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I know that this is not a new subject but will ask again anyway. My brother just finished making a butcher block for a friend. He ordered a finish on line that is supposed to be safe to use on wood that will come in contact with food such as the butcher block and/or bowls. His order has been delayed and so we ask a neighbor friend if he had some that he could use. The neighbor said that he did have some butwhen we went to get it, what he had was Watco Danish Oil which we already have. Our neighbor said that it was safe and that was all he ever used. So, my question of course is he correct or should we wait until the product that has been order arrives?

Jerry
 

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Butcher block oil can be found at Lowe's or Home deopt I use it on all my cutting boards last year and have not had a problem yet, just have to reapply every 2-3 months depending on frequency of use and never put in dishwasher
 

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Woodcraft Magazine Dec/Jan 2013 just had and article on wood turners finishes. They addressed some of the food safe finishes. One of them was mineral oil and wax. Watco also makes butcher block oil, that is food safe. I'm not so sure about the danish oil. I don't remember reading anyplace that said it was food safe.
 

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IKEA has a fine cutting block oil - it's all basically mineral oil. Buy at any pharmacy. Food safe finishes aren't magic. Once any finish is really dry, it's safe enough for normal food use but mineral oil is better for cutting boards because a film finish will be disrupted by knives. Bob Flexner wrote a couple of science-oriented books on finishing and this topic came up for special mention. If you don't want to buy the book, borrow it from the library.
 

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Question is? is this a freebie or did you pay for it? If it is a freebie and the Watco is safe then there is not much else you can do. If you paid for it then you deserve to get what you paid for. Just be sure to remember how much this mans services may or may not mean to you.

Good luck
Baker
 

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Jerry,

I use generic mineral oil that I buy at the pharmacy in the "laxatives" section. Tasteless. Odorless.

I apply liberally. Let it soak in. Reapply as many times as necessary until it won't take any more. Oh, yes, be sure to apply it at the same temperature and humidity as it will have in use. Otherwise it is liable to take in more than the wood will hold in use. Then the oil seeps back out. The other direction is also true; you don't want it looking good in the shop then looking dried out in the kitchen.

Paul
 

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I think that Watco Danish Oil likely has petroleum distillates in it as does mineral oil. I think organic finishes are much better. I use all natural hemp seed oil which I purchase from Hempola Farm Store, Barrie, Ontario, Canada.You can see their products on line at Hempola Farm Store. This is wonderful oil to work with as it has no chemicals and brings out the grain of the wood very sharply. We need to get out of the petro chemical business when it comes to wood finishing, in my view. You can see my work on cheese boards at my web site Bill Major
 

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Having worked in a federally inspected meat processing plant back when cutting boards were used, I can assure you that Watco Danish is NOT to be used. Use butcher block oil which is really mineral oil. Food should not come in contact with finishes...look at it this way, would you drink a cup of Watco? The other solutions e.g., hemp oil, are probably fine....I don't know but I think the consumption test is a good one. Good luck, stay safe and healthy.
 

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Butcher Block Finish

I use Good Stuff from Crosscut Hardwood in Seattle.
Absolutely great finish, semi-liquid and self leveling. I use it for cutting boards and even put it on my workbench top.
Dick
 

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Mineral oil or walnut oil, period. Neither contain mineral spirits. Mineral oil is the best because of availability, and does make an excellent satin finish for anything coming in contact with food products.
 

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Hi All,

If you have the option and the use, rather than buying mineral oil (paraffin oil down here) from the chemist, try your local horse supplies. They have it in 5 litre which works out a lot cheaper than buying 200ml at a time from the chemist.

I'm sure there's a even cheaper source than pony club suppliers but I haven't found it ... yet.

Mark
 

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As elsewhere said, stay with mineral oil.

Be careful about supposedly healthy oils. For example, vegetable oils and olive oil go rancid and become, well, rancid and sludgy. I don't know about hemp.

Any hardening finish could be used, since they become food safe when dry. BUT, they seal the wood and limit your ability to maintain the wood. For example, I acquired a butcher block which was cracked and the joints were separating, due to drying and the resulting shrinkage. I slathered mineral oil on, then kept adding, as it soaked in. I continued until it quit soaking in, then slather on a last, generous coat and walked away. Two weeks later, the wood had swollen and all the cracks and separations were gone.

At that point, the wood was saturated with oil and a seal coat of a hardening finish would have been okay. However, I'd still avoid hardening finishes for butcher blocks and break boards. To me, some things call for the ability to be easily maintained and oil allows that.
 

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I also use mineral oil. Inexpensive, readily available for anyone. No online ordering, waiting,
shipping cost, etc. That way if and when you give or sell your boards, the end user can easily obtain what was originally used. No hassles or waiting for you or them.
 
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