Cutting Board residue

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Blog entry by jat posted 07-15-2011 09:58 PM 3834 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For the last end grain cutting board I made, I used Wenge, Maple, Jatoba and Marblewood. I finished it with 5 coats of butcher block oil. Now, when the board is wiped with a damp cloth after use, some of the wood coloring appears on the cloth. This is the first time I have come across this phenomenon. Anyone have any thoughts? Of course, there were no stains used so what is coming off is from the wood. Not sure how or why or how to prevent that in the future.

3 comments so far

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 3216 days

#1 posted 07-16-2011 06:50 AM

My only guess would be that some of the dust from sanding your board got trapped in the end grain of the wood, and is coming off with wiping. Sometimes I see this when applying the finish. (I make my own mineral oil and beeswax finsh) Your likely culprit is the jatoba, the dust can be pretty nasty. I’m not too familiar with the marblewood (I have some but havent worked with it yet) but if the end grain is less dense than your other woods, that may be where the majority of the dust is trapped. On your next board, try blasting it with high pressure air before putting the finish on, That should fix it.

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View jat's profile


74 posts in 2736 days

#2 posted 07-16-2011 01:26 PM

Thanks Ryan. I will remember to do that in the future. For now, I’m going to try using the air on this one. Since the dust is still coming off, it may be loose enough for the compressed air to remove it.

View BertFlores58's profile


1694 posts in 2887 days

#3 posted 07-16-2011 04:34 PM

There are some woods that have their own oil and stain. If you work on paduak, narra, and many others… this oil or stain in the wood will melt with your finish. I am not sure with your wood that you mention but you can test first by soaking some small pieces of wood you are using into the water and check for discolorization.

-- Bert

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