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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Default Finishing Butcher Blocks

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?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 04:43 PM
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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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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 04:05 AM
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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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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 06:14 AM
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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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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 06:51 AM
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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
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 08:13 AM
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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.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 08:15 AM
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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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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 09:57 AM
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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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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 10:56 AM
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Default 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.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 11:39 AM
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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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