Yates's solid Oak antipasti serving board...

I had seen Annettte in my workshop before. I remembered her expressing an interest in the hand carved serving boards. This time we chatted about how they were made, what could be made, and how I could make one for a dining room. A chunky board, in Oak, with a waney edge, quite rustic.

A day or two later Annette came in with one of  Jamie Oliver's Italian plank at 900mm long and 220mm wide, its quite big, but we felt a little thin.
Jamie Oliver's was made in Portugal from a soft wood, with heat burnt on marks here and there..

..and this was our starting point..

click on photo to enlarge

On Jamie Oliver's website

Something thicker to go with the chunky Oak dining room furniture would work better. Annette wanted the board to be twice the thickness, with the surname 'Yates' carved into it...clean, sharp with a rustic feel.
After a trip to my timber guy, I come back with a few feet of European Oak, 2" thick, with quite a bit of waney edge. So I cut it down to size for Annette's board..

This is what it looked like..beautiful 

I called Annette up, for her to come over and see what we were going to be starting with.. After a quick chat.. we started to look for a typeface for the letters to be carved in the style and weight of..

Georgia font.. size? at this time we weren't sure. So I did what I normally do.. Printed out a few to a page, cut them out and tried each one in place. After cleaning the timber up, it was time to sort out which size type, or font..but I don't want to get into all that...

Largest at the top of the pic, smallest at the bottom.. 
and remember these letters are carved out by hand, no machines or gadgets

I know which one I preferred. And Annette liked that one too..The largest at 60 mm high.

This board can stand up (as pic) lie down on long left hand side.

It can lay flat with carved side up on show, or down to make more use of the surface..

So while the first board was between coats of mineral oil..

Annette brought her sons around to see what was going to be made. Then the sons started coming up with some good ideas, and getting more involved, as this piece was going to be for their father..

So I got on with another board..this time with round recess's to hold glass tea light holders..in Oak and with waney edge to match Yates's board

click on photo to enlarge

With the deadline fast approaching I had to work fast on this one..

Shown here with an alternative container for dips.

The wave pattern allows two areas of the board to be used if required

Clean cut holes, not drilled out.

But routered to a pattern to make it very clean and tidy..
with just a 3mm radius on the top edge of the holes

I chose to 'chase' the splits in the timber, open them up with a veining tool to soften the edges so they would not splinter..it worked really well, and looks more alive too..

click on photo to enlarge

My 'mark' in one of the ends. Both boards got stamped

Both boards finished...

I used a Mineral Oil on them, one that can be bought relatively easily.

It gives a great depth of colour and is food safe without the worry of it going rancid.

So these were for a 60th Birthday, and they went down a treat.

It just shows, a bit of thought, some great timber and a well finished job can really be unique to you or your loved ones.

Ideal for Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Wedding gifts. or Just to complete that perfect table setting

The carving can be a date, numbers letters. Your favorite quote.. bar name, company logo, anything can be tailored to fit. These boards will last more than a lifetime.

All the best



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