Cutting Board Questions: Why we use a brickwork pattern
You're probably familiar with perusing your kitchen store or clicking through various websites and seeing End Grain Cutting Boards (what's End Grain?). My guess is that you've either seen the checkerboard pattern or the random nonpattern. And if you take a look at our End Grain cutting boards, you'll see that we predominantly use a Brickwork Pattern (though we also do End Grain square patterns!).
Despite what some may think, this isn't just an aesthetic decision. First lets go over what's the issue with checkerboard patterns. The glue forms a plus sign or an X sign if you prefer, and where each of those lines meet is a particularly weak spot. If you were to take a nail and place it there, it wouldn't take much force to separate with a hammer. Because our joints overlap it creates a stronger bond; one block of wood holds another two together. Makes sense, doesn't it? There's a reason why brick walls are built the way they are. This greatly reduces the probability of a split. The industry average is 3% failure, if I recall right, and Brooklyn Butcher Blocks hovers around 1%.
The idea first came to me shortly after I moved to the Brooklyn, where you see lots of brick every block (not butcher's. Sorry. Bad joke. I couldn't resist). I was working with the knife maker Joel Bukiewicz of Cut Brooklyn at the time and had just started making cutting boards, but I felt like they needed some more, an extra selling point if you will. I was sitting downstairs below Joel's shop on the curb, feeling a little frustrated. Upon looking up and seeing a brick building for the bazillionth time, everything just clicked. This isn't too dissimilar from how I designed the iBlock... but that's a story for another time.