Linseed vs. Mineral oil - oops!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by AlanWilkes posted 02-02-2010 04:20 PM 11407 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AlanWilkes's profile


8 posts in 3125 days

02-02-2010 04:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing maple walnut

I accidentally used linseed oil instead of mineral oil when finishing my end grain cutting board! I’ve read that linseed isn’t exactly food safe… Is this salvageable? My only thought is to sand it down, and refinish it.

Let me know what you think! I’ve attached a a picture below!

End Grain Cutting Board

10 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 02-02-2010 05:06 PM

I dont know about salvation…. especially since it’s end grain and probably sucked that finish deep into the wood.

how long was it sitting with the linseed oil on it? how much did you put on it? did you finish it on both sides?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3069 days

#2 posted 02-02-2010 05:07 PM

From what I understand if it’s raw linseed your safe but if it boiled linseed oil then yes it is toxic.

I have both in my shop, the raw linseed says safe for cutting boards and food grade items.

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#3 posted 02-02-2010 05:14 PM

I don’t Think I would use it as might try flooding the board with Mineral oil

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4126 days

#4 posted 02-02-2010 05:22 PM

It looks like you’ve got yourself a nice top for a plant stand or small table.
All you need are some legs.

-- 温故知新

View AlanWilkes's profile


8 posts in 3125 days

#5 posted 02-02-2010 05:23 PM

I did just one coat of boiled linseed/beeswax.

Aside from hang it on the wall, I’m not sure what to do considering it is end-grain…

View AlanWilkes's profile


8 posts in 3125 days

#6 posted 02-02-2010 05:24 PM

Drgoodwood – I like your positive thinking!

View oldbill's profile


3 posts in 3202 days

#7 posted 02-02-2010 05:31 PM

I don’t know about the oil, but sure is a beautiful tray…good job!!!

-- Bill, land o llakes, fl

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3732 days

#8 posted 02-02-2010 06:21 PM

According to a couple of MSDS sheets I just read, Boiled Linseed Oil IS toxic. It appears that this is caused by the dryers added.

That said, I don’t know that there is any way to make your cutting board safe. My first thought is to soak it in Mineral Spirits but, not being a chemist, I don’t know if that would remove the BLO. It would certainly dilute it, but what happens when the Mineral Spirits evaporate out of the wood??? Dependent upon how heavily you applied the BLO, you might be able to sand down 1/8” or so and remove most of it – but I don’t know how you would determine if it is all removed? And I couldn’t determine from the MSDS what concentration levels are necessary before toxicity results.

So, everything said, if this were my cutting board, I would hang it on the wall as a conversation piece and make another for use as a cutting board. I know that’s not what you want to hear after all of your hard work, but unless someone here has a better idea to ensure that all of the BLO is removed from the wood, that would be my recommendation.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Tango's profile


76 posts in 3552 days

#9 posted 02-02-2010 06:30 PM

Too bad!!!! At least if you had only squares (instead of squares & rectangles pattern) you could use it as a Chessboard.

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3267 days

#10 posted 02-02-2010 06:36 PM

For my family or for someone else, I could never really trust it.

You did a fabulous job. You can do it again. Don’t think about it another minute.

The table is a good idea, or, slice and trim it down for a mini shelf system… or, let’s play checkers!


Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics