Cutting boards and bees wax question

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 08-02-2010 03:27 AM 7867 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3299 posts in 3259 days

08-02-2010 03:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cutting boards bees wax

I’ve just been reading Dewayne’s excellent blog on cutting boards –

This has been one of my favorites for a long time and I’m going to make the boards following the blog for instructions – I can’t wait to get started.

I have one question though and I’m sure there’s an easy answer that I could not find myself. When you use mineral oil (or any oil for that matter) to seal the board and then apply bees wax – don’t you have to remove the wax to re-oil the board to keep it supple? I’ve never done the bees wax route – but I can certainly see where it would really make the board look great.

Thanks in advance.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

9 replies so far

View Ryan's profile


238 posts in 2292 days

#1 posted 08-02-2010 04:00 AM

The purpose of reoil is protecting the board from water damage.
As long as the wax is on the surface, the area is safe.
Just reoil after using for a while ( how often is depending on usage), that’s enough
to keep the board in good shape.
I’ve done this way past 16 years, it’s been working and I’m sure it’ going to wrok for
a long time.

I use pure tung oil, walnut oil, or mineral oil. I’ve heard that any type of pure oil
would be ok but cooking oils, which get stale and smelly.

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3255 days

#2 posted 08-02-2010 04:42 AM

I heat the mineral oil and melt beeswax into it. I then apply the hot liquid on a new board. When the mixture cools, it becomes the consistency of Vaseline. I use this soft paste to re-oil boards by just wiping it on, waiting 15 minutes and wiping off the excess. If the board is real dry, the re-application will soak in and you have to oil it again.

In actual use, washing the board off regularly removes the oil and wax on the surface to the point where the board will feel dry to the touch. Wiping this oil/beeswax mixture back on it will make it look and feel new again.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 2727 days

#3 posted 08-02-2010 05:02 AM

Yes, I strongly concur with our friend at tis the only way. Bee’s wax will liquify at 140 degrees and become one with the mineral oil. I understand if you over heat the mixture you may lose the goodness of the wax. I use a meat thermometer to check the temp.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View lew's profile


11175 posts in 3118 days

#4 posted 08-02-2010 03:58 PM


Call me a pragmatist- or anything else except late for supper- but if the cutting board is to be used daily, the extra work of apply/maintaining the mineral oil/bee’s wax concoction seems unwarranted. The mineral oil will help protect the wood- admitted with less sheen- but for a working board the sheen is really not that important.

Just my $.02


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 2727 days

#5 posted 08-02-2010 06:25 PM

Lew, My thought is the bee’s wax is to help repel moisture and particles of what not more so than sheen. To help provide more of a protective barrier on the board. That was my…about $.01

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3255 days

#6 posted 08-02-2010 09:23 PM

The sheen is very important when you are selling them at a show.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Betsy's profile


3299 posts in 3259 days

#7 posted 08-03-2010 01:32 AM

Interesting responses – thanks guys. I like the idea of a good sheen for showing. But I understand the idea that if you use a board every day doing the oil/wax may get to be too much.

Thanks for the input. I think I’ll try the heated oil/wax mixture to see how I like it.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 2658 days

#8 posted 08-03-2010 03:16 AM

I have made my own mineral oil and beeswax mixture for some of my earlier boards.
Now I prefer to use Howards Butcher Block Conditioner.
It is mineral oil beeswax and carnauba wax already to go. Just wipe on, wait 20 minutes,
wipe off excess. Repeat several times. Then I let it stand for a few days and buff.
The boards look great, and I give the unused portion of the bottle with the board.
That way it can easily be conditioned by the owner, the instructions are on the bottle.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View davcefai's profile


37 posts in 2760 days

#9 posted 08-03-2010 08:17 PM

Somebody mentioned walnut oil. Be careful about this, and some other oils, as there are some people who are very allergic to walnuts and could be adversely affected by even traces of walnut oil.

I know somebody for whom walnuts and sesame seeds (and their oils) are an very unpleasant experience. Her husband carries a vial of anti-allergic stuff whenever they go out – and has had to use it at least once.

-- David

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