I’ve never thought about the “character of a tree” until I met Shane Forguites. This week I’m SCOOPING at Saratoga Hardwood, known locally for producing hand-crafted charcuterie boards and home accent pieces that highlight each tree’s personality. Watch while Shane shares a bit about how he got into woodworking, his process by which he produces these gorgeous works of art, and shares some tips on how we should be caring for our boards at home.

Shane shares how he’s had a passion for woodworking from an early age. His hobby turned into a small business that continues to grow. Shane uses hardwoods, and a lot of “spalted maple” in his construction. Spalting refers to the black lines that naturally grow in the wood and bring out the individuality of each piece.

He also uses “live edge” (rough edge) design for most products. Live edge, allows pieces to be designed without taking away from the edge’s natural appearance. It shows how the tree actually grew.

Shane shares how through flattening and sanding of a dried slab, you can begin to see the character of the tree, like where the branches met. He showed us how he sketches out the placement of the charcuterie board using a rough stencil and natural elements of the wood slab. Through jigsawing, LOTS of sanding, and treating, he continues to amplify the story of the tree, making the final piece that much more beautiful.

Lastly, Shane shares how he preserves his boards. He uses a mix of melted coconut oil and beeswax, which helps to bring back to life the natural beauty of the wood, while providing a thin coating of protection.

Saratoga Hardwood takes custom orders, sales through their site, and also sells their beautiful products through the famous Beekman 1802 Mercantile. To check out Shane’s portfolio of hardwood products and for product information, head to their website.

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