Why Noodle Boards?
Noodle Boards have become my most popular product offering. It all started when my mom's friend, Georgia, asked me to make her one. I knew nothing about them so I had to do some research. Found some interesting articles. They were originally devised to make noodles on. Who would have guessed? The large size provides an ample surface for rolling out the noodles and drying them.
Today noodle boards are rarely used for making noodles. They serve a more decorative and utilitarian function. They add work space to the kitchen. Who doesn't need more space? When your stove is not in use it's just taking up valuable real estate in the kitchen. Why not put it to use. Noodle boards let you take back the space and add the beauty of hard woods. They are basically giant cutting boards. So any operation you can perform on a cutting board you can perform on a noodle board. At least that's true for my noodle boards.
How are they made?
Glue, elbow grease, and sand paper. Standard woodworking techniques for Cumberland Design.
Each board is custom made. Emails are exchanged with the customer to determine the exact measurements and materials to be used. I normally only use Cherry, Walnut, and Maple. Sometimes some exotic woods are used for color.
Once the measurements are locked in I begin by picking the wood to be used. I like to get the woods from the same boards so it gives a uniform look. I will cut the wood to size and then lay it out on a table. I'll adjust the pieces to have the look I want. This is determined mainly by grain pattern and putting defects to the bottom side of the board.
Once I have the layout set I begin gluing up the board. This involves spreading copious amounts of Titebond III wood glue on the edges of the boards where they meet and then clamping them together using bar clamps. Titebond III glue is used because it is water-proof so you are free to use water to wash your board. The glue is so strong that if you tried to break the board the wood fibers would tear apart before the glue gives way. I have tried this :)
After 24 hours the clamps are taken off. Then I run the whole thing through the planer to get everything flat. Next I used the table saw to cut the board to the final dimensions. A router is used to round over the edges on top of the board.
Then the sanding begins. This is the most important step. The board is sanded using 80, 120, and 220 grit sandpaper. The 80 grit gets out any marks from the planer and table saw. The 120 smooths the board so when you run your hand across it feels like one solid piece. The 220 grit gives it a glass like surface feel.
Finally the board is brought inside and given a bath. An oil bath that is. We us a product called Walrus Oil for all of our noodle boards and cutting boards. It is food safe and gives the boards a nice, rich look without any shininess.
And that's how it's done. After a few hours drying it's ready to be packed up and shipped to it's final destination.