By Helen, Whitewood & Linen
Were it not for the precision and patience required of a carpenter, I might indeed have been one. Watching a master quietly perform his task with an old piece of seasoned oak, gives me the greatest joy and I love to fill my home with a variety of natural woods wherever I can. Just recently, I came across an offcut of an oak block kitchen worktop waiting for its moment and since no-one else claimed it for their own, I did. In today’s tutorial, I am going to show you how I put the oak to good use to create a totally bespoke and humble homemade cheeseboard.
- Offcut of Oak block or similar suitable wood
- Slate tile
- Two cupboard door handles or similar
- Rustins Chopping Board Oil, size 250ml
- Olive Oil
- Wood Glue
- Clean cotton rags
Begin by ensuring your wood is both smooth and clean. Take care to check the edges of the oak too, ensuring there are no splinters of wood which could cause harm. If necessary, use a high-grade sandpaper to lightly sand those areas, followed by a quick wipe over with a damp cloth; that is all that is needed.
Rustins Chopping Board Oil is an anti-bacterial food grade oil made with a blend of natural plant oils and as such, a perfect solution for ensuring my cheeseboard is prepared well for use with food later. I particularly liked the fact there is no smell to the oil when it is applied nor once it has dried. You simply add the product to a clean dry cotton rag, wiping the surface of the wood and working with the grain, it couldn’t be easier. Three coats are needed with a drying time of three hours in between each coat. Be sure to protect both sides of the oak and the four edges too. The product comes in a 250ml tin providing plenty of oil for this project and affording the opportunity to spruce up any bread boards or other wooden kitchen utensils in need of some attention. Leftover oil will of course store well given the product is in a metal tin.
After my slate tile had been thoroughly scrubbed in hot soapy water, I used another clean cotton rag and applied two generous coats of olive oil to one side, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. The cheeses will sit on the slate, and I preferred they should have contact with a regular kitchen food oil.
Once both the oak and the slate had dried overnight, I applied a heavy-duty adhesive all around the four edges of the reverse side of the slate and placed it towards one end of the oak, taking care to leave enough space for one of the handles.
To finish my project, two kitchen cupboard door handles, bought inexpensively at a junk shop and seemingly never used before, were screwed into place at either end of the cheeseboard.
Maybe your choice of wood will be new oak or even something reclaimed and thus a little more rustic. Perhaps you might try a heavy jute rope for your handles or if you have the appropriate tools, you could cut out holes for your hands to grip into the wood instead. Whatever you choose to do, this is another simple craft which can be made exactly the way you would like it and quite unlike any other.
All that remained for me to do was to enjoy the fruits of my labour on my own unique cheeseboard. Small ramekin dishes were filled with an assortment of delicious deli treats and mouth-watering cheeses accompanied a favourite tipple to create a special weekend feast.
Of course, this cheeseboard doesn’t have to serve simply cheeses alone. Assorted cold meats together with artisan breads might also work well. Sweet puddings of freshly chopped bite sized fruits perhaps with chocolates could be more your thing or maybe even a smorgasbord of all your favourite foods would be your choice as you curl up to watch the seasons must-see movie. We would love to see how you use your cheeseboard so do tag us in all your social media with #doitwithcans and happy crafting!