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A pair of matching wood food boards has to be the perfect gift when you’re looking for something that can be shared. They’re something really unique, personal and truly special.

Matching Wood Serving Platters

We find that our boards are really popular as wedding gifts. A substantial solid wood chopping board or breadboard is a great choice. Alternatively a matching pair of serving platters or presentation boards that can be one each for the bride and groom or that can be used together as presentation boards can work really well too.

At Christmas it’s sometimes nice to buy presents that have a connection between them. Buying boards that come from the same tree mean that you can give them as themed gifts for close friends or family. Each board is unique and yet linked at the same time.

Present them either length ways end to end

For example, these wonderfully versatile Matching Wood Serving Platters are handmade from sustainable, locally sourced English oak. Both feature a distinctive natural edge, splendid grain patterning, comfortable easy grip handles and a food safe mineral oil finish. The natural beauty of the wood is enhanced, with the features of knots, cracks and markings being celebrated.

You can see these two wooden serving platters are from the same length of timber by the way they fit together. You can use them separately or together either back to back or end to end – one for a cheese platter and the other for a meat platter for example.

… or back to back depending on how you’re using them.

Wood is naturally anti-bacterial and an ideal medium for food boards, as well as being heat resistant to hot pots and pans. Whether you’re looking for a wooden chopping board, rustic cheese board, wood breadboard, wooden serving platter, or rustic food presentation board – the choice is all yours.

 

If you would like to commission a handmade board or boards with your choice of edge, type of wood, selected dimensions and finish, contact Rachel directly via hello@woodlandsoul.co.uk
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Woodland Soul boards are frequently made of English pippy oak. It is said that English forests produce the finest pippy oak in the world. Pippy oak tends to be more of a wild hedgerow tree than a straight oak. This unique hardwood features curly grain with natural clusters of pin knots mainly on the outside of the log similar to cat’s paws giving it a charming rustic character.
Rustic cheese board English pippy oak

It is the open nature of our English woodlands, hedgerows and large parks that allow for plenty of light penetration. This encourages ‘epicormic growth’ on the main trunks of the trees. These growths penetrate deep into the heart wood of the tree.

When the tree is cut perpendicularly to the direction of travel, the growths appear as cat’s paws. Cat’s paws are revealed as frequent small knots and knot clusters peppering the board. The large knot clusters are called burr. Boards with a high proportion of burrs are described as burr oak.

Rustic Wood Presentation Board detail
Rustic presentation board English pippy oak

The heart wood of English pippy oak ranges in colour from pale straw to dark honey brown. The grain moves around the knots and clusters to create beautiful wild patterns and figures which are highly prized by furniture makers such as Steven Baker Furniture. We work with English pippy oak that has been cut to achieve as much interest and beauty as possible. These logs are ‘flat cut’ meaning that they are cut parallel to the growth rings. This displays the epicormic growths as pips and burrs on the surface of the board, along with the growth ring patterns.

Rustic Wood Serving Board detail
Rustic serving board English pippy oak

Pippy oak lends itself particularly to rustic cheese boards, wooden serving platters and rustic food presentation boards. Wood is naturally anti-bacterial and an ideal medium for food boards. We love to work with timber in an organic way and to celebrate the knots, burrs and figured grain in each board. We carefully fill any gaps or cracks as needed and protect the board with a few coats of food safe mineral oil or wax oil.

If you would like to commission a handmade board or boards with your choice of edge, type of wood, selected dimensions and finish, contact Rachel directly via hello@woodlandsoul.co.uk

 

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Here at Woodland Soul most of the wood that we use retains its natural live edge. Live edge wood keeps the original lines of the trunk along its edges, showing the wood in a very naturalistic and raw state.

Bark On Live Edge Solid Oak Board

The outer rings of a tree trunk are the living part of the tree. When a log is cut into slabs, the entire slab is used including the natural edge. The natural live edge of the wood under the bark is kept intact after it is cut. We love to work with timber in an organic way and to celebrate the knots, burrs and figured grain in each board.

