen, but it will be difficult to convince her
    Just get an even thicker board then she will have no choice

  6. #6
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
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    Right now I have one simple maple end grain board which is 30x40x2.5 cm and I find it completely adequate. I use to to work on meat (no cleaver work though, I am not a butcher). I have put 4 rubber feet on the board - still find the board more than stiff enough for any home cutting work I can think of.

    I see often 2" (5cm) thick boards in similar size and keep asking ... why so thick? Surely - the thicker the more stable, the less risk of breaking or cracking but the weight goes up too.

    I have now 50x35cm board on order - I went with 1.5" (3.8cm). I have discussed the thickness with the maker and was told that it would be possible to go down to about 1.25" without any stability issues.

    EDIT: You have a beautiful board there

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenB View Post
    Just get an even thicker board then she will have no choice

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    I'm not saying the less than two inches isn't adequate but I enjoy the thump of the knife feeling more when it bounces off a thicker board. Sorts the way a heavier thicker anvil feels compared to a lighter one when forging steel. Ok that last statement is totally conjecture but I'm sticking to the analogy anyway. Ha
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  9. #9
    I think, the minimal thickness depends on the lenght of the board. Usually I do not make boards thinner than 1/10 of its length. Technically it is possible to make the board even 3 mm (1/8") thick.
    Too thin board (<1/10) will bend and protective treatment oil and wax will not help. Two years ago I made for my wife 400x300x20 mm board. It periodically bend depending on humidity. It is impossible to prevent.
    This applies to all products of wood, not only to the cutting boards. So the mordern furniture makers very like MDF and plywood, not natural wood.
    The theory you can see here - http://mtmwood.com/index.php?route=i...ormation_id=13
    and the solutions to problems - http://mtmwood.com/index.php?route=i...ormation_id=16
    Second - convenience. According to ergonomic standards distance between the elbow and the the working surface should be about 10-15 cm (4"-6"). Therefore it is necessary to consider the height of the table and your height.

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