Question on sanding a cutting board - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Default Question on sanding a cutting board

I recently built a cutting board from maple, walnut and cherry cut offs and have a couple of questions regarding how the sanding process may or may not have impacted the appearance of the finished board.
The maple/walnut combinations (IMG 1927 & 1929) were glued to a solid piece of cherry and that slab ripped into sections on the TS. These sections were rotated resulting in an end grain board (IMG 2338).
The board was initially cleaned on the drum sander at 80 grit and finished with an ROS through 220 grit.

The first problem arose following the application of the Hunter’s Butcher block oil (mineral oil, bees wax combination) which appeared as a bright “stripe” running through the center of the board (IMG 2340).
My thought is that I had made a random pass across the board with the ROS and the oil failed to soak in evenly across the surface. Comments?

Based on the appearance of the above I used the drum sander to take it down to bare wood and repeated the sanding with the ROS up to 220 grit. I then ran a damp cloth lightly across the surface to slightly raise the grain, repeated the ROS with just the 220 grit and re-applied the oil finish. While this successfully eliminated the “stripe”, if you enlarge the photo (IMG 2353) you should notice that the fine grain in the cherry really shows through. I’ve not seen this on previous boards and the only change I made was to dampen the board prior to the final sanding. The question, should I have dropped back to a lower grit and worked up to 220 rather than just running the 220 as the final pass with the ROS? Comments?

The last photo reflects the edge of the board (IMG 2361) which was not re-sanded.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 07:13 PM
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I can’t see a problem on the small screen of my phone Jon but it otherwise looks really nice.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 08:35 PM
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I can't see a problem either on my computer. Love the pattern and you did a good job.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 09:02 PM
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 09:15 PM
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It could be something about that particular piece of wood, unless it crosses several pieces. Could be a smear of glue, squeezeout spread accidentally. Might be appropriate to use a really sharp, good plane to resurface the entire board and try finishing again. Or resand and use a scraper? However, I can't see anything wrong in your picture. Might show up better with a strong side light. Those are my thoughts anyhow. BTW, I no longer use sandpaper. 3M makes a flexible sanding medium that provides a tremendous finish for me. The stuff lasts far longer than paper sanding medium. Here's a pix.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 06:10 AM
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Were I to venture a guess Jon... it looks to me like the ultra fine sawdust was drawn into the wood and didn't get pulled out of the pours of the wood in certain areas. Either captured by residual oils in the pours or just not pulled out by the ROS. Did you happen to blow off the board prior to applying the finish? My experience is that compressed air is the best final step prior to finishing.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 11:03 AM
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It's really tough to see from the picture so I'll take a guess. It looks to me as if the center of the board may be slightly concave. If that's true, your sanding may not have sanded that part of the board to the same degree as the area around it. If you went directly from 80 grit to 220 grit that may have happened. If this were the case, the board would have adsorbed the oil at different rates across the surface. Just a guess. If you did go from 80 directly to 220 that can be problematic. You should step through the grades. I'd have done 80, 100, 150, 220. There are other grades in between these but that's what works for me.

When you sanded it back down you may have flattened that area, if it existed, so the board would be level. Raising the grain is a good idea. Hope this helps.

For what it's worth, I finish my boards by first using straight mineral oil. You can get it at Walmart to $2 a bottle. After a couple of coats of that, I use a mineral oil/beeswax combination that I make. The reason for this is that the mineral oil is absorbed into the wood while the bees wax is a top coating. To me, using bees wax as part of the initial coat can make it harder for subsequent coats of oil to penetrate the wood. I don't really know if this is true but it works for me. I also have a mixture of mineral oil/bees wax/carnauba wax to give a slightly harder wax finish coat to my cheese boards.

Very nice board by the way.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you one and all, very helpful comments. I scrape the board to remove as much glue squeeeze out as possible before using the drum sander and then step through the grits progressively as Barry suggested. I also use, air, vacuum and tack cloth prior to applying the finish. I had not thought about using the oil first and using the bees wax combo as the last finish. I will certainly follow that course going forwards.

Thanks again.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you one and all, very helpful comments. I scrape the board to remove as much glue squeeeze out as possible before using the drum sander and then step through the grits progressively as Barry suggested. I also use, air, vacuum and tack cloth prior to applying the finish. I had not thought about using the oil first and using the bees wax combo as the last finish. I will certainly follow that course going forwards.

Thanks again.

Jon
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Apologies for duplicating my response. Not sure how that happened and trust that a Moderator will cancel the duplicate.

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