The Timbered Wolf


Harnessing Chaos

Hello, all!

April has brought about a creative tidal wave! This month, Ive focused most of my energy on making "chaos" patterned boards! There's been an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, so this style is officially a permanent addition to my stock! 

The most popular question I've gotten about chaos designs is "how do you do that?". I wish that I could claim magic, but unfortunately I still haven't learned any. Although, it is fortunate that my process is easier to explain!

To make a chaos design I start off by creating 2 end grain cutting boards, no different from any that you would regularly see in my shop, instagram, or Facebook. It's at this point that the actual process begins. I take both boards, and cut them into diagonal strips, longways (imagine "hotdog style"). I then alternate the pieces and combine both boards! Glue, and into the clamps the new board goes. After the period of glue drying, i then cut the board into a series of diagonal cross cuts (imagine "hamburger style"), mix the pieces up again, glue, and let dry. Lastly, I make one more series of longways cuts & repeat the mixing up/glue process. All done! From there it's treated just like any other board for flattening/handles/sanding.

The second most popular question, which deserves explanation, is "Why are they more expensive?".  Now that I've explained the process of how I create chaos designs, you know that I have to make 2 end grain boards for this one, so materials are a huge factor when it comes to chaos designs. The amount of initial wood needed is high, and the dozens of cuts made produce a decent enough amount of waste to reduce the initial boards in size dramatically (which is why i need a second board to combine/make up for it). Secondly, a normal end grain cutting board will take me 2-3 days to make (including glue drying/wait time), should everything go smoothly. A chaos design can take me 5-6 days (including glue drying/wait time), should everything go smoothly. Double the woodDouble the labor!

The last major question that I've gotten has been "Can you make me one that looks like this one?". Chaos boards are too unpredictable to be "designed". If you own one, then you truly have something that is impossible to recreate. I don't mean that just in terms of wood grains differing, I mean that chaos is chaos. Dozens of cuts, mixing the wood pieces, planing the edges - these processes can't be perfectly and accurately recreated. Embrace your chaos!

What woods would you like to see in a chaos board? Leave a comment! Maybe you'll see it come to life!