“The live edge ethos is all about embracing nature, craftsmanship, and simplicity.”

Bark Off Live Edge Solid Oak Board

‘Live edge’ became a popular term in the 1940s thanks to George Nakashima. He was an American woodworker, architect, and furniture maker who was one of the leading innovators of 20th century furniture design and a father of the American craft movement.

Nakashima’s signature woodworking design was his large-scale tables made of sizeable slabs of wood with smooth tops and unfinished natural edges. He connected these large slabs of wood with butterfly joints. The term is now used to describe nearly any piece of furniture or home accessory, from tables and benches through to headboards, shelving and food boards that retain this natural style edge.

There are two types of natural live edge. A “bark on” edge is really rustic as the bark of the tree remains intact and is simply cleaned and then oiled like the rest of the finished board. A “de-barked” or “bark off” edge is where we carefully remove the bark from the tree slab using a curved edge knife and lightly sand the edge to prevent splintering. The focus is on retaining the edge as much as possible and not altering the shape of the wood. Both bark on and bark off finishes result in an exquisite, unique edge full of individual character.

Bark Off Live Edge Solid Oak Board

We love wood, we love local and we don’t like to see any part of a tree go to waste. That’s why we work with local sustainable traceable English wood, mainly English oak, that is of the highest grade having been fully seasoned and kiln dried grade at local reputable saw mills. We always like to make sure each felled tree is respectfully celebrated and that as much of it as possible is used for the enjoyment of as many people as possible.

Wood is naturally anti-bacterial and an ideal medium for food boards, as well as being heat resistant to hot pots and pans. Whether you’re looking for a wooden chopping board, rustic cheese board, wood breadboard, wooden serving platter, or rustic food presentation board – the choice is all yours.

If you’d like to commission a handmade board with your choice of edge, type of wood, selected dimensions and finish contact Rachel directly via hello@woodlandsoul.co.uk

 

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Here are a few super simple tips for giving your cherished Woodland Soul board some love so it can last a lifetime and beyond!

It’s surprisingly easy to look after your board and just a small amount of the right care will make all the difference. All you have to do is to keep your board clean and apply a food safe pure mineral oil or wax oil as needed. This will soak gently into the wood, protecting and nourishing it. It’s always really lovely to see the colour and grain of your wooden board glow in all its natural beauty.

Protecting & Nourishing Your Board

Food safe wax oil treatment for woodAt Woodland Soul we recommend a good quality wax oil to extend the life of your chopping board. This offers a longer lasting way to protect and nourish your board. It coats the surface with natural waxes and leaves a natural sheen finish.

We always use Brandon Bespoke. Brandon Bespoke specialise in food safe treatments made from the finest natural oils and waxes.  Their excellent quality is confirmed by the fantastic feedback on Amazon and Ebay. We also really like that they’re based close to us, just up the road near Basingstoke.

The food safe Brandon Bespoke Wax Oil Treatment is a blend of different oils with beeswax, carnauba and a wax oil in the blend. The beauty of this is that the oil soaks into the wood while the wax gives a lovely sheen. It’s great for your domestic board and requires minimum effort to apply. While we now use the Brandon Bespoke Pure Mineral Oil as this is nut free, wheat free and beeswax free so great for vegans, carnivores and everyone in between. You can buy pots and bottles of this fabulous stuff on our site BUY BOARD TREATMENT

Celebrating Wonderful Wood

Wood is a wonderful organic material and almost half the weight of freshly sawn wood is water. All the timbers that we source for our food boards undergo meticulous drying to carefully reduce the moisture content.

The process of air drying the timber depends on its thickness. For each inch of thickness the timber is dried for one year, plus one additional year. It is then kiln dried to reduce the moisture content to at least 12%. Wood is influenced by changing humidity and that’s why you want to share the love with your board and not subject it to excessive changes in temperature or moisture content.

Keeping Your Board Clean

Wood is naturally antibacterial and an ideal medium for food boards, as well as being heat resistant to hot pots and pans. 

