The KRAKEN Wenge Chopping Board
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The KRAKEN Wenge Chopping Board
Kraken sea monster

The KRAKEN Wenge Chopping Board

Introduction

This is the first in a series of posts that will take an in-depth look at some of our more notable chopping boards. I hope you enjoy.

The Kraken

No legendary sea monster was as horrifying as the Kraken. According to stories this huge, many armed, creature could reach as high as the top of a sailing ship’s main mast. A kraken would attack a ship by wrapping it’s arms around the hull and capsizing it. The crew would drown or be eaten by the monster. Black ink would darken the deep waters. Tales of a huge, many armed, headed or horned sea creatures exist from ancient times. The Greek legend of the Scylla, a monster with six heads that Odysseus must sail past during his travels, is an example of this tradition.

In 1555 Olaus Magnus wrote of a sea creature with…

sharp and long Horns round about, like a Tree root up by the Roots: They are ten or twelve cubits long, very black, and with huge eyes…Olaus Magnus: 1555

The Kraken Chopping Board

Frankly, we have never made another chopping board like it.

At 4.5 kg and 50cm x 31cm x 3cm this Wenge chopping board has an impressive weight and feel, all the more so considering that it is made from a single piece with no joins. Wenge (pro. WHEN-gii or WHEN-ghay) is a particularly dense and hard wood. It has an average dried weight of 870kg/m3 which is considerable when compared to Oak at 675kg/m3 or Black Cherry at 560kg/m3. Likewise it is 1.8 times harder than English Oak and 2.1 times harder than Black Cherry on the Janka Hardess Scale. Both these characteristics make for a great chopping board.

As a result, although the wood is both highly attractive and has ideal properties for chopping, it is also spectacularly difficult to mill and work. Wenge has a strong blunting effect on tools and specially sharpened and/or toughed HSS tools are recommended. Its characteristic grain can also create giant splinters that are hard, brittle and painful. Beautiful and terrible, this chopping board is available to you having been planed, milled, and sanded to a perfectly smooth black slab.

wenge chopping board

The Wenge chopping board has rounded edges for smooth handling and no handles to spoil the lines. Ideal in any kitchen, it would be especially suited to an ultra modern minimalist kitchen. There is also a through hole for hanging.

wenge chopping board

The board is treated with our own board butter which helps keep it looking great and gives it a lovely sheen.

wenge chopping board

We try and price all of our products reasonably. The price reflects the  time and effort that goes in to creating a board like this coupled with the high price of the sought after raw materials. Find this in our shop.

About Wenge

Usually pronounced WHEN-gii or WHEN-ghay, the wood has excellent strength and hardness properties, and is also dark enough to be used as a substitute for ebony.

Common Name(s): Wenge.
Scientific Name: Millettia laurentii
Distribution: Central Africa Tree Size: 60-90 ft (18-27 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter. Mainly found in Zaire, but an associated species, Millettia stuhlmannii occurs in East Africa. It is known as panga panga, and its general appearance and characteristics closely resemble Wenge.
Average Dried Weight: 54 lbs/ft3 (870 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity: (Basic, 12% MC): .72, .87
Janka Hardness: 1,930 lbf (8,600 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 21,990 lbf/in2 (151.7 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,550,000 lbf/in2 (17.59 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 11,710 lbf/in2 (80.7 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 4.8%, Tangential: 8.1%, Volumetric: 12.9%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
Availability: Wenge is not listed in Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). There is however, limited availability due to unsustainable forestry management and poor practices. All of our timber comes from well managed resources, and we will never trade in materials listed in Appendix I. 


Wenge

End Grain x10

wenge

Sealed and prepared surface

wenge

We hope you enjoy using this Wenge chopping board much as we enjoyed making it.

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