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To finish, or not to finish a pizza peel?

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Forum topic by Jonathan posted 1280 days ago 5431 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jonathan

2604 posts in 1682 days


1280 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: mineral oil sbf salad bowl finish pizza peel oven pizza stone temperature

I am almost done with a pizza peel that I started months and months ago for my wife. I have been slightly tweaking the size and shape of it the last couple of days. I’m almost done shaping and sanding and have been contemplating putting a finish on it.

I’d like to apply a finish, mainly to show off the wood since it’s made of a maple, walnut and quartersawn cherry lamination. It looks good right now, but dull without any finish applied. I realize the pizza peel will get dirty with use. I am not so much concerned about staining, as I am applying the appropriate finish to handle the heat of the oven. We received a pizza stone for Christmas and have used it a couple of times now. When using the stone, the oven is turned on to between 450-500-Fahrenheit. So, I want the finish to be able to handle the heat. I was thinking that mineral oil might be the best choice for this? Then I can periodically re-coat it as need be. However, I’m wondering how mineral oil will react to either flour or cornstarch, as far as those two things sticking to it?

I have also considered General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish (thinned, multiple coats), but am wondering if it will handle the heat of the oven and pizza stone? Keep in mind it’ll only be in contact with either of those surfaces for no more than a few seconds, but the hot pizza will be sitting on it a little longer. The SBF would obviously work well with flour and/or cornmeal brushing right off, but I don’t know about the heat factor?

I can leave it unfinished, if that’s the best way to go, but I’d prefer to use the finish to show off the wood a bit.

I’ve read up on the few posts that are on here. Some are finished and some aren’t.

I’d especially like to hear from anyone that’s made a pizza peel, or something similar, such as a bread board where flour will be in contact with the board. If you finished your project, what did you apply, and would you do it again, or choose either a different finish, or no finish at all?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."


16 replies so far

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

399 posts in 1826 days


#1 posted 1280 days ago

I’m almost sure i understand what you call a pizza peel, although I’ve never heard of it before. Could you post some pictures?

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Jonathan

2604 posts in 1682 days


#2 posted 1280 days ago

Here’s a generic picture of a pizza peel.

And here’s a shot of part of the pizza peel I’m making:

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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Jonathan

2604 posts in 1682 days


#3 posted 1280 days ago

Here’s a shot of the actual pizza peel:

I still have some touch-up sanding to do, as well as running the router around it again with the roundover bit.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 2173 days


#4 posted 1280 days ago

I finished mine with just plain mineral oil. This helps with stains as opposed to leaving it unfinished. I didn’t want to use a “salad bowl finish” because I didn’t want a film finish to be exposed to the heat.

-- Childress Woodworks

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2488 posts in 1408 days


#5 posted 1280 days ago

Depends upon the heat that you are using. In a real pizza oven, I would not use a finish. For home use I would use olive oil or mineral oil if anything at all.

BTW – looks really good. Nice job

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1324 days


#6 posted 1280 days ago

My guess is that it’s probably going to get olive oil on it anyway!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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jack1

1917 posts in 2658 days


#7 posted 1280 days ago

Didnt know they were called that. Nice idea for the house though. Papa Murphy’s rocks! ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

295 posts in 1481 days


#8 posted 1280 days ago

John,
I don’t know how much pizza you make, but the peel won’t really get much abuse from the heat of oven, most wear & tear will be on the front edge which will be abraded against the stone when you’re firing the pie or pulling it from the oven. Vegetable / olive oils will go rancid over time and can impart an off flavors as well as getting sticky. If you’re storing this in a cabinet, or hanging it on a wall, (where it belongs, NICE work!) then I’d use a straight block oil rubbed in, once a day for a week, once a week for a month & as needed after that. I treat all of my wood boards, bowls and wooden utensils this way, and they don’t stink or get junk stuck to them.

Chef Derek

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Jonathan

2604 posts in 1682 days


#9 posted 1280 days ago

Thanks for the replies.

If I use any sort of oil, it will be mineral oil only. No beeswax, as that’ll melt. And certainly not vegetable or olive oil because of the rancidity factor. This will only be used in our kitchen oven… no real pizza oven at our house.

I’ve got a nice taper on the front lip right now that you can’t really see in the photo. It follows the curve and gradually tapers back about 1.5-inches. There is a sharper/shorter angle on the underside, with the majority of the bevel being on the top side in order to scoop up and release the pizza.

We don’t make a ton of pizza, but this may also be used for bread as well.

I was mostly concerned about the flour or cornstarch interacting and setting up with the mineral oil, but it doesn’t sound like it’ll be a problem. And yes, the mineral oil should help avoid some stains. I’ll certainly give it a good soaking. Probably several coats the first day, then one coat a day, for a week, then once a month, or as need be after that.

Other than the oil regimine, this should be done sometime in the next week, so I’ll make sure to get much better pictures posted then.

My wife has seen it already and doesn’t really know if she wants it hanging in the kitchen or not. We don’t have a lot of wall space, so I’ll have to see what I can do. I may also drill a hole in the handle for a leather lanyard, especially if I can figure out where to put it on the wall. I can always do that at a later date as well.

