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FAQ

Here's a collection of the questions we get asked the most. If you don't see what you need here, e-mail us at faq@earlywooddesigns.com

FAQ

Here's a collection of the questions we get asked the most. If you don't see what you need here, e-mail us at faq@earlywooddesigns.com

which wood should I choose?

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People ask us all the time which wood should I choose for my kitchen utensils. I've got them laid out below me here and I'll give you some information about them help you with that. Right now, these are laid out from our hardest wood to our softest wood. This is our Mexican Ebony, Bloodwood, Jatobá and Hard Maple. A lot of people will hear that and say oh I want this one because it's the hardest but don't forget that this is hard maple, people make gym floors and bowling alleys out of hard maple. Most kitchen utensils you'll find available are made out of beech or fir, which are both significantly softer than hard maple. So you're going in even if you get the hard maple you're getting a wood that's substantially better than most kitchen utensils you'll find out there. So in the end, my advice to you is pick the one you like the color of most, the one that's going to match your kitchen, match your decor and go with that because really if you're looking for strength and toughness and hardness and things you can't go wrong with any of these woods.

Choosing which of our woods to get your utensils in is like choosing between the authentic Mexican and authentic Thai food... you just can't lose! The softest wood we use is hard maple and it is much harder than the woods typically used for making wooden spoons (like beech and cherry). The hard maple can pick up a stain when used in beets, cumin, berries etc, but the stains naturally work themselves out over the next two or three uses. We suggest that you pick the one that you like the look of best. If you want to get into growth regions, variations, Janka hardness scales etc then go poke around the woods page.

what do you stain your woods with?

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So what do we stain in our woods with... we get that question all the time. And I guess it makes sense that we would get that because the colors are so vibrant on them, but the answer is absolutely nothing. Take a look at this here, here's the four woods we use and you can see that the face is the color, the edge is the same color. (drops wood and yells) Oww!( laughs) So we don't use any stain whatsoever that would make these not food safe at all and the beauty of this is that this color goes all the way through that piece of wood. So if you use the...I don't have one but if you use the piece of scotch-brite that we gave you in a little wood care package when you bought your utensils to rub any fuzz off of here, you're just gonna bring more color out. And when you wash these on a day to day basis use the scratchy side of your sponge and that'll constantly take the tiniest little layer of wood off of here and get down to fresh color. So these can be looking just as good in ten years as they do the day you buy them.

Absolutely NOTHING! All the vibrant color you see is 100% natural. Because of this, they are that same color all the way through the piece. If you take our suggestion and clean them with hot soapy water and the scratchy side of your sponge (which continuously removes the tiniest little layer of wood) then they will keep their color for decades!

how long will it take to get my order?

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Wondering how long it's gonna take to get your package? Well, I can't tell you how long the US Postal Service or UPS is gonna take to get it your house. But, I can tell you how long it's gonna take to get it shipped out of here. See this bin of Tera scrapers right here, this is about how much stock we keep on pretty much all of our products. We stay ahead of the gun, so as soon as you order we can get it out the door. And we ship either five or six days a week depending on the season, so when you order it's either going to ship that day or the next day and it's going to be coming in one of these Earlywood envelopes or a box something like this.

We have a full-time shipper here and we ship 5 or 6 days a week. If our website lets you place an order for a product, that means it is in stock and it will ship either the day you ordered it or the next day.

why do you use mineral oil in your wood oil?

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We get asked why we use mineral oil in our Earlywood oil. We chose mineral oil because it works on everything all the time. Other oils like olive oil say, you can use on a wooden utensil especially one you're gonna be washing all the time because if you're washing it all the time it doesn't stay there long enough to for any of its negative properties to come out. But if you use it on say a cutting board it doesn't get washed all the time or sits around for a while it can dry up which will make it kind of sticky, it can turn yellow over time. It can also turn rancid which will make it smell, so you don't want any of that happening. And you never get that with this so whether you're trying to treat your wooden utensils, your cutting board, your wood knife handles, or plastic knife handles for that matter... Earlywood oil works every time.

We like mineral oil for a lot of reasons. Mineral oil:
-         is 100% food safe
-         soaks in to your product extremely well
-         never goes rancid like other, edible oils (olive, sesame, walnut)
-         is completely odorless
-         stores for decades without any degradation in look, safety or performance.
-         never dries (so you won’t end up with a sticky coating on your utensil after multiple treatments)
-         does not form a hard coating that will chip off into your food
-         enhances, not changes the natural color of wood
-         is 100% non-toxic and can be applied with bare hands (which conveniently moisturizes)

why are my utensils fuzzy?

