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Mineral Oil, Tung Oil or Walnut Oil on Cutting Boards (and other things)

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Blog entry by WoodArtbyJR posted 1374 days ago 11962 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What are the differences between the three oils? Mineral oil is the cheapest. Tung and walnut are priced about the same and both can cause alergic reactions to those that are alergic to nuts. So, I ask, what are the finishing differences. Is one better then the other (other then the cost)? Or does it just get down to a personal preference? As advertised, walnut oil will provide a hardened surface after being exposed to UVs. Mineral oil will need additional coats as it drys out. Tung oil needs to be thinned to penetrate better in the first coats. Mineral oil heated and mixed with bees wax provides a very nice seal coal. Can you do the same with walnut or tung oil or would this be counter productive. Or, if you’re going to do this, wouldn’t you be just as well off (and much cheaper) to use mineral oil and bees wax? Come on LJs, give me your thoughts, ideas, experience and or preference.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington



11 comments so far

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2557 posts in 2033 days


#1 posted 1374 days ago

I use mineral oil because it is cheap, easy to get and, when I give a board or sell a board, I know the recipient can get this pretty easily. Everyone wants to be fancy smancy but often the old stuff is the best.
Just my 0.02 cents.
Ellen

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3127 posts in 2197 days


#2 posted 1374 days ago

mineral oil is what i have used

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View JBfromMN's profile

JBfromMN

107 posts in 1377 days


#3 posted 1374 days ago

I use Mineral Oil. Same reason as Ellen. If the end user needs to recoat the board, they can get it easily.

View Joe Watson's profile

Joe Watson

315 posts in 2147 days


#4 posted 1374 days ago

i use mineral oil. i do have to say walnut oil wont be good for if someone has allergies to nuts. marc spagnuolo used varnish on his end grain cutting board. but yeah ellen has a good point about the availability etc for reapplication.

-- Got Wood?

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4758 posts in 2483 days


#5 posted 1374 days ago

I have grown to like a couple of coats of mineral oil followed by Howard’s cutting board mixture (oil and wax) for the top coat and re-coats.

I love tung oil on things like boxes, although.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View dustbunny's profile

dustbunny

1149 posts in 1896 days


#6 posted 1374 days ago

I agree with all who said mineral oil and SPalm. I also use Howards Butcher Block Conditioner.
I get mine at Home Depot.

Lisa

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~ http://quiltedwood.com

View PetVet's profile

PetVet

329 posts in 2088 days


#7 posted 1374 days ago

I too use mineral oil, but heat some bee’s wax in the microwave and add the mineral oil to it to make a paste. Seems to be a little more durable that way.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View WoodArtbyJR's profile

WoodArtbyJR

428 posts in 1566 days


#8 posted 1374 days ago

BoardSMITH – now that is the kind of comment I was looking for. You gave me the information I was looking for.
Steve & dustbunny – I had not heard of or seen the Howards Butcher Block Conditioner before but wouldn’t it be the same as mixing your own mineral oil and bees wax as demonmstrated by the wood wisperer and be MUCH cheaper? Although, like Ellen, JB & Joe state, a product such as this would easly be purchased & applied by the new owner of the board but for people like us. Mix our own???? That is unless the “natural waxes” are something really special. Just a thought & question.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11639 posts in 2289 days


#9 posted 1374 days ago

Mineral Oil…..inexpensive (WalMart $2 pint), readily available (WalMart or any drugstore,etc..), easy to apply,(pour it on , let it soak in , wipe off excess) Ta Da : )
Sometimes I will make the BeesWax & M.O. mixture as a top coat after saturating the board with Mineral Oil and allowing it to soak in for a few days.The BeesWax leaves a nice satin finish and seems to last longer than the plain M.Oil.
wax & mineral oil finish http://lumberjocks.com/projects/7123

This board is about 8 years old and just using Min Oil , I can make it look almost new whenever I recoat it :)
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/9224

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View whitedog's profile

whitedog

650 posts in 2058 days


#10 posted 1374 days ago

I’ve used mineral oil for years and it’s ok ,but I started using walnut oil 2 yrs. ago after reading about it here on LJ.
And it lasts 3 to 4 times longer than mineral oil . But nobody in our family has problems with nuts. And it does cost a lot more.

-- Paul , Calfornia

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2557 posts in 2033 days


#11 posted 1373 days ago

Anything Dusty56 tells you about cutting boards is “gospel” as far as I am concerned. I have seen his cutting boards… they are to die for!! They literally sparkle!
Ellen

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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