I just made a kitchen knife block out of red oak,
specifically to hold some of my larger, older,
non-stainless high carbon blades. Now I'm wondering
how to finish it:
Can I stain it with an oil or water stain or is that
not good around food?
Can I poly-varnish it?
Should I just oil it? If so, can I use Tung oil or
better stick with Mineral oil 'cause of the food issue?
pretty much anything you want.
if you're the type to dry the blades before putting them away
something like tung or watco will do fine, though if you will want to
scrub the rack down you'll probably want a film finish.
if you're the type to dry the knives in the rack (gonna rust your
carbon steel knives!) design it so air can circulate and water won't
be trapped, and consider a finish like varnish.
If a wet knife touches the oak, the oak will turn black.
Poly will reduce this a little.
Clear finishes are safe for food utensil use.
A stain is safe too in your application, but I'm sure someone will
disagree, based on NO data.
Hmmm ... so that's what happened. I put all the knives in last night
just to see how sturdy and all. This morning the big Nonstainless
Wusthof had some staining. Must have put it away damp. Won't do that
again! Thanks for the tip. Guess I should have chosen another wood.
OK, but my other 2 choices here seem to be poplar or pine.
Guess I could probably try to order online, but I hate
to buy wood without seeing it's shape and its grain.
As all but 1 or 2 of the knives are non-stain, I'll live with
the oak (looks great)and try find something less acid for
the older knives.
Not to rain on your parade, but red oak (actually, any oak) is about the
last wood I'd ever want to make a knife block out of. A wet knife will
leave black stains all over the block.
Polyurethane might be a solution, but I'd seriously consider finding a
different wood and chalking one up to experience.
- i used maple and purpleheart
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