Meet Ty Dattaray of Dattaray Lane
January 4th, 2019 - SD Voyager Article
Today we’d like to introduce you to Ty Dattaray.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Ty. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I was first exposed to woodworking around 1999/2000 growing up in Portland, Oregon.
My friends and I would build crude skateboard ramps, quarter pipes, boxes, and PVC rails using just handsaws, drills, and woodscrews. We didn’t have the right tools at the time, and there wasn’t much precision involved, but it’s what first sparked my interest in woodworking. This inclination fell by the wayside as I got older.
Then in October 2014, I was searching for a place to learn how to blacksmith and forge weaponry in San Diego. The only place I found was completely waitlisted for the next year. After some Googling I discovered MakerPlace. A large DIY facility which housed a full wood shop, metal shop, and laser lab. They offered an array of classes ranging from MIG/TIG welding to screen printing on t-shirts.
Little did I know that this would become my home away from home and the people there (employees, shop techs, hobbyists, and professional artisans) would become like a second family to me. On a whim, I decided to start in the wood shop to make the transition into metalwork easier. I took the Intermediate Woodworking course which taught how to make a face grain cutting board over the course of two days. By the end of the short class, I was completely in awe of the finished product.
Over the next few months, I became so captivated with woodworking that I spent over 40 hours/week in the wood shop on top of my full-time job. When I wasn’t working I watched woodworking tutorials on YouTube; picked up tips/techniques on Pinterest; browsed submissions on the Reddit’s woodworking sub, and perused countless other sources to advance my understanding of the craft. I then began teaching the same Intermediate Woodworking class I had taken less than three months prior. I was still in a learning phase myself, but teaching put the pressure on me to challenge myself further and be able to answer all my students’ questions.
At the same time, I started posting my creations on Facebook and unexpectedly started selling cutting boards here and there. Gradually, I developed my own style of end grain cutting boards primarily using exotic hardwood species which were extremely vibrant and denser than the wood species used in traditional cutting boards found in stores or online. By mid-2015, I started to receive more random orders generated by word of mouth, and I decided to form the Sole Proprietorship, San Diego Cutting Boards.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest challenge has been managing my time since I also work full time as a financial analyst at biotech. I’m always juggling the various responsibilities that comes along with owning one’s own business (creating products and then handling social media, advertising, website maintenance, shipping, etc.). But I enjoy it overall. I’m grateful to have time to devote to something I love so much.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with San Diego Cutting Boards – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
San Diego Cutting Boards was initially formed to create custom cutting boards with style and durability in mind. Designing functional art using a variety of domestic and exotic wood species is what sets SDCB apart from the rest. Everything is handcrafted, I don’t skimp on the materials, and I construct boards to last. Everything I create is naturally colored, and I won’t use stains unless requested.
In particular, the end grain cutting boards I’ve designed are virtually scratch resistant, play nicer on knife edges, and can easily last a lifetime of cutting if given the occasional mineral bath. In the last few years, I have been contracted for various other wood products. Including wine racks, chess boards, lazy Susans, chopsticks, sliding book stands, pizza peels, butcher block tables, coaster sets, jewelry, wood hinged boxes, wood art, and so on.
I welcome all new projects and put client satisfaction as the priority above all else. If someone orders something from me, regardless of how intensive the project is, it will be completed to the highest quality and to specifications. It’s always rewarding bringing people’s ideas to life while still having the creative flexibility to express myself.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m looking forward to trying new things in 2019. I would like to get into making larger furniture pieces and possibly playing with epoxy colors or other types of inlay. I have also made a personal vow to venture into the metal shop so you may be seeing some mixed media pieces from me. I have a lot of ideas for the future and am excited to see where it leads.