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Watco Butcher Block oil and Finish - Funky after-taste on foods

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Forum topic by camps764 posted 529 days ago 2893 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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camps764

770 posts in 945 days


529 days ago

I know there are tons of opinions on the right way to finish a cutting board. I bought this Watco stuff a while back to use on some end grain boards, it worked nicely, left a nice finish. I think the boards ended up as decorations in my dad’s home and are not daily users.

I decided I wanted a “live edge” cutting board made from a Walnut off cut.

Sanded it down, cut it to shape, followed the finish routine.

Let it cure for a week. Used it to cut some food and I swear I could still taste the finish.

Let it cure for a few more weeks, used it to cut some fresh bread, still could taste it.

Let the loaf of bread sit on it overnight, cut side down to preserve it, cut the bread on a different board, and the end piece of bread still tasted like the finish.

Took the board back to the shop and will be stripping it and refinishing with mineral oil/bee’s wax.

Anyone else experienced this?

Does it just take months to fully cure and not taste disgusting?

I like the way it looks, but I don’t think I will be using this stuff for anything that will handle food ever again. Nasty!

-- Steve. Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/campbellwoodworking or check me out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/campbellwoodworkingne


6 replies so far

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lumberjoe

2824 posts in 834 days


#1 posted 529 days ago

I tend to stick with Mineral oil and beeswax. It looks just as nice, easier to apply, and easy to re-apply. Looking that the MSDS for that stuff, it contains Xylene and Stoddard solvents (Mineral Spirits). It’s possible it could take MUCH longer to cure depending on temperature, air flow, etc.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5267 posts in 2014 days


#2 posted 529 days ago

Having never used (or seen) a Watco product designed for finishing surfaces that will contact food, my observations might not be worth 2 cents. However, I have used their products on many other projects and have found that the odor lingers for months, years even, when it’s closed up, like a box interior.
JMHO, I’d never use it on any food prep surface.
Behlens makes a food safe finish. I’ve used it on bowls and candy dishes, but I’m not sure it would hold up well on a cutting board.
Lumberjoe has it right.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2066 days


#3 posted 529 days ago

I tend to stick with mineral oil and beeswax too. I used to use Watco on a butcher block table we had but nothing that regularly comes in contact with food. Howard’s (sold at Rockler) makes a good mineral oil and beeswax finish for bowls and cutting boards.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5267 posts in 2014 days


#4 posted 529 days ago

Having never used (or seen) a Watco product designed for finishing surfaces that will contact food, my observations might not be worth 2 cents. However, I have used their products on many other projects and have found that the odor lingers for months, years even, when it’s closed up, like a box interior.
JMHO, I’d never use it on any food prep surface.
Behlens makes a food safe finish. I’ve used it on bowls and candy dishes, but I’m not sure it would hold up well on a cutting board.
Lumberjoe has it right.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2935 posts in 872 days


#5 posted 529 days ago

The Watco Butcher Block is combustible which means they added a dryer to it. On end grain it gets sucked deep into the wood, mineral oil and bees wax is much better.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View camps764's profile

camps764

770 posts in 945 days


#6 posted 529 days ago

Thanks guys…appreciate the perspectives…I don’t do a lot of the cutting boards, but will default to mineral oil and bee’s wax from here on out.

-- Steve. Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/campbellwoodworking or check me out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/campbellwoodworkingne

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