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Thread: Thick Hinoki (Or Similar) Sushi Cutting Board Source in US or Japan

  1. #1

    Thick Hinoki (Or Similar) Sushi Cutting Board Source in US or Japan

    I will be in the market for a very large slab-type cutting board for sushi within the next year. I am willing to drive anywhere on the west coast to pick it up if I can find a woodworker to make it cheaper than bringing it back from Japan. It needs to be Hinoki or similar soft wood, unfinished. It's just a piece of wood, so if anyone knows where I can buy the wood and have it planed and jointed I can probably finish it myself. Also, if anyone knows of a place in Tokyo that sells something like this it would save me some time searching it out in Japan - I will report back on prices if others are interested. I know it will not be cheap! The one pictured below is at Urasawa in Los Angeles.

  2. #2
    Urasawa spent A LOT of $$$ on that. I guess he needs the thickness as he sands it every day. It is kind of badass though.

  3. #3
    I guess that means you don't have one in your store? If it was under $2K I would consider it a good deal.

  4. #4
    haha... i wish i had one here... dont even have room for one like that to be honest. Under $2k would be a great deal. Shipping would be the tough part. I wonder how much something like that weighs...

  5. #5
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Gyptuckey, CO
    I think the first hurdle is finding/sourcing the wood. Hinoki is not something you may find stateside. If you want Hinoki, you may have to have it imported, which I can only imagine would be very, very expensive.

    Perhaps contact one of the wood vendors here, particularly BoardSmith, and find a suitable substitute available in the states. If the hardness of the wood is your main concern, then it should be fairly straight forward to find out what the hardness rating of Hinoki is, and then compare it to other woods. If there are other characteristics of Hinoki that are desireable, then you may have to find a compromise.

    Once you find the (right) wood, getting it fabricated shouldn't be too diffifcult.

    BTW - looking at that pic again, that's a solid slab of wood, taken from the heart of a single tree. Going to be very hard to find something like that. My first thought is the Pacific Northwest, where larger trees like that grow. The northern mid-west and north east have large old growth trees of that size that can be cut down, but they are going to be hard wood type trees, and may be too hard for what you're looking for. If you can live with a board made from several pieces laminated together, like a regualr cutting board, it may be more feasible.
    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

  6. #6
    Engorged Member
    El Pescador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Mark at burl source can get you one. I have spoken to him about something similar. probably have to be walnut though.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the responses guys. I think anything I find in Japan would probably be $5,000 and then I have to find a way to ship. I think I would give up at a price over $3K. Like mpukas said, I might be able to find the wood in the Pacific Northwest, and I would be more than happy to drive to Oregon to save a couple thousand dollars and the hassle of shipping. Port Oxford Cedar seems to be a close relative of Hinoki, and I imagine something like Clear Vertical Grain Douglas Fir would probably work. I will research lumber companies in Oregon and see what they say. If someone can supply something that big even at $25/BF it would be a substantial savings. I am worried that hardwood will be much more difficult to use than Hinoki because the density and smoothness don't allow moisture to dissipate at all, making fish slide on it easily like it does on new plastic cutting boards.

  8. #8
    We are currently living outside Portland near the entrance of the Columbia Gorge.
    To walk through some of the old growth stands or second growth forests around here and other parts of WA has been amazing.

    Some of the small towns on the WA side here have mom and pop saw mills right off or on their main street.

    Craigslist will often have kiln dried slabs and other neat stuff posted from these types of outfits.

    Logging is way down from boom times and I bet good prices can be had.

    This guy might be a starting point...

    Perhaps Alder might be a good choice as well as the Maple or Doug fir... ?
    Definitely Mark @ Burlsource would be a good resource.

    I will keep an eye out if you would like, pm me if I can be of any help.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Gyptuckey, CO
    If you can live w/ doug fir, that's a structural lumber that's readily available in large sizes. 6x, 8x, 10x up to 16 or even 18. If you want to go 10x20 or 10x24, then you getting into some pretty big pieces that may carry a pretty price tag, but they should be available. Check with a local lumber yard and see if they can order/source it.

    add has some good advice w/ a local mom n pop sawmill. But alder won't work because the trees are small - the largest pieces avaiable for trim are about 5/4x6.
    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

  10. #10
    I can attest to the quality of port Orford cedar.When I moved into my home 12 years ago I had a fence installed and the fencing contractor talked me into upgrading to port Orford cedar.The home next door had a yellow cedar fence installed 2 weeks before me and that wood is shrunk and twisted.My fence is straight as an arrow.

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