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Thread: Treating End Grain

  1. #1
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    Treating End Grain

    Hi guys.

    I just finished my first end grain cutting board and am currently feeding it mineral oil. I was wondering what y'all used for an actual finish? I've found a couple camps, one using a 4:1 mineral oil:bees wax mix, and the second using a store bought mixture with some carnuba wax in it.

    Thanks,
    Kevin.

  2. #2
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    I stick with mineral oil until it's absorbed a ton of it. Then I switch to 5:1 mineral oil/beeswax. Never had a problem and if it's sanded finely enough, has a great finish.

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    Thanks. I sanded 40, 80, 120, 220. It's about as smooth as I can get it, much finer and I was scared that it might begin to burnish. So the mineral oil/beeswax mix is just put on as a final coating?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jovidah's Avatar
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    I'm still using plain mineral oil, simply because I have yet to find an easy and affordably supply for beeswax closeby. Admittedly I haven't made much of an effort; the mineral oil still works pretty well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilsports View Post
    Thanks. I sanded 40, 80, 120, 220. It's about as smooth as I can get it, much finer and I was scared that it might begin to burnish. So the mineral oil/beeswax mix is just put on as a final coating?
    I find the oil/beeswax mix (after a pretty good saturation with mineral oil) lasts longer than just mineral oil. I'll add occasional single coats of mineral oil, then after a while, go back through a few coats of mineral oil followed by the mix.

  6. #6

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    There are a couple of commercial products that are a mix of mineral oil and beeswax/carnauba wax. Howard Butcher Block Conditioner (includes Carnauba wax) and Boos Board Cream (just bees wax) are two that I have been able to find. I use the same approach that toddnmd mentions. Several application of mineral oil alone, followed by a final coat of the blend product.

  7. #7
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    I just finished up. I coated it with straight mineral oil until it dripped right through, and then just coated it with a 4:1 mineral oil/beeswax mixture.

    How long do you guys let it sit before you buff it out? Also, am I ok to use a plastic scraper to remove any thick blobs of beeswax?

    I thought I needed more at first so I have a few areas with quite thick wax on it.


  8. #8
    Senior Member milkbaby's Avatar
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    I usually let mineral oil and beeswax mix sit overnight then wipe off with paper towel and clean cotton towel same kind as I use for knives. The paper towel tends to leave lint, so then the cotton towel cleans that off, at least for me.

    Edited to add: I don't think there's any harm to gently using a scraper if you prefer.

  9. #9
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    I use oil/wax mixture about once a week. I leave it overnight sometimes, sometimes just an hour or two. Depends if I need to use it in the meantime.

    The oil/wax option is a lot cheaper and seems to work just as well as the Howard's that came with my board (which I think I can get for $35).

    I get the oil as "liquid paraffin BP" from a pharmacy (sold as a laxative). Much cheaper than buying board oil ($5 rather than $15+ for 200 ml in Aus). I usually get my wax from a farmers' market (about 50c per ice cube sized block, I think). 2 blocks in a jar, plus 200ml oil, heat in increments in microwave until wax is soft enough to stir in to oil. Allow to cool. Spoon the (solid but soft) mixture on to board. May need to heat the mixture a little in winter to make it soft.
    "I'd better change my signature before I get myself into trouble..."

  10. #10
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    The mineral oil and beeswax seems to be doing the trick nicely. It's been a week or so and it seems waterproof. Nice to have a big end grain piece to cut on, I made it quite big and I find myself using it for all my prep, cutting and otherwise.

    Made a second smaller one this weekend for my mother in law. She has us for supper every Saturday and I wanted to make sure that never changes!

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