poly finish for butchblock top?


we've got a cheap Ikea butcherblock island in the kitchen that's never been right since we've owned it. we've applied mineral oil to the surface maybe 10 times. it soaks right in and the top still feels rough, never finished smooth. plus, spill coffee on it, or anything else, and no matter how fast you wipe it up, you've got a stain left behind.
my wife is sick of it and wants to sand down the surface and polyurethane the damn thing, be done with it. how's that sound? okay for food prep work and liquids? if okay, might anyone suggest a brand of poly and # of coats?
and what about Behlen's Rock Hard Table Top Varnish? i read about that somewhere. has anyone used it?
thanks!
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flipper wrote:

So stop using mineral oil and use something that will set up and seal. Like boiled linseed oil. _______________

Ever thought of sanding it? ____________________

Of little use if you cut on it. __________________

Epoxy would last longer (way thicker) http://www.uscomposites.com /
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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If you poly the thing, it will show every knife mark and will still stain where the poly was cut. Mineral oil will not produce a finish as, apparently, you are looking for. Decide if you want a cutting board or table top. If a cutting board, live with it as it is. If a tabletop, sand and finish it then DON'T cut on it.

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I would be very careful of the finish you use. There are significant health considerations associated with the type of finish, IT MUST BE NON_TOXIC. Petroleum based products could result in health problems. I would also be concerned with Poly.. Mineral oil would still be my choice, perhaps other types of vegetable oil products would work better. You did not mention the type of wood used for the butcher block top. Maple is traditional because it is very hard, is closed grain, and dense. These features are ideal for butcher block tops because there have small pores, in the wood, thereby providing fewer spaces for contaminants.
Good Luck, Let us know what you come up with.
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Any finish, once cured, is non toxic.

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If you are not using it as a cutting board poly is fine
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wrote:

I'm betting that all that mineral oil he put on it will keep the finish from adhering properly. Even if he gets something that looks decent now, first sunny day could bring it right up. No amount of siccative is going to cure mineral oil.
Might be best to burnish the surface with 400/600 paper, then heat beeswax into it with a rubbing pad on a vibrating sander and settle for low luster. Beeswax is an excellent antibacterial, in case you want to use the beast, though I'd use a cutting board with the BB as a table, myself.
Option two to assuage SWMBO would be to warm the thing with an iron over two-three thicknesses of paper toweling until it's no longer bleeding oil, then a detergent wash and sand. Thinned poly to get some footing in the wood for the first coat.
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Wipe it down well with minerral spirits and use thinned poly for the first couple coats. It will do fine. I did an Edsal work bench top that was soaked in tung oil.
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wrote in message

Tung is a curing organic oil. Different animal altogether. Same siccatives that catalyze the poly will do the same for any uncured tung.
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