Reply by lumberjoe

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Posted on Questions on finishing with mineral oil

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2899 posts in 2395 days

#1 posted 12-18-2012 05:30 PM

Heat the mineral oil. It goes deeper, quicker when hot. Don’t put it in a microwave or boil it! I take out my wife’s crock pot (shhh, don’t tell her), fill it with water and then toss the bottle of mineral oil in it (heating the oil while still in the bottle)

Save your money on the commercial “butcher block” finishes. They are all either straight mineral oil, or mineral oil and beeswax. I make my own mineral oil/wax mix in a double boiler. Once I apply it, I pour it back into the mineral oil bottle it came from. The next time I need to use it, I just heat the bottle in the crock pot full of water again.

To Jim’s point, mineral oil is not a finish. There is a debate over the food safe properties of film building finishes, but I believe (and the science supports) that once a finish is cured, it’s food safe. I like to use mineral oil it because I don’t see the point in wasting a film building finish on something I am going to hack up with a knife then scrub vigorously with soap and hot water. The cutting board will need reapplications of something regularly. You can’t really reapply a film building finish, so at some point the board will end up slathered in mineral oil anyway. Save yourself the hassle upfront and skip the thinned poly.


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