Suggestions for cuting board finish?

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I got a call from a friend with a restaurant today, asking if I could sand and refinish his 2 cutting boards..
They're "several" inches thick and used to have "some shiny stuff" on them..lol
I'll look at them Friday night but thought I'd get some opinions here on what to use for a coating/finish on 'em..
I e-did one in our house in the states using a commercial "cutting board finish"but can't remember what it was, only that it had an evil lemon smell that my wife hated.. lol
Any suggestions?
(I'm in Mexico, so if it works, that's fine, no EPA here)
Thanks,
mac
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Mineral oil. You could buy "salad bowl finish" but mineral oil works best. Don't use vegetable oils.
Woody

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I use cold pressed walnut oil I buy at the health food store. Until it won't take it any more. Then melt down some beeswax, mix it with walnut oil about fifty-fifty and rub it down, buff it out.
There was some discussion about nut allergy issues, but I think it was resolved that the walnut was not a problem.
Frank
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All the informed literature says not to use any food oils, especially nut oils. They will go rancid. That's what food oils. do.

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Mon, Oct 15, 2007, 8:30pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (SonomaProducts.com) doth claimeth: All the informed literature says not to use any food oils, especially nut oils. They will go rancid. That's what food oils. do.
And what "informed literature" would that be? I've experimented with cooking oils as finishes for years. None of them got rancid. In fact I once contacted a food science professor, and he told me that cooking oils go rancid if they've been exposd to high heat, as in cooking. As I type this, I'm sitting beside a rocking chair I made, then finished with cooking oil, probably around 10 years ago, it's still doing fine, still not rancid. I'd be interested in reading some of this "informed literature".
JOAT "I'm an Igor, thur. We don't athk quethtionth." "Really? Why not?" "I don't know, thur. I didn't athk."
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wrote:

had a problem with it going rancid.

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"Frank Boettcher" wrote

Means you're obviously ill-informed literature wise, Frank.
:)
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www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 9/30/07
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I love this subject. It never fails to raise the hackles of a few people. I'm not sure why it's so emotional but it always is. I am stealing time from my boss right now but once I'm back home this evening I'll dig through my research and see how I was informed on this subject. It's been a few years since I did the research but I was satisfied I had covered my liabilities so I surely have the references.

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Tue, Oct 16, 2007, 11:31am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (SonomaProducts.com) did say: I love this subject. It never fails to raise the hackles of a few people. I'm not sure why it's so emotional but it always is. I am stealing time from my boss right now but once I'm back home this evening I'll dig through my research and see how I was informed on this subject. It's been a few years since I did the research but I was satisfied I had covered my liabilities so I surely have the references.
Well? I, for one, am still waiting on your "informed literature" update.
JOAT "I'm an Igor, thur. We don't athk quethtionth." "Really? Why not?" "I don't know, thur. I didn't athk."
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Seems like mineral oil, mineral oil and beeswax and walnut oil are the favorites.. I have lots of mineral oil from a previous attempt to use it for wet sanding turnings, so that might be the fastest solution (no pun intended) and easiest to have the chef repeat often..
mac
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I've just completed a bread slicer, made from a couple pine scraps I had. I finished it using (pharmacy) mineral oil.
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mac davis wrote:

Boiled linseed oil. After it dries in a couple of days it is totally safe. Shiny stuff won't last and mineral oil never dries. BLO won't last forever either but is sopa de pato to renew.
--

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wrote:

Poor choice. Firstly it's a flm-forming oil, so it won't last for a cutting board.
Secondly it tastes disgusting. It _will_ taint citrus fruit.
Thirdly it's too toxic to use for food. Linseed driers just aren't a good addition to the diet. Even the alternatives to lead, like cobalt, are far from advisable for consumption.
I'd use a vegetable oil that doesn't go rancid, such as real Chinese camellia (not the Japanese fake), otherwise walnut or grapeseed. Don;t use olive, it goes rancid. Mineral oil ("Liquid paraffin" from a UK pharmacist) is also safe.
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I've been using olive oil. How long before it goes rancid?
- Owen -
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On Mon, 15 Oct 2007 23:55:14 -0400, "Owen Lawrence"

Depends on the quality of your oil, the climate and the use the board gets. If it's a well-scrubbed chopping board (rather than a salad bowl) then the wear and replenishment rate of the oil might be enough to never have it happen. I'd still avoid it, in favour of walnut -- it's just a question of picking the other bottle up from the shelf in the kitchen.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

It also soaks in and will last as well as anything.
In reality, there is little point in using *anything* on a cutting board. Ever see a butcher's block? (A real butcher, not a supermarket one.) Those blocks have nothing on them but are scraped daily.
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Hmm... the wonder of this group.. I must have read 30 or 40 pages last night and BLO didn't come up... I guess the smell goes away in a few days, so that would work.. doesn't attract dust like mineral oil does, either..
mac
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I've used mineral oil on quite a few boards. It never attracted dust, dog hair, grass clippings, or any of the other negatives some mentioned. It is sold in stores as a cutting board oil, buy mine came from the drug store.
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mac davis wrote:

Yes, as soon as it dries. In the interim, you can make it smell nicer by adding a bit of oil of wintergreen.
--

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Is this to be for display and look pretty or will he be using it? If you want it to look pretty, mineral oil works. If he is going to use it, in a restaurant, it will not look nice and shiny long at all. Better to resurface, sand and return it to him.
I made a maple cutting board/block in 1969 in Jr. High shop class. To this day my wife uses it every day and it is still just fine, no oil or finish at all. I did run it through the planer to flatten it back out about 3 years ago.
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