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Cutting board finish problems

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Forum topic by saminmn posted 663 days ago 930 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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saminmn

19 posts in 666 days


663 days ago

Hi all,

I am a newbie to WW and to LJ. Last winter I made a maple cutting board. I got some Watco Butcher Block Oil & Finish. I was never able to get anything close to a good finish and after sanding down to wood 3 or 4 times and starting over, I decided to wait for warmer temps. I got back to it at the end of the summer with no better luck. Now I am ready to sand of most or all of the finish and start over with a new finishing material, probably mineral oil. But as I read postings of others here today, I see that the product is used successfully. So I would like to grow from my experiences before moving on. My efforts to date have all been applied straight from the can as is, no thinner. I do not think it has ever flowed out as it should have – but I am a newbie and have no frame of reference to really understand what I am doing.

I tried wiping on, as directed. Tried wiping on and wiping off after doing some reading. Tried using a foam brush and wiping off. All efforts were with multiple coats showing no improvement after 2nd coat. Used 400 grit paper between coats. It has been a long time since I started the cutting board, but I think I used 220 grit between 1st and 2nd coats last winter.

I am thinking maybe material had been on shelf too long and it has probably been open too long now to be reliable. I am looking for ideas on why I was fighting this and for how to have a better experience moving forward.

-- Sam -- Northfield, MN


7 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1264 posts in 861 days


#1 posted 663 days ago

Sam, you may be able to get some guidance from this article.
HTH

-- Art

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4757 posts in 1181 days


#2 posted 663 days ago

Welcome to LumberJocks Sam!

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1655 days


#3 posted 663 days ago

Sam,

There is no point adding oil after the second coat as the surface is sealed and will absorb no more. Also, if the cutting board is intended to be used instead of displayed, the LAST thing you want on it would be a film finish—unless you want to eat bits of finish. The best finishes for cutting boards are mineral oil or beeswax. Both give a good look, don’t cause problems mixing with food and are easily renewed.

If you have to have a high shine and still be used ( for a little while ) use shellac. You can eat that stuff. In fact. You do if you take a capsule. Welcome to Lumber Jocks. Work safely and have fun.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

962 posts in 739 days


#4 posted 663 days ago

I read MSDS for this product not sure this stuff is worth the money. Whatever sheen (wet look) going to get fades as product dries because of dryers added.
.
http://rustoleum.com/CBGResourceCenter.asp?sn=ms2&msdstyp=PROCBG&msdsprc=53

It is true for food grade mineral oil (laxative) too. Wet look disappears as oil absorbed into wood. Because a petroleum base and never really dries will eventually get a build up making clean-up easier after several re-applications. Do not use baby oil or industrial grade mineral oil on food utensils, bowls or food prep surfaces.

Quick read and alternative ideas:
http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=26893

-- Bill

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2084 days


#5 posted 663 days ago

I always recommend Howard Butcher Block Conditioner. Its a blend of mineral oil, carnauba wax, beeswax, and vitamin E (not sure what the vitamin E does.) Its always worked great. I go over the board a few times a year to keep it conditioned. You can purchase it at Rockler.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15670 posts in 2822 days


#6 posted 663 days ago

Without a photo, it’s hard to say if there is a problem or not. I don’t really know how you expected the finish to look.

As others have said, you’re not going to get (nor do you want) a glossy finish by putting oil on a cutting board. I’ve used both mineral oil and walnut oil, and both behave and look about the same. Wipe on, wipe off, repeat once, done.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View saminmn's profile

saminmn

19 posts in 666 days


#7 posted 661 days ago

Thanks for replies. For now I will work with mineral oi for 2 or 3 coats and then maybe try mixing in bees wax. First l need to get it back down to bare wood. This may end up being the thinnest cutting board ever (8-])

-- Sam -- Northfield, MN

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