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what finish to put on butcher block counter top

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Forum topic by shelly_b posted 04-13-2014 05:42 PM 862 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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shelly_b

841 posts in 772 days


04-13-2014 05:42 PM

I am making a red oak counter top for a costumer. I have never made one and was wondering what kind of finish you guys think is best. I have done alot of research but have found every site says something different. Thanks!


13 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

3361 posts in 1468 days


#1 posted 04-13-2014 05:57 PM

I like Howard’s Butcher block conditioner. It is a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil, and dries to a nice satin finish. I would avoid straight mineral oil, as it never seems to dry. The Howard’s is really nice stuff, and available at Home Depot.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Paul

522 posts in 219 days


#2 posted 04-13-2014 06:02 PM

I also use the Howard’s with the beeswax mixture. Leaves a great finish and protection.

Paul

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bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1005 days


#3 posted 04-13-2014 06:16 PM

I like General Finishes, Salad bowl finish.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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ChefHDAN

320 posts in 1504 days


#4 posted 04-13-2014 06:44 PM

The finish really depends on the use, the salad bowl finishes are good for vessels or surfaces that will not be cut on, if it is going to be used regularly as a cutting board surface,

I like the Boo’s Block Mystery Oil, http://www.cateringsuppliesdepot.com/product/john-boos-mys-3/JohnBoos

The adage for oil is, Once a day for a week, once a week for a month, and then as needed, usually once a month around my operations, where we’ve got 7 or 8 BB tables.

-- Sssshhhh, I'm pretending to be working

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Yonak

278 posts in 175 days


#5 posted 04-13-2014 06:47 PM

shelly, you didn’t say if the butcher block is made with the end grain as the surface. There’s a special problem with red oad in that the end grain is porous all the way through. I would think you’d need to use a finish that would tend to clog the pores, such as a wax. I would be concerned about juices finding open pores and spoiling. Fortunately the pores are quite small. I’ve never seen this brought up as an issue so maybe it’s a not an issue.

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JoeinGa

3245 posts in 661 days


#6 posted 04-13-2014 08:04 PM

Here’s another vote for the Howards stuff

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waho6o9

4921 posts in 1231 days


#7 posted 04-13-2014 08:19 PM

I like using Emmet’s Good stuff

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shelly_b

841 posts in 772 days


#8 posted 04-13-2014 09:33 PM

It is going to be edge grain, not end grain. I don’t think it will be used as a cutting board…maybe to roll out dough though. From what I’ve read, if it is going to be used for “food preperation” it needs oil, if not it can be any type of film finish…but I’m not sure what they mean by food prep. Does that just mean cutting food? Or is that any food touching the surface period…Also, why are most BB counter tops such thin peices of wood? Is this to reduce movement, to save material, or for looks? I would like to see more of the grain. Sorry so many questions! I want to sound like I know what I’m talking about if she has any questions. Thanks!!

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shelly_b

841 posts in 772 days


#9 posted 04-13-2014 09:45 PM

thanks for everyones input! When I don’t know what website to believe I always come here:)

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 903 days


#10 posted 04-13-2014 09:58 PM

Food safety is not in question (or shouldn’t be here). Every finish you can buy is food safe when cured. The problem is that a finish isn’t going to take abuse well in that environment. You have to treat it as sacrificial and as such, needing to be refinished often.

The problem is if you have ever tried to refinish a piece with poly (“salad bowl oil” is simply 3/4 solvent, 1/4 ploy) or other film building finishes, you know it’s a major project that no one really wants to undertake. To make things easier on your customer, use your own mineral oil/beeswax mix or get the Howards. Give them a bottle of it too.

All they need to do is squeeze a little out and rub it with a paper towel once a quarter (or more if it gets used/washed a lot). No prep, no sanding, no gloves, no fumes, no waiting 7 to 10 days for thinned polyurethane to cure before you can use it again

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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kdc68

1979 posts in 931 days


#11 posted 04-13-2014 10:18 PM

shelly_b.....Yet another vote for Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner. Lumberjoe makes an excellent point about making things easier for your customer. Applying Howard’s is as easy as it gets

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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hoss12992

2750 posts in 547 days


#12 posted 04-14-2014 06:17 PM

Just another thought here, but a pour on epoxy works great and has a really nice thick finish if that is something that you are looking for. I am also a huge fan of tung oil to really bring out the grain in the wood, but add a few coats of spar poly on it. Looks awesome, maintance free and last a REALLY long time. Hope this helps

-- The Old Rednek Workshop https://www.facebook.com/theoldrednekworkshoptn

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shelly_b

841 posts in 772 days


#13 posted 04-15-2014 07:42 PM

Thanks guys! I think I will give her a finished sample of each, give her the pros and cons(now that I can), and let her choose.

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