I can’t wait to hit this with the oil to really make the wood pop! I’ve hit it with mineral spirits a couple of times and it looked much richer than it does in the above photo.

Thanks again.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View mmh's profile

mmh

3385 posts in 2353 days


#10 posted 1280 days ago

Is “block oil” the same as mineral oil? I’ve used mineral oil on all of my wooden utensils, as recommended by one of LJ’s wooden utensil makers. The mineral oil has not gone bad and I’ve used this for several years now. You apply the oil and rub off the excess, so there’s no clumping or gunking of flour and it repels stains. Reapply when wood looks dry.

Make sure you purchase Non-fragranced, food quality (pure) mineral oil, not the type used for body lotions.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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Jonathan

2604 posts in 1682 days


#11 posted 1280 days ago

Yes, I’ve used mineral oil before on boards, although I tend to put a mineral oil/beeswax blend on at the end. Obviously I’ll forego that last step on the peel since the beeswax won’t like the 500-degree temps.!

I just wasn’t sure about the flour with a straight mineral oil application, but it sounds like there shouldn’t be an issue.

I’ve seen a few different “block oils” that are mineral oil, plus a few other additives. Not sure if they really work any better at “conditioning” the wood?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

295 posts in 1481 days


#12 posted 1280 days ago

Mineral oil is just as good at sealing.
John Boos is a commercial cutting board & counter top maker. http://www.johnboos.com/content/1/54 http://dealers.johnboos.com/JBC_Web/jbc0001.asp , and I was introduced to his block oil many years ago and can usually find it at HD over in the countertop section. Their Block Oil takes care of all of the sealing functions and also has an amber cast from pure linseed oil that builds over time to produce a very deep luster and golden hue

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Jonathan

2604 posts in 1682 days


#13 posted 1280 days ago

Just realized I made a mistake above and mentioned flour and cornstarch. Meant to say flour and corn meal. Just wanted to correct that.

The container of oil I’ve been using lately is actually labeled Butcher Block Oil. I’m going to be replacing it soon and may just go with straight mineral oil from the pharmacy aisle.

I’ll have to track down some of the Boos Mystery Butcher Block Oil and compare it to some of the other block oils. I like the idea of the linseed oil being mixed in with the mineral oil.

I’d also like to try out the Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner sometime, although it’s going to be different with the beeswax and carnauba wax in it.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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Jonathan

2604 posts in 1682 days


#14 posted 1278 days ago

Just got done with the router work, final sanding and clean-up of the pizza peel. Got a chance to try out my new Triton TRC001, freehand on this peel. I threw in the 1/4” roundover bit, clamped the peel down to some MDF and went at it. I thought about making a practice run with the new router on some scrap, but got antsy and went straight to the peel. The hardest part was keeping the router balanced and straight on the long, thin handle. I don’t yet have a router table built, so I do everything freehand. The Triton is a beast, by the way, but several pounds heavier than my Bosch 1617EVS. I definitely noticed a difference in weight.

I hand sanded everything to 220-grit, then took any end grain areas up to 320-grit. Normally, I take end grain 2-grits beyond the rest of the surface, but at 320-grit, I’m already impeding the absorption of the mineral oil, so I decided to stop there, rather than taking it to 400-grit.

I also branded it and cleaned it up really well with mineral spirits. I’ll probably begin coating it tomorrow with mineral oil, as I have to go into work shortly and want to give the mineral spirits a bit more time to thoroughly dry out. I’ll give it several coats of mineral oil tomorrow, then coat it once a day, for a week after that, then as the need arises, either after washing, or if it’s looking dried out. I should hopefully have pictures posted on Sunday or Monday.

As a side note, I was going to try the Boos Mystery Block Oil, but can’t find anybody locally that carries it. I suppose I could try a cabinet/countertop vendor, but neither the orange or blue big boxes have it, nor does Williams-Sonoma, even though they sell Boos Boards. I know it’s a chunk more expensive than straight mineral oil, but the addition of the linseed and orange oil sounds intriguing.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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Jonathan

2604 posts in 1682 days


#15 posted 1277 days ago

Quick update on the finish: I applied 3-coats of mineral oil yesterday and will be applying 1-2-coats today. I’ll also try to get pictures of it finished and actually post it as a project. I need to measure all the dimensions again too since I modified it.

As oils always do, the mineral oil has really deepened and enriched the wood.

As a side note, I got excited yesterday because I found the Boos Mystery Block Oil on the Bed, Bath & Beyond website for $6.99/bottle, drove over to the nearest one with a 20%-off coupon, only to be told that they only carry that item online, not in the store. Ordering it online was going to cost $13 with shipping and I couldn’t use the coupon, plus I would’ve had to wait about another week to receive it in the mail, so I just decided to go with the straight mineral oil I already have.

I’d be curious to know what the rough proportions are of the oils in the “Mystery Oil” between the mineral oil, linseed oil, and orange oil? I’m going to post a separate thread on that topic to see if anybody has made their own “block oil” of a similar design.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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