food friendly oil stain?


Hello,
I just recently bought a very nice, heavy butcher block island for our kitchen. Our home is trimmed in dark oak. My wife really likes the butcher block but says the wood is way too light in color and she wants to use something to bring out the wood grain. It is very light in color and bland...When I bought the Island it had a tag on it saying 'Ready for stain"... Since food will be in contact with the wood surface, does anyone know of any "food friendly" oil stain I can use on this island ? The island is all birch and I want to make the wood grain jump out... Thanks for any help... Jim
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Maybe coffee , wine, olive oil, just have fun. Why did you buy Birch, or get some dark wood and have a top put on.
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Try rec.woodworking
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Are you planning on this being a cutting board or just a wood counter top? We just wanted a counter top and finished ours with about 16 coats of thinned polyurethane shot on with a gun. It is a very hard surface that will not be affected by food or vice versa.
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On Feb 22, 1:09 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Gravy browning? Boiled linseed oil? Possibly vinegar? Or a trial mixture rubbed into a piece of scrap birch. We once used Potassium Permanganate to stain wood floors; not sure if that would be 'food-friendly though. But a comment, if one may? Isn't it just like a human to buy one thing and then try and make it look like something else! We buy a truck (presumably to use it?) and then try to make it 'sporty'; we pour cement and then try to make it look like stone; put all kinds of high maintenance gadgets and extra (often false) roof and dormer features, colonnades etc. on our homes, presumably to make them more impressive while not adding utility. Or mayb as a sympton of "Look what we can afford". Strange creatures those humans!
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wrote:

Gravy browning? Boiled linseed oil? Possibly vinegar? Or a trial mixture rubbed into a piece of scrap birch. We once used Potassium Permanganate to stain wood floors; not sure if that would be 'food-friendly though. But a comment, if one may? Isn't it just like a human to buy one thing and then try and make it look like something else! We buy a truck (presumably to use it?) and then try to make it 'sporty'; we pour cement and then try to make it look like stone; put all kinds of high maintenance gadgets and extra (often false) roof and dormer features, colonnades etc. on our homes, presumably to make them more impressive while not adding utility. Or mayb as a sympton of "Look what we can afford". Strange creatures those humans!
So True Terry, but we bought it because it was a good deal...LOL The tag said 'Stain ready"..I was just looking for something that is food compatable...Jim
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On Feb 22, 1:09 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
By the way on the subject of kitchen 'cutting boards'.
For many years, approx. 30, we operated a small family business, catering company; which required being at several locations on the same day and therefore often required cutting boards. Many nice looking and traditional cutting boards were too lightweight, and comprising pieces of different woods glued or pegged together often were more decorative than substantial!
We found that the best cutting boards for durability, ease of use, easy cleaning etc. were floor joist cut offs.
Just the left over pieces of two by tens, or two by twelves etc. The businwess has now ceased but we still use two of those cutting boards; they fit the domestic dish washer, can be stearilzed by that proces and/or by heat in the oven adn in summer are sometimes 'hung out in the sun' with a treatmnt of bleach.
At one point we did acquire cheap/free, somewhere, a substantial butcher's block about 12 by 18 inches. It was too big and heavy for our use and later we gave it to a retired butcher, who, in season, will appropriately handle moose or other game that local licensed hunters need dismembering.
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On Mon, 22 Feb 2010 09:41:02 -0800, terry wrote:

We've got one in our kitchen that's around 24 x 24 inches, made up from inch-wide strips. Knowing the old dear who used to own the place, she probably made it herself - but it's pretty well done. It's only just over an inch thick, but hasn't warped. I sanded it all down last year and (as per advice on either here or uk.d-i-y, don't recall which) just treat it to some castor oil every once in a while.
Re. staining, maybe the oil seals the stain in sufficiently that it doesn't matter what's used. Also, if the company advertised it as 'stain ready' then surely they should be able to back that up by advising on what stains were tested (or act on the owner's behalf and ask the company who actually made it if they're merely suppliers)
cheers
Jules
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Jim wrote:

I never heard of staining a butcher block. Will it be used as a real butcher block or cutting board? If so I'd go with a natural non poisonous stain like someone mentioned coffee or wine. As far as protecting and preserving it, Mineral Oil is what is used on cutting boards. Vegtable oil will spoil, other oils aren't edible. Probably easier to find in the pharmacy (also a lubricant for your insides). Or if they make unscented baby oil, that also is mineral oil. I wouldn't want to use the scented stuff!!!!
Curious, is the wood on top all end grain? That is the best choice if you are going to use it as it's name suggests.
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wrote:

That is the reason I asked the question. Most people with "butcher block" counters, just want a counter top and treating it like a cutting board is going to be a maintenance headache. That is why we just went with the poly and bought some dedicated cutting boards that we can easily keep clean. My counter top between the sink and stove is stainless with a maple floating food prep surface (slides over the sink for extra work space) and a cutting board I use on top of that. It makes a small kitchen work like it was bigger.
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On 2/22/2010 10:01 AM, Jim wrote:

I made some stain from walnut hulls and see something similar on the internet:
http://www.gardengrapevine.com/WalnutStain.html
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A place I rented years ago had a huge walnut tree right next to the gravel driveway. The black mess when those Walnuts fell and where driven over was truly a site. Looked similar to 100K+ motor oil. I'l bet you could even stain Rock Maple with "Walnut" stain.
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Any finishes sold today are food safe once cured. You could use just plain mineral oil also and it will darken the wood a bit, although not as much as stain. Personally, I'd go with just the mineral oil, putting on a half dozen coats over a week or two. It will become rather water resistant and a bit darker with age. It may be all you need for the grain to pop.
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http://safenaturaltips.com/decorating/naturalstains.html
Then finish with a penetrating oil or wax or vaseline finish that is food safe.
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Birch is an excellent choice of wood for not imparting any flavors to the food. Be careful, some stains (food safe or not) may remove this benefit.
Mineral oil is a good choice and will enhance the grain and help protect the top without adding any odor. Use pharmacy grade mineral oil, use a small amount and rub it in well.
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Pure tung oil (not "Tung Oil Finish") is food safe. It will darken the wood some, but not a whole lot. -- Doug
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