*notcot in design , 00:05

Making Cutting Boards with Oliver Apt- 02.19.15

_cutting0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

I made a cutting board! On fun ways to explore a city and get to know the people and find out more about life - i’ve now learned that a workshop is incredible! Edmonton Tourism definitely knows how to appeal to our designer side by mixing in a special Oliver Apt Cutting Board Workshop into our itinerary. While at first glance i wasn’t sure how it fit in… after the fact? Genius move!

Firstly, the workshop is with Oliver Apt and the founder, 3rd generation carpenter, Landon Schedler, who beyond knowing just about everyone in the creative community, has a portfolio that nearly completely overlaps the Edmonton ‘must try’ lists! (i.e. Woodwork, Meat, Duchess Bake Shop) Also, how awesome is it to not only get to tour someone else’s studio, but to also try out their tools? Secondly, a magical thing happens when you have a physical goal/project in front of you. As much as all parties want to focus on the tour and interview or talk about their work… the common goal occupying your hands and mind - somehow makes the conversation far more fluid - and fun! I learned more about the local creative community and the inspiring people and culture of Edmonton in that few hours making a cutting board, than most of my trip!

And the bonus? Cutting board! Which will always make me think of my Alberta winter adventures! And it’s hand made by me… with the clear expertise of years of woodworking know how from Landon. While i definitely learned a lot about wood, tools, laminating, planing, and more… perhaps throwing a workshop is the ultimate humblebrag. It’s only when you TRY to do what experts do, that you realize just how amazing experts really are!

Ready for a peek into the Oliver Apt wood shop/studio and a step by step look at how to make your own faceted cutting board on the next page!

Into Oliver Apt! shop2.jpg

This is the way Oliver Apt Cutting Board Workshops usually go… for ours, swap out lunch for a wine & beer field trip while the glue dried.  cutting1.jpg

First you get to look at the wood possibilities (in our case, walnut + maple) and design and sketch out your board. Landon’s pieces tend to have such nice sharp facets, we all wanted variations of those!

Here we go! Leveling out the pieces, getting perfect 90 degree angles, piece it all together, and gluing it… then you take a break while it binds together (perfect time to chat more about life in Edmonton, and must see spots throughout Alberta over beer & wine.) Then it’s all about scraping the glue and sanding it down to perfection… cutting3.jpg

I was mesmerized watching the glue drip as you clamp it… it looked like wood glue candy buttons. cutting5.jpg

Perhaps the most impressive part of the process - the facets! Landon handles most of the power tools (safety first, etc.) - and watching his ability to get such crisp angles that line up perfectly was mesmerizing. Check out the jigs he has to make perfect corners! Once it’s all cut, we were sanding through any imperfections until it’s ridiculously smooth… blasting the sawdust off… and then branding the Oliver Apt logo on them (if your board meets Landon’s standards) before oiling it. It is beautiful and strangely satisfying to watch the wood grains pop. The finishing touch? Tied up with string and a “Handcrafted with care.” tag. cutting4.jpg

Now that you’ve seen the quick overview of the process - here are some of my favorite details along the way!

Here’s Shawn checking out the smoothness and the freshly cut facets. cutting6.jpg

The corners that were cut off made cute walnut/maple mountains… maybe we’ll turn them into something later? cutting7.jpg

The colors! Watching the board come to life with the oil… cutting8.jpg

“Made in Canada by Oliver Apt.” + me! cutting9.jpg

He also sends you home with this adorable little care kit with mineral oil, sandpaper, and cloth. cutting10.jpg

Here’s how our three cutting boards turned out! Clearly all part of the Oliver Apt family, but each with our unique twists. Shawn’s is closest with chopped corners making parallelograms on the short sides… mine is all walnut with twisting facets… and Meredith’s at the end is half and half! cutting11.jpg

To break in the cutting board… we picked up some macarons and other treats at Duchess Bake Shop on our way out of town. I just used it as a serving board, here in Jasper, as I work on these posts! cutting12.jpg

Check out my facets! And brand! And that walnut grain! cutting13.jpg (…and yes, the macarons and key lime tart are extra delicious from the board.)

To recap the basic steps - here are his demonstration pieces… cutting2.jpg

Think you can do it yourself? Ready to make a cutting board? Well whether you’ve never played with wood, or you’re an expert - Landon makes the Oliver Apt Cutting Board Workshops a really fun experience… and he has some lustworthy tools!

… just look at how many Festool boxes he has in the workbenches? The sanders and dust collectors have already made it on to our NOTlabs dream list… shop4.jpg

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