Beeswax & mineral oil finish for ubiquitous end grain cutting board. What beeswax do you use?

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Forum topic by Lloyd Davies posted 10-21-2009 01:38 AM 16324 views 3 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lloyd Davies

116 posts in 2749 days

10-21-2009 01:38 AM

Hello all. I recently made a few of the obligatory cutting boards and am using one at home. I initially started with a mineral oil only finsih. The only problem is that it seems to need a new finish every 2 weeks for so so I went and bought some beeswax like this stuff from Amazon My goal was to get a finish that lasts a bit longer.

However when I put the mineral oil and beeswax together in the microwave to warm up the oil got pretty hot but the pellets themselves did not really melt. When I applied the finish the cutting board it was really messy. Much more messy that just the oil. I am also giving away a few of these and want to give some finish with them; so I’d like it to be easy to apply.

My questions are:
1) What beeswax should I be buying?
2) Should it really be as difficult as I found it to apply?
3) Are there any other durable food friendly finishes anyone would care to recommend?

Thanks all in advance.

-- Northern California

9 replies so far

View Dusty56's profile


11804 posts in 3111 days

#1 posted 10-21-2009 02:31 AM

I’ve had mixed results using the microwave on certain things . The best luck has been with heating a 50/50 mixture in a double boiler , and I believe that is how most ppl do it.

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

View Mauritius's profile


96 posts in 2649 days

#2 posted 10-21-2009 02:33 AM

I’m not sure if you’ve seen the WoodWhisperer’s cutting board tutorial, towards the end he covers how to mix the beeswax/mineral oil. I’ve never tried it though.

Recently I’ve been using Calpham’s beeswax salad bowl finish – you can get it on amazon here Tad pricey, but a little goes a long way. Just wipe on, wait a few hours and wipe off.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17577 posts in 3099 days

#3 posted 10-21-2009 02:55 AM

Find a local beekeeper, that’s the best place to get Beeswax. Keep it out of the microwave. Double boiler or real low heat on a slow cooker type hot plate.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3315 days

#4 posted 10-21-2009 03:11 AM

I use white bees wax pellets and white mineral oil. My source is Craft Lobby.

I have a electric hot plate and a small pan that I put the mineral oil and a small amount of bees wax in and melt it all down. I then apply the mixture to the boards hot. I also pour the excess mixture into small jars to sell at shows for $5 each. Once the mixture cools, it will jell. The amount of jell depends on the amount of bees wax you melted into the mineral oil. It can be runny, or the consistency of Vaseline. The more wax, the thicker. I try to keep mine like Vaseline. However, during the hot Georgia summers, it tends to get runny at outdoor shows. At room temperature, it will jell again.

My source for the jars is SKS. I use the 8 oz PET jars that have the cap liner that decreases the chance of leaks. They also have clear plastic sleeves for each size jar that I shrink wrap around the jar with a heat gun.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2948 days

#5 posted 10-21-2009 04:18 AM

I also suggest finding a local beekeeper(apiary) as that is usually the cheapest way to get it, plus what better way to support your local economy. You’ll want to double boil the mixture to get it to blend together. Just heat water in a large pan and stick a smaller metal bowl in the boiling water, and add the wax and oil into it, then mix slowly.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3823 days

#6 posted 10-21-2009 04:24 AM

I bought some beeswax on ebay. I tried to find local bee keepers but didn’t have any luck. (Even though I remember seeing a truck at a local gas station that was selling honey)

I haven’t done anything with mine yet.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View bigike's profile


4048 posts in 2711 days

#7 posted 10-21-2009 04:30 AM

mineral oil i heard works for the cutting boards

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 2748 days

#8 posted 10-22-2009 08:49 PM

I just used paraffin wax with the mineral oil, and heated it up in a double boiler that I didn’t plan for cooking. The neat thing is it will harden – and I can put a lid on it and reheat it in the future when I finish another board.

I find that it does cool very quickly so you probably have to keep it on a low setting as you apply and rub in the mixture.

View Lloyd Davies's profile

Lloyd Davies

116 posts in 2749 days

#9 posted 10-25-2009 09:32 PM

Thank you all for your comments. I used a home made double boiler in the end and it was a snap. Mineral oil and beeswax just meld together. The higher the % of beeswax the firmer the ending result.

-- Northern California

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