thinning mineral oil

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Forum topic by Guss posted 11-24-2011 06:54 AM 9904 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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94 posts in 2437 days

11-24-2011 06:54 AM

Hi I was wondering what i could use to thin mineral oil to get better penetration into my cutting boards but still be food safe?

13 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3065 days

#1 posted 11-24-2011 07:16 AM

What are you using for your cutting boards? I’ve never had a problem with mineral oil penetrating any wood I’ve used. You might get a bit more penetration if you heated it a little.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#2 posted 11-24-2011 07:25 AM

You should get enough penetration with out thinning it. You should reapply mineral oil every couple months anyway. The only thing I could think to thin it with is not food safe.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4124 days

#3 posted 11-24-2011 01:46 PM

Note: Thinning mineral oil won’t necessarily make it penetrate more. It’s a molecular thing.
Heating the oil and the wood should give better results.

... from a former Clinical Chemist and Toxicologist.

Bro. Tenzin

-- 温故知新

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3047 days

#4 posted 11-24-2011 03:25 PM

I always try to heat mine before applying it. How many times are you applying it at the beginning of the finishing process?

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

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3429 days

#5 posted 11-24-2011 04:13 PM

I just got some mineral oil in a gallon jug from Amazon. It was like $19/gallon. It is animal grade (i.e., not for human consumption -yuk!) but it works ok on the boards. It is much thinner than the ahem… mineral oil for human consumption! Seems to work OK.
Also, I put 2 coats of mineral oil on my boards at the outset and then put another coat just before I put them out at a show. If they sit too long in the sun, they need more… if they don’t sell and I want to save them for another show… I re-oil.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Guss's profile


94 posts in 2437 days

#6 posted 11-24-2011 04:26 PM

when i apply it its right after i get it sanded I usually put a bunch of them in a cake pan and put oil in between all of them and stack them and let them sit overnight. I was using butcher block oil witch is basically the same thing but its a lot thinner and i like the results a lot better but its 11$ a bottle and i can get mineral oil for 2$ a bottle. Ill try heating it and see how it works

View gridlockd's profile


141 posts in 2381 days

#7 posted 11-25-2011 04:43 PM

I use the butcher block mineral oil that’s $11 a bottle at the big orange. it seems to penetrate pretty well, my only complaint is that a day or two after application, the sheen or shine is gone. Anyone know a good way to fix this? I’ve heard that a natural beeswax/mineral oil mix will polish up nicely, is that the best way to go?

-- Gridlockd

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3684 days

#8 posted 11-25-2011 04:59 PM

A friend of mine warms his boards in the oven as well as heating the oil…Overkill in my book.
I usually just keep applying the M.O. until it won’t absorb any more , which varies with the wood species.
I don’t think I’ve ever done more than five coats. I’ve also tried soaking them. In the end , they will still need regular maintenance.

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

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3684 days

#9 posted 11-25-2011 05:02 PM

For those of you using “Butcher Block Oil” , have you ever read the ingredients label ?
What is in it that is worth $11 a pint ?
Here’s 12oz. of Butcher Block Oil that is “100%Pure Mineral oil” for $8.95 plus crazy shipping charges to boot !

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

View Guss's profile


94 posts in 2437 days

#10 posted 11-29-2011 02:36 AM

so the last boards I made I put them in the oven and heated the oil I also mixed in some carnauba wax in it
heating the oil and the board helped a lot and the wax seems to be holing in the oil a lot better thanks for the suggestions

View Pablo707's profile


1 post in 457 days

#11 posted 02-20-2017 08:05 PM

After adding to and sanding my butcher block kitchen island, the mineral oil I bought here in Mexico was very thick, too thick to easily rub into the wood. I heated it in the microwave, which thinned it out, but it thickened very quickly upon contact with the wood. I finally got a hair dryer and let it blow on the wood as I spread the mineral oil with a clean cotton cloth. It worked very well.

-- Pablo, Mexico & Canada,

View sawdustjunkie's profile


383 posts in 1713 days

#12 posted 02-20-2017 09:16 PM

I get my mineral oil from Walmart. Less than $2 for a 16 oz bottle, or $16 a gal.
I almost always warm the oil before applying it. I have a container that I just drop the entire board in it and let it soak in for a few min, then let it drain off before I wipe it down. After that, I have a mixture of oil and bees wax that I heat up and apply that. Makes them come out very smooth.

Everybody has there own way of doing things. This one just works good for me.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View zzzzdoc's profile


550 posts in 2999 days

#13 posted 02-28-2017 01:29 AM

Any benefit to soaking the board in mineral oil overnight?

Personally, I just warm up a beeswax / mineral oil mixture, and it looks and works well, but it seems to soak in less than pure mineral oil does.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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