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Washing to pre-raise grain?

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Forum topic by harriw posted 489 days ago 589 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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harriw

85 posts in 806 days


489 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: grain raise pre-wash prewash pre wash

Hi folks,

When I made my first end-grain cutting boards as gifts a few months back, I decided to wash them (water and dish soap) before wrapping them up, and was astounded at how much grain rise there was even after being saturated with mineral oil. So I went back and re-sanded them down, applied another coat or two of mineral oil, and wrapped them up.

It occurred to me that that might actually be a good standard procedure for cutting boards, salad bowls, etc., that are being given away. The idea would be to wash them once to raise the grain, and sand them back down and re-finish in the hopes that when the recipient uses and washes the item, the grain won’t rise as much on them.

So what do you think? Is this sound logic? Do any of you do this? Or would it not really have any effect and I’d just be wasting my time sanding and finishing twice?

I ask because I have an end-grain board my wife bought me at a craft fair years ago. After using it for a year or two, I re-sanded and re-finished it myself with mineral oil, and I now find that the grain really doesn’t rise at all when I wash it.

Thanks a lot!

-- Bill - Western NY


4 replies so far

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woodsmithshop

1103 posts in 2144 days


#1 posted 489 days ago

I think this is a good idea, it would help a lot especially if you sell cutting boards, a customer may not know what to do with raised grain. here is what I do.
http://lumberjocks.com/woodsmithshop/blog/33848
this is done during the sanding period after leveling.

-- Smitty!!!

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Mark

372 posts in 573 days


#2 posted 489 days ago

I made a set of Maple salad spoons with a 1/4” strip of walnut laminated in the middle. I rubbed them well with mineral oil and not much happened, but every time I washed them (the fist 5/6 times) the grain would raise up just a bit. So I would sand them, oil them and wash them. Repeat. I believe you have a valid point. When I make the obligatory cutting board I think I’ll wash and sand it several times before I hand it over.

-- Mark

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harriw

85 posts in 806 days


#3 posted 489 days ago

Thanks guys!

Smitty – I checked your link – great idea! I hadn’t thought of using water during sanding. But I DO like to cheat and wipe some mineral spirits on the board early on in the sanding process just to see how the pattern will look when it’s finished. I’ve found it has a similar effect, softening up the wood fibers a bit and making the sanding easier. I tend to do the same thing now with mineral spirits, and it has the added bonus of cleaning off all the dust and mess so you can check your progress (and also shows you how it will look when finish is applied so you can tell what blemishes will be hidden, and what you need to keep working on). It makes a caked-up mess of your sand paper so you go through a lot of it, but it does seem to make the sanding go easier and faster.

The mineral spirits don’t raise the grain like water does though – I’ll have to try using water next time instead and see if that helps keep the grain rise under control later on in the process. Thanks a lot for that tip!

-Bill H

-- Bill - Western NY

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woodsmithshop

1103 posts in 2144 days


#4 posted 488 days ago

when you use either mineral spirits or water be sure to wipe off the excess before sanding, you don’t get quite as much loading on the sandpaper.

-- Smitty!!!

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