Refinish Oak Butcher Block surface

We just purchased a new/used house. The kithchen counter is a ~ 5 x 10 foot (2 inch high) oak butcher block surface. With time, it now has several "stained" spots (sorta black areas) and many scratches.
I would like to resurface that counter, and I am looking for recommendations. Ala would one prep the surface with a cabinet (aka card) scraper, or maybe a tool akin to a Stanley #80 scraper? Other options.
Once the surface has been prepped, what would be a recommended surface cover - ala a specific oil, where food prep will occur.
I am retired, so time is not a key issue. I do want the finished surface to look nice and last.
I would be most appreciative for any/all advice -dave
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Dave C wrote:

You might need to be careful with a scraper, the grain direction can swap with each stave of the butcher block, so what works nicely in one area can be a bit rough in neighbouring areas.
I've just sanded and varnished some oak butcher-block, but as a desk not in a kitchen, used polyvine wax finish satin varnish, pleased with the result, when it says apply sparingly it really means it, I then literally gave it a single wipe with 0000 wire wool before a second coat, even more sparingly.
dries in an hour or two, you are supposed to keep water splashes off it for a few days after drying, which might be tricky in a kitchen.
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On 17/05/2017 22:54, Andy Burns wrote:

In a butchers shop nobody cares what it looks like as long as it's only used for raw meat and is scrubbed regularly. I'd say either don't use it for food preparation or get rid of it.
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On Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 10:54:45 PM UTC+1, Andy Burns wrote:



I think it unlikley it is genuine butcher block. The 'butcher block' work t ops I have seen are more what I would call strip laminations. (i.e.) the gr ain runs parallel with the surface instead of showing end grain surfaces. I t amazes me how people can get away with incorrect terminology like this. B it like all those supposed mahoganies out there. Totally unsuited for the application hence the o.p's problem with stains an d re-finishing. Formica is a much superior surface for a kitchen worktop. T hats genuine formica not melamine surfaced board, i.m.h.o. Wifey got marble last time. More overkill. As for cast concrete work tops, in the name of g od, utter madness.
As for re-finishing. I would take a good random orbit sander to it. Start w ith 120g if that doesn't do it drop to 80g then work your way up through th e grits. Personally I would stop at 320g but keep going if you want a super high finish.
Finish with a two pack epoxy if you have spray equipment and the patience t o mask off the surrounding area,
Failing tha a good polyurethane woul be the next choice avoid water based f inished like the plague.
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fred wrote:

Yeah, butcher block would generally be end grain running vertical, it'll likely be finger-jointed oak staves, but ikea et al describe that as "butcher block", or at least the people buying it do ...
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On 18/05/2017 11:23, Andy Burns wrote:

Most of them will never have seen a real butcher block.
It has to be end grain or it will just have loads of bits coming off every time you use a cleaver or even just a big knife.
When I had a school time job working in a butchers it was cleaned using a metal scraper that looked like a scrubbing brush and then washed and scrubbed. This is why they are always uneven as it removes a bit every day.
They are also about 150mm thick and weigh a ton.
I expect they are bloody expensive too.
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On 18/05/2017 15:51, dennis@home wrote:

You could probably make one a bit more cheaply by buying the ikea version, cutting into 6" lengths and then re-gluing as a proper end grain board ;-)
--
Cheers,

John.
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On Thursday, 18 May 2017 21:55:22 UTC+1, John Rumm wrote:

Actually you can get end grain slabs very cheaply as it is going to be scrape-scrubbed with hot water every day so there is no need to dry it. The problem is finding a supply of beech or sycamore or whatever they use.
But back to the problem the way to hide the stains is to use it so often you never notice tham. It becomes like a shalk board after lots of use you don't see the chalk for the black board.
Wash it clean and you can see that someone had been writing on it just before the next lesson.
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Dave C wrote:

The black staining could be from iron/steel combined with moisture and this is best bleached out with oxalic acid - available on ebay and possibly chemists. Search on wood working sites for application and dilution. This does not happen with stainless steel so eliminate plain steel and cast iron from coming into contact with the oak.
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On 18/05/17 10:09, Bob Minchin wrote:

Try lemon juice. a piece of kitchen paper over the mark, saturate with bottled lemon juice, cover with cling film and leave overnight.
TW
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If it's solid butcher block all the way through have you considered turning it upside down and using the presumably pristine underside ?
You might need to consider some treatement for any attachment points screwholes etc. But these could be widened to say 10mm filled with dowelling* and could be turnednto a "feature".
Even if this isn't possible in the end there's no harm in taking it off and seeing what you've got.
michael adams
dowelling comes in various diameters with matching drill bits available and can be chosen to suit.
...
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On Thu, 18 May 2017 10:42:30 +0100, "michael adams"

Indeed it is solid oak. ~2 inch thick. I think the prior owner installed it maybe 28 years ago. There is a sink that precludes flipping the surface, to have an unused surface on top - good idea if it was possible.

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Clean the stains with oxalic acid. If you are going to use it for food preparation apply several coats of liquid paraffin. Clean and repeat every few months.
Do not use varnishes, epoxies or any other surface coating.
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On 18/05/2017 12:09, Peter Parry wrote:

I wouldn't use a mineral finish. Although it's inert, so good for food prep, it also gets very tackyin hot weather. A higher melting point paraffin wax might better
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On 17/05/2017 19:48, Dave C wrote:

Do people use the actual worktop to prepare food?
Well, they obviously do - I had some friends stay, and they chopped veg etc on the solid wood kitchen worktop - leaving dozens of deep scratches. But why don't they use a chopping board? (I asked but they all denied it!)
I wouldn't fancy letting say raw fish come into contact with even a supposedly benign worktop finish - say Danish oil. Always use a chopping board.
--
Cheers, Rob

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On 19/05/2017 09:41, RJH wrote:

Have separate ones for meat and veg
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On 20/05/2017 08:01, Stuart Noble wrote:

Quite (although I don't cook with meat). I use those plastic ones nowadays, and put them through the dishwasher.
It'd be an unusual kitchen that had *worktops* dedicated to particular food preparation, though.
--
Cheers, Rob

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