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So you are wondering why your utensils look a little bit fuzzy? There is a reason for that and it's easy to fix. You probably had a new utensil, that had oil on it from here at Earlywood then you used it a few times, and that oil started to wear off and you got some water down in the pores of the wood. When that happens, they soak up that water and then when that dries out, the grain just stands up a little bit, so it's actually not fuzz it is raised grain. The way to take care of that, is to take the little woodcare package that we gave you with your order and read the back of it. It basically says, when you get that raised grain, you pull out this little chunk of scotch-brite we gave you. This is extra fine scotch-brite which is just the right grit for wood utensils. You can't scratch your utensils with this no matter what. And take the whole utensil, rub this over the entire utensil when its nice and dry and you have that raised grain on there, give it a blow and blow it off. Ideally, put a little bit of oil on it, if you don't have any oil, you can get some on the site or you can just put a little olive oil or something like that on there. Olive oil is not the best oil for all kitchen utensils, but something you are going to be washing all the time it's just fine for. Let it dry, hit it with this, blow it off, maybe oil it, maybe not. That fuzz should never come back.

It is common for new wooden utensils to have fuzz (actually raised grain) after their first or second exposure to water. This can easily be eliminated by a quick rub with the Scotch-Brite pad that came in your treatment packet (see above). You should only have to do this once, then your utensils will be fuzz free for life!

what is earlywood?

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What is Earlywood? We get that question all the time because obviously it's the name of our business. Hopefully I can spread some light on that for you. This piece of wood I've got right here happens to be hard maple this is probably gonna be some sautés or some spreaders. But you can see on the end of the piece of wood that we've got growth rings here I'm sure you've seen those on firewood or your kitchen table, basically anything's made out of wood. You can see the growth rings on it, there's two parts to each growth rings there's in this particular wood there's a dark part that's kind of thin and then there's a lighter part that's a little bit thicker. The light part is all earlywood, the dark part is all latewood. The earlywood grows in the spring and the beginning of the summer when the days are getting a little longer, there's a lot of moisture around and the grounds wet so the tree is able to pull nutrients out of the ground. That's when about 80% of the wood in a tree is grown and that is the earlywood. Now the dark part is the latewood which grows when the days are shorter and it's colder out, the ground might be frozen and that is usually a narrower band because it's colder in the winter and there's not as many nutrients and not as much water. So pretty much every tree is half latewood, half earlywood and they perform a few different functions. The latewood gives the tree the bulk of its strength and the earlywood is more porous and allows the tree to pass water and nutrients up to the entire tree. So that's what we named our business after and I hope that answers the question for you.

In climates where large changes in weather occur, large changes in tree growth rates also occur. When water and sunshine are abundant, trees grow lightly colored, porous, and thin walled cells called earlywood. When temps are cold and dry, trees put on a layer of darker, dense, thick walled cells called latewood. Both types serve a purpose for the tree. It's the latewood that gives wood the majority of its strength, and it is the porous earlywood that delivers water and nutrients to the tree. When you count the growth rings on the cross section of a tree, you're really counting how many times the earlywood/latewood cycle has taken place.

What is in the package?

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Alright so you just bought yourself a sweet Earlywood Essential Set and you're wondering how it's going to show up at your house. This is how we wrap it for you and this is what it's gonna look like. First, we'll put it some tissue paper for you. Then, we've got our kraft paper here, we're gonna throw in one of these woodcare packages, it has a scotch-brite in it and care instructions right on the back. We're also going to throw in one of these insert cards it tells you how to use these flat utensils if you're not familiar with them, tells you which woods we use, how we donate a dollar from every order to the Atlantic rainforest to replant trees, and who we are and where it came from. We're gonna slide that in there. If you say so, when you check out we'll write you a handwritten note on this little Earlywood piece of paper right here slide that in, we're gonna wrap this all up. We're gonna put a nice little Earlywood sticker on the back for you. Take this nice padded Earlywood envelope throw this right in there seal her up. Put your name on it and it's out the door.

We wrap each set or individual piece in tissue paper, then throw in a woodcare package and an info card and a handwritten note if you request it on the cart page. Then we wrap that whole bunch in kraft paper, seal it with an Earlywood sticker and slide it into a padded envelope or box. We never include a receipt so if you are sending directly to someone as a gift, you don't need to worry about that.

If we didn't just answer your question, e-mail us at faq@earlywooddesigns.com