This was a birthday present I made for my wife as we both like crumpets and needed a place to store the rings. A good result that's decorative at the same time.
Designing and creating a chopping board is one object a designer should try, as it's trickier than you might think!
If you're just looking at the functionality of the object there are many aspects to consider. If you are looking at using wood as a traditional material to use, then there are a few less aspects. The embodied energy to create the board is an important aspect to consider from the off. Plastic and granite boards use so much more energy to produce. For example, where a plastic board is manufactured, oil needs to be extracted and refined to create the plastic and then energy to mold the plastic into shape. To create a granite board, large amounts of water is used to cut and polish the stone to size. As far as wood is concerned, this can be harvested at a sustainable level, and depending on how the timber is processed can have a very low carbon footprint.
Back to the design aspect. I'll be using wood as that's my material of choice. As a keen cook, I've used may chopping boards in my time. Some have worked well, others, not so well. A few years ago a purchased a set of bamboo boards approx 10mm think. I optioned for these for one main reason. It's weight. With a light weight board I can take the board and chopped food to the pot without much fuss. I really don't want a heavy board for this task as this is not great on your wrists. With a board you cannot reasonably pick up and one that stays out on the counter, I find food can end up on the floor whilst in transit from board to pot!
I'd also recently purchased another bamboo board which was larger and thinker as it was at such a good price, but I forgot this aspect of its weight. I've not used it more than twice!
The light bamboo boards worked well for a while. I'd hand wash them as placing them in a dishwasher would steam the wood and make them warp. Not great! Therefore, I'd hand wash the boards and leave out to dry. This is when another issue arises. With most boards I've owned, hand washing them and leaving them on the drainer to dry just didn't allow the board to dry quickly and completely. I'd always end up with black staining where the board would sit wet on the drainer. This would be near impossible to scrub off. Basically, the contact points where the board sits on the drainer could be reduced in size to reduce this problem. This issue led me to think about designing my own board!
I won't go into detail about how I arrived at the shape of the Manta Ray, but felt it's shape would lend itself to creating a board with minimal contacts points when sitting on a drainer to dry. I also felt an obvious option would be for it to be able to be hung from a wall, thus effectively creating even less contact points to dry. I created a hole and peg system. The hole has an added feature as when pushing veg or the like into a pot, the middle finger can be placed into this hole to act as a lever and to make sure the board doesn't slip from the hand.
Th prong's of the Manta Rays mouth (the Cephalic lobes) helps the board to balance on the edge of the pan and guides the veg into the pot.
The board is light enough to be used comfortably. The board I've prototyped is a combination of oak and cherry. I wanted to create a 'surf' style board, reminiscent of the old wooden surfboards of the 50's and 60's. See below for a detailed view. I'm aiming at getting this into the shop in the near future, with a variety of wood options. In order for this to happen faster, why not commission me and be the first to own the Manta Ray Chopping 'Surf' Board! Below also shows size options. The prototype here is of the SMALL version.
The chopping board in protected in natural Tung Oil, (a non-petroleum product) which is the oil from the nut of a Tung tree. This gives it a waterproof coating.
Some of you may know that my wife and I live in an old farmers cottage of the Auvergniac style. Think volcanic rock walls and wine cellar! The cellar isn't used for wine but as a work space for me to design and make objects, or a 'where can this be kept' space.
The house itself is over 200 years old with a cellar that may of once been used to house livestock. Fast forward 200 years and it now just doesn't work as a functional space, as I'm probably a bit taller than your 19th century French farmer!
So enough is enough. The days of standing between the beams and occasional knocking of the head will soon be over. Tania and I have been doing some digging to excavate a section of the cellar for me to work in. A builder has been round to lay a floor and block work to retain the earth surrounding walls. Over the Christmas period I plan of making some work benches to be able to shift my whole kit from one side of the cellar to the other. How glorious it would be to be able to stand up straight again!
