Finish for butcher block table


My wife brought home a very used butcher block table from a garage sale. After an all-day session with the sander and scraper, the thing looked pretty good. Sent the wife off to the hardware store to get a food-grade finish for it. I was expecting a drying oil, which I've used many times before, but what she brought home was mineral oil, and I was tired and started wiping it on before I noticed (Big words on the front "WOOD OIL; FOOD SAFE"; tiny letters on the back "mineral oil").
I hate the stuff. It shows fingerprints, and the least bit of water makes it very dull. Further, there's a very fine "fuzz" on the wood that I know a drying oil wouldn't have produced.
So the question is, can I now put a food-grade drying oil finish (like walnut oil) on the block, or am I stuck with it the way it is? There is absolutely no possibility of getting the mineral oil off; it's soaked in.
thanks, Isaac
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I have built about 6 cutting boards and full sized butcher blocks. I use a ROS with 80 grit to start than go to 120, 150, and finally 180 grit. The surface is satiny smooth and I use mineral oil on the surface.

It should NOT shine unless you did not wipe off the excess or applied too many times. The fuzz may be that you did not sand fine enough.

Yes you can add another oil but do you want to use the board or just look at it?
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My main cutting board I made from a piece of rock maple counter top. I worked it to 320 grit with the ROS and it literally shone. I have never oiled it, and don't intend to.

Sanded to 220 with the ROS. The previous owner had also used mineral oil on it, and the oily dust was clogging up the sandpaper like anything. Using a finer grit would have been useless.
It was perfectly smooth before I put that oil on it. I know from experience with drying oils, that if they're rubbed in with, say, 600 grit paper, the fuzz gets cut off, the imperfections get filled by the sanding "mud", and the surface becomes very smooth. That's what I wanted on this table.

Both. That's why I asked if a drying oil would work, if applied over the mineral oil. There's nothing about a drying oil that would prevent using the table. For one thing, the sides of the block, which never see any use, would look a lot better.
Does anybody know if a drying oil will actually harden, if applied over that mineral oil?
Isaac
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Agreed, IMHO going past 180 or even 150 on something that you will be cutting on is probably pointless.

Strange, last week I posted pictures of a couple of cutting boards, end grain up, that I made and put mineral oil on. I went to 180 grit only and the surface does not shine nor do I want it to, as I intend for these to be used.

Well I often use a different oil or varnish for the side of a butcher block but the surface is not going to have that factory finish after cutting on it and washing it, regardless of what you use.
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Is it an end-grain or long grain block. End grain blocks absorb oils deeper and at a greater rate than long grain blocks. Even after sanding and scraiping, an end grain block may still be saturated with oils. Adding more, mineral or otherwise may just be a waste of time.
On a new long grain bucher mineral oil, liberally applied and left standing all day will need wiping of the excess. A new end grain block will soak in the oil and after sitting all day, will look like no oil has been applied.
In your case, just wipe it down, wash it with a light detergent/hot water mix and let it dry out.
Dave
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