Some time ago, I visited an old sawmill, “de Zwaluw”. It lies in Burdaard, a small village in the north of Friesland. If you’ve ever heard of it, chances are it’s because the famous Frysian ice skating tour, the “Elfstedentocht”, passes through the village twice. The sawmill is wind-powered and run by a team of volunteers. They saw all kinds of local wood, mostly for renovation purposes. They gave me a couple of lovely walnut boards (about 10 meters in total), that were too warped and cracked to be used for carpentry or large furniture. They have stunning figure and colour. This serving board is the first “test board” I made, to see how it reacts to scraping and planing. I was really pleasantly surprised by the quality of the wood. This piece has a bit of discolouration on one corner.
The spreader is made from honey locust. This isn’t a local wood, but there’s a really beautiful tree in a park around the corner from where I live. It lost a couple of branches in one of the storms last fall.
I planed the board flat with an old Stanley No. 4 and my favourite plane, a bronze Lie-nielsen 102. Then I scraped it smooth. I used my oak bench to work on.
I use a simple this simple paint scraper for scraping wood smooth. I’ve used these for a while now, also on my guitars. They’re a lot cheaper than “real” card scrapers (less than 2 euro’s for a pack of 6 in various sizes), and work fine. I found a nice old Friedrich Dick burnisher on a flea market, which turns a really nice hook in the steel.