It's just a "plain old" 16"x22"x2" maple, but it's still amazing. When my wife first saw it she asked, "I thought we agreed on the smaller one!?" to which I replied, "this is the smaller one" ... well, it isn't the 18"x24", is it? At least 1/2 of it fits in the sink for washing, which wouldn't be possible with the 18"x24".
When it first came, the top was smooth as glass. The first washing raised the grain enough to give it a softer texture (I expected that to happen). The color of the wood was deeper than I expected; I assume that was related to it being pre-oiled/buttered. My wife complained that it was orange, at which I pointed out that the browner walnut board was just $100 more, and I could probably find a buyer for the maple board if I sold it at a discount. She didn't argue after that.
The treatment that I gave it before the first use was as follows:
First day, oil both sides with ~2 oz. mineral oil
Second day, oil both sides with ~2 oz. mineral oil and then apply melted board butter.
Third day: quick wash (both sides) with warm water and dish soap and dry, although most of the excess water was drawn into the board before I could reach my towel.
I was originally planning on saturating it with oil every day for a week before my first use, but then I saw a warning that over-doing it could make even a 2" thick board warp. I was afraid that I had overdone it on day 2 when I noticed that when I placed the board upside-down on my granite counter top, there was a little bit of a wobble of about 1mm. However, when I turned the board 90 degrees, the wobble direction didn't turn with the board. In other words, the board is flatter than my granite counter!
In the above preparation steps I noticed that the bottom drank up the oil a lot more quickly than the top (I was careful to limit how much I applied, trying not to saturate the board). The bottom also didn't arrive glass-smooth like the top. Unless Dave does something differently between the top and bottom surfaces of the board, like only buttering the top, I can't guess why the bottom was more thirsty than the top.
My father-in-law, who previously owned a small Chinese restaurant, was visiting when it arrived and he insisted that it isn't strong enough for a commercial Chinese kitchen where he'd hatchet through lamb bones. (Is everyone's father-in-law impossible to impress?) I'm not sure that I'd want to try to prove him wrong, at least not without removing the feet first. I wouldn't be afraid to let him cleave any bird or shellfish of his choice.
So far, the board has seen minimal use over just a couple of days so there still isn't a scratch on it. Clearly I need to sharpen my knives some more. Overall, the board exceeded my incredibly high expectations.