Old Butcher Block

I have an old Butcher table top that is covered with dried blood, etc. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about how to clean it down to the wood. I think it might be walnut - heavy as all get out. About 4" thick and 8' long.
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Evon wrote:

Got a Bench plane or scraper? Yeah I thought about a (butcher) Block plane. It's thick enough that you should be able to flatten it down to clean wood. Dave in Fairfax
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Yep, that's why they call it a "block" plane. Low-angle jack or smooth should go same-o.
For blood, a little hydrogen peroxide works a treat.

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George wrote:

Peroxide will remove the stain but leave the blood, we use it all the time at work. To get rid of the blood, he'll have to remove the permeated wood. Shouldn't be all that far down.
Dave in Fairfax
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Yeah, me too. Out of sight is good enough. Without hemoglobin it's not blood, it's platelets.

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I believe the preferred treatment was a wire brush like tool and hot AND I DO MEAN HOT water. The wire brush had bristles more like scrapers. So if you come across a scrubbing brush that looks like a wire brush and the wires look like scrapers buy it.
A butcher's block is made of end grain. Beech I think or maybe ash which -if it isn't the bloodstain misleading, you is what you have. In use, fat would stop the blood going too deep.
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HOT water and the wire brush is the way to go. You can toss a bit of bleach in the water to kill the bacteria and it won't hurt the block a bit. Scrub it like there is no tomorrow and don't worry too much about wearing out the top. After you get it cleaned, wipe it down with lots of mineral oil. You should do the mineral oil every day for as long as it takes to get the top to swell back into shape. It is most likely maple. The fat and oil that has soaked into the wood will render sandpaper usesless and the end grain will bugger you if you try to plane it. Real butcher blocks will get a few cracks and chips around the edges, just consider it "character" and call it good.
I heard of a machine once that would flatten a block if it was so bad you couldn't cut meat on it anymore. It was a large bandsaw that was clamped to the table top and then pulled across. I guess it was very similar to the concept of a chain saw lumber mill only much larger. That was many years ago and I've never seen one in actual use.

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wrote:

hydrogen peroxide will get the blood stains out, but I think I'd scrape or plane to a fresh surface.
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sand it, oil it with mineral oil, and call it good.
randy

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The old butchers used a wire brush and corse salt(No iodine) and LOTS of elbow grease.
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JP
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