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Oak Timber Explained

The Environment

Here at the Oak Chopping Board Co we care enormously about the environment. We ensure that every wooden chopping board we create and every wooden wine rack is made from English or European oak from FSC or PEFC certified sustainable sources.

Where possible the oak will be sourced locally from woodland in West Sussex and other nearby locations. This timber is limited in its availability and does attract a premium price. We are therefore often forced to purchase timber grown in Europe, usually from forests in France and Germany. Unlike some companies, we try to minimise our carbon footprint so do not source timber from America (USA or South America).

The Character of Oak

Oak is a natural material and the item that we craft for you will have its own unique grain characteristics and may not always have uniform colour.

Below we set out a brief explanation and example images of the various prime cuts of timber that affect the finish of our products. Please also browse the product pages within this site to see further examples of the oak timber we use.

There are two main methods of timber sawing – crown sawn and quarter sawn – each produces a distinct grain pattern, the latter providing highly distinctive medullary rays (see below). There are other cuts but these are variations on the two main methods.

The Construction of Wooden Chopping Boards

Our timber is supplied in quantities of every conceivable cut/grain pattern, and we try to distribute the patterns throughout each board to provide an interesting but cohesive finish.  Smaller boards are made from a single piece of timber whilst larger boards are made from between 3 and 5 pieces (staves) of timber, butt-jointed and glued together.  Wine racks are also made from a single piece of oak.

Benefits of stave oak chopping boards:

  • Optimum performance in strength & stability
  • Minimises the risk of warping and cracking
  • Provides a good variety of grain pattern
  • Good colour consistency

Examples of Different Cuts of Oak