I'm currently in the process of making (and photographing) new objects to add to the store. Most of my designs are created with the use of Adobe's Illustrator. I can quickly mock up shapes with the tools on offer and has become a valuable tool for me. It's probably quicker than me sketching as I've been using the programme for over 20 years now and can use the tools very quickly. I use this programme as well as Photoshop and Indesign for my graphic design work. I've a webpage for my work. Visit www.eugeneosborne.com for my latest work (sample below).
I thought I'd have a go at documenting a turned wooden object to show where the materials can originate. To date most of my turned objects have either been reclaimed from objects that have been at the end of their useful life or sourced from our yearly supply of firewood, or trees cut from the garden.
Last year a neighbour had asked me if I could renovate her garage doors. She pointed out to me a stack of wood in her barn that had been lying around for several decades. There was a rather large oak board that was an ideal size for what was intended. I'd attempted several times to plane the board to rid of the woodworm that had formed over time but the woodworm holes were having none of it! To much time had past to save the board for this particular job so we opted for new boards from the local timber yard.
So it was only until yesterday I decided to use the off-cut from this board to try and make a bowl/platter. I knew that the inner core of the board was reasonable sound so I got to work processing it.
The pics below shows our neighbours barn (in the traditional Auvergnat style) with internal stable doors and the board that was to be used on the floor. You might be able to pick out a wooden chest with bottles on top to the right of the stable doors. This was once used to store cured meats!
First job was to mark out the board and cut on the bandsaw ready for mounting on the lathe with a faceplate. Shown below.
Next job was to shape the base with a bowl gauge and rounded scraper and several grades of sandpaper. As you can see, a lot of woodworm holes needed to be removed to get to the sound wood. The recess in the bottom was formed to allow the platter to be flipped over and mounted to a chuck with dovetail jaws. See below.
The inside is then shaped again with a bowl gauge and scraper and finishing up with sandpaper. A few holes remain in the final platter but I feel this adds to its story. I then applied a coat of finishing oil and a coat of bees and carnuaba wax.
The finished platter can be found in our shop. I feel quite satisfied with the fact that the oak was slowly decaying but then saved and turned into something useful. I still have half a board left. Maybe this could be used as a table top or another platter!
This is something I designed after leaving university and I've finally got round to making a prototype with the aid of the new bandsaw!
I've never liked the idea of exposing fixings like screws or brackets to hold a coat hook or shelf up. It somehow distracts from the aesthetic of the object it's trying to hold. Some fixings like screws are almost an afterthought. I've managed to hide these behind the upright hooks which just slot in after the backboard has been secured. The photos show a three hook system but this could easily be increased to 5, 7, or 9 hooks and beyond. The upright hooks are 16mm is diameter which is a good size for a standard door. I'm thinking of scaling the design up to maybe 18mm dia. hooks to allow for a space like a large hallway. The current 3 hook system works really well for securing to a door within a kitchen, as shown hear for those aprons, tea/hand towels etc.
The final design can allow for a combination of wood species. For instance, walnut hooks and an ash backboard will work really well or even purpleheart to give it some colour!
I'm aiming to get a final product completed within the next few months to add to the shop. If you are interested in this design and would like to see it sooner then please drop me a message with your interest. Thanks.
Tania and I traveled to the UK over the weekend for our friend's wedding. A most enjoyable time had at quite an unusual venue! The venue was at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard which houses the ships the HMS Warrior, the HMS Victory and the jewel in the crown, Henry VIII ship, the Mary Rose. A ship built in 1510.
As I child I remember it being raised from the solent and wondering what all the fuss was about. Then I was taught about it's history - and what a history. Below are a few pics I managed to take of the amazing objects found on the sunken wreck.
Amazing to see how much of the objects you see are made from wood. The ship itself consists mainly of Oak and Elm.
Today Ive been busy making a turned bowl from a piece of Indian Rosewood. The first time turning this variety of wood and it turns beautifully. Pics to follow soon.