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Catskill Craftsmen Super Slab with Finger Grooves
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- Dimensions: 20-Inches Wide by 20-Inches Deep by 3-Inches Thick
- End Grain with Oiled Finish- End grain will not dull knives
- Finger slots for easier handling
- Made in the USA
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This item Catskill Craftsmen Super Slab with Finger Grooves
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|Item Dimensions||20 x 20 x 3 in||15 x 15 x 2 in||14.5 x 19 x 2 in||18 x 24 x 2.25 in||18 x 18 x 3 in||15 x 20 x 2.25 in|
Catskill's "Gourmet" collection offers a wide range of chopping blocks for every occasion. Blocks include special features such as rounded corners, deep blended juice grooves, wooden ball feet with rubber pads, and laminated domestic hardwood in a variety of grain patterns for durability, toughness and beauty. All have oiled finishes. A Butcher's Block for the Counter. Over 30 pounds of rugged beauty. The ultimate end grain Domestic Hardwood Chopping Block for serious chefs everywhere.
Top customer reviews
So here I am on my second one and AGAIN it's just splitting. This makes two of them since Dec. I oiled it, kept it clean... now I am outside the return time and out 100 + splurge on a cutting board.
It's a SHAME because this is very nice to cut on, looks great, and overall is exactly what I wanted.
That said, the reason I bought this board was because my old Tree & Co 18x14 MODE board split...AGAIN (it was actually delivered split, and I fixed it...but now it's split again in the same place). I normally season my boards with mineral oil on a daily basis once or twice a day for a few weeks before using, then on a weekly basis with my own board butter formula (2 parts choji oil, one part beeswax, one part coconut oil). So with that said, I was looking to do something different with this board, and since I wanted a darker, more red colored board anyhow (I loved the color of my MODE board)...I went a somewhat controversial direction and used tung oil (WATCO brand salad bowl finish was my base) thinned with equal parts low odor mineral spirits to season it. To this I added Minwax Wood Stain (Red Mahogony 225) until the color was what I wanted. Keep in mind...the idea here is NOT to put a layer of varnish between the wood and the food. It is to put a layer of varnish between each strand of wood and all of the other strands to act as a barrier for moisture that's trying to penetrate the board. The wood surface is still 100% in contact with the food, and so cuts won't ruin any 'seal' the varnish might have made in another type of application, and will still self heal to a large degree. This means it won't trap moisture or food, and can't 'flake' off. This kind of finish is supposed to last YEARS on an end grain board before possibly needing to be reapplied.
My method was simple:
- Sand to 180 grit.
- Mix varnish and mineral spirits in equal parts. Add in stain to suit, remembering that a little goes a long way.
- Using nitrile gloves, apply stain/varnish mixture to the top of the board with a soft cotton cloth, until it is no longer absorbing easily (about 4-5 minutes). Wipe off excess.
- Let cure 8hrs or so.
- Reapply mixture for three coats. After the third coat has cured for 8hrs, begin applying the first of two coats using JUST the clear varnish thinned with mineral spirits. The idea is to use the clear fluid to 'push' the color deeper into the board, providing depth and a protective coat between the pigment and your food surface. SOME people claim the stain is dangerous...I personally think there's things that are worse for you in processed food, once the stain and varnish has cured (the varnish is absolutely food safe, and the rep I talked to at Minwax told me the stain 'technically' is as well...but would not officially go on record of course), and that in this small of a dose, it's not going to be relevant anyhow. Regardless, the layer of clear varnish and the top coat of board butter should be more than enough protection against the infinitesimal bit of stain that might in some way make it to the food.
- After the second coat of clear, wipe THOROUGHLY, and let cure until you can no longer smell ANY trace of the mineral spirits, and then add a couple days on top of that to be safe.
- Sand to your desired finish. I like ultra smooth boards (this helps repel water also), and sand quickly from 400 grit, through 600, 800, and 1000 grits. I then wet the board lightly to pull up whiskers, and sand with the 1000 until the board will no longer whisker. From there you can use as is, or coat with the board conditioner of your choice. As I said I make my own board butter, and intend to use it to provide that 'healthy board' luster, to bring out the color and depth in the grain, and as an added layer of protection against bacteria and moisture.
The pictures below go in order, and since I can't caption them directly, I'll add descriptions here:
1, 2 - The board as delivered, still in the packaging.
3, 4, 5 - With my old split Tree & Co. 18x14 board, as well as a 265mm gyuto (10.5" edge length chef's knife) for scale.. This thing is monstrous.
6 - Materials for sealing.
7, 8, 9 - First coats of the varnish mixture. You can see the color has only changed a tiny bit. You can also see the varnish seeping through the back after just a minute or two of application. After this coat I added a bit more stain to the mixture as I wanted more color.
10, 11 - Second application of varnish/stain mixture.
12 - Third and final application of color mixture. You can see the board is still wet as it's being applied. I also wanted to mention that my process for the back was very simple. Before putting the board up to cure after each coat, I would simply used whatever was left on the cloth to wipe down the back. It was constantly weeping wicked through stain from the front anyhow, as well as rolling down from the sides...so mostly it was just a matter of smoothing out what was there.
13 - After the final two coats of only the clear had been applied, wiped off, and dried to the touch.
14 - In the kitchen under the warm flood lights (my shop uses 5k lighting lol). Keep in mind that the board butter has not been applied yet, so this color will darken a bit as well as gain some depth and 'glow' of its own from the oils and waxes. Pictured for scale are a 150mm (6" edge) petty knife, a 120mm (4.75" edge) petty knife, and a 100mm (4" edge) paring knife. You can see the color is MUCH nicer in regards to matching my kitchen counters and cabinets.
I will be updating this review as time goes on in order to keep you guys informed on the board's durability (or lack of!), as well as the durability of the finish itself. As it sits though, I highly recommend this board!
The second one, however, is disappointingly awful. The board reeks. I've not even used it and I've tried to clean it and I can't get rid of the stench. I've oiled and waxed it but to no avail. I've contacted Catskill and still not heard back from them. Disappointed with the product and disappointed with the customer service.
The first board I bought is a lovely maple/cherry (can't tell to my eye) while the second one is a much lighter shade of wood. Not sure what it is but it smells awful.
I have now had this chopping block for 6 years and have moved it across the country where it is still getting compliments from everyone who sees it in my kitchen. It is as tough and sturdy as ever and getting better looking with age.
I bought this block 3 years ago and have used it almost every day since. It was pretty dry when it arrived by I read the reviews back then and I oiled it repeatedly. I never let fluids stand on it, and I treated it very carefully...for a while. 3 years later I oil it infrequently. If it gets wet I never worry about it. It has kept my knives in great shape. And as an added bonus, it has a darker, much richer golden color. When people walk into my kitchen they always comment on it. Tonight I oiled it again for the first time in months and I thought I should send in this review because it has been a great addition to my kitchen and I highly recommend it.