Do

  • Clean your board by simply wiping down or scrubbing lightly (using a small amount of detergent if needed)
  • After washing, wipe dry and let your board air naturally in an area that is away from heat sources
  • Oil your board regularly with a natural food safe mineral oil or wax oil

Don’t

  • Don’t wash your board in the dishwasher
  • Don’t soak your board with water as this will cause it to wrap and/or crack
  • Don’t dry on or close to areas of heat sources such as radiators and ovens

There’s nothing better than preparing and presenting food on a good solid beautiful board made from a single piece of English wood.

If you would like to commission a handmade board or boards with your choice of edge, type of wood, selected dimensions and finish, contact Rachel directly via hello@woodlandsoul.co.uk

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When we’re out and about with our Woodland Soul boards, people often ask our advice when it comes to making the most of the wood from felling their own garden trees.

It’s always such a shame when a garden tree needs to come down but sometimes it’s necessary. It makes us really happy when we’re asked if it’s possible to save some of this beautiful wood – to make some memorable boards, instead of hauling it away or cutting it up for firewood. Seasoning your own timber to the point where it can be crafted takes time but it’s a great thing to do if you’re able to.

Wonderful Organic Material

At Woodland Soul we only use locally sourced, certified sustainable and kiln dried English timbers. All the timbers will have undergone meticulous drying to carefully reduce the moisture content. Wood is a wonderful organic material and almost half the weight of freshly sawn wood is water. The process of air drying the timber depends on its thickness. For each inch of thickness the timber is dried for one year, plus one additional year. It is then kiln dried to reduce the moisture content to at least 12% and cleanse the wood.

Turning Your Logs Into Lumber

When your tree is being felled you’ll need to cut your logs into planks at the same time. This can be done using a mobile sawmill. There are many different sawing methods and techniques to turn logs into lumber including plain sawing, live sawing, cant sawing, grade sawing, and quarter sawing. Today plain sawn is the most popular way of cutting logs as it is simple, fast, and can be used for most species of tree.

Plain sawn, also referred to as flat sawn or “through-and-through” yields the most useable wood with the least amount of waste. It gives waney-edges (with the bark left on) and distinctive patterns on the face of the board. The boards are cut in parallel, one after another, right through the pith of the log. The parallel cut through the log results in a face with ripples, large graphic ovals and U-shaped patterns, also referred to as “the cathedral effect.”

Seasoning Your Green Timber

Now it’s time to to season your timber. You’ll need to stack the green (unseasoned) timber and dry it over a period of at least two years depending on the girth of the original tree.

  • Air Drying

The traditional air drying method involves stacking the individual boards carefully, separated at precise intervals by softwood sticks; sealing the ends of the boards to slow down moisture loss; shading them from direct sun and rain; and leaving them otherwise exposed to the weather. You’ll then need to stack your timber somewhere that will offer further protection from extreme weather but still allow drying winds to flow between the boards. This could be in a professional storage facility or under cover in your garden.

At a professional timber yard, once the wood is stacked, they will periodically monitor the rate of drying – either with an electronic meter or by weighing a test board – until the wood reaches equilibrium moisture content (EMC). This is the point when the timber is as dry as it’s going to get out in the open air. It’s when the level of moisture in the wood goes up and down with the relative humidity of the air around it. You’ll need to air dry your timber to this point too.

  • Kiln Drying

To reach the lower moisture levels for cabinet and furniture makers the timber is then kiln dried. This will bring down the moisture level to ambient interior levels to prevent any further cracking and warping. It will also kill any bugs and insects. Both conditioning and kiln drying can take several weeks after the air drying is complete. If you can you should to do the same with your timber. Alternatively you can move the wood indoors to acclimatize gently, though it won’t be quite as effective as it isn’t such a controlled environment and won’t cleanse the wood.

A few years on from felling your tree and after all this loving care and attention, you will now have wood full of character and colour ready to be crafted into memorable boards and more!

If you’d like to commission a handmade board with your choice of edge, type of wood, selected dimensions and finish we’d love to hear from you. Contact Rachel directly via hello@woodlandsoul.co.uk

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