mineral oil & beeswax

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by grandy, May 26, 2009.

  1. grandy

    grandy

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    When I red of turners using a mixture beeswax and mineral it sounds
    safe for food items as well as childrens toys. I have not seen the ratio of
    how to make the mixture. Anyone wanting to share please?
    Grandy
     
  2. Todd Glover

    Todd Glover

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    I use a 50/50 mix for my cutting boards, used it on my personal cutting board for the last 4-5 years and it has worked just great.

    I use the same mix on my chisel handles (both flatwork and turning type).
     
  3. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Go 5:1 oil to wax and add some fragrance and you have cold cream.

    It's not a finish, it's a treatment. Watch how the dirt from your hands or the color from your food dissolves in and colors the oil and reconsider how "safe" it is.

    Fortunately, if you wash it with detergent, you'll wash all that dirt and bacterial problems away. You'll also wash away the oil and wax, but that'll get you to nice, safe wood. Presuming you haven't made the piece out of some exotic insecticide-laden tropical species, that is.

    Use a curing finish.
     
  4. Vaughn

    Vaughn

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    Specific suggestions?

    I would not want any type of membrane finish on a cutting board. The finish is compromised with the first stroke of a knife, and you end up with a handy surface underneath which bacteria can migrate. Mineral oil is safe and effective if kept clean. There's a reason why virtually every major cutting board maker recommends and/or sells mineral oil or similar treatments. You are correct, it's a treatment, not a finish, but I don't want a finish on my cutting boards.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  5. Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Paul M. Kaplowitz

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    Oil finish

    I have used walnut oil for years on all my cutting boards and food bowls. Once a month I reoil them with a generous amount, let them sit overnight and wipe . pmk
     
  6. grandy

    grandy

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    Thanks fellow members for the info. I'm working on baby rattles and
    spinning tops. When I read about the oil w/ wax, thought it was being used as a finish.
    I've used just mineral oil before but now I know adding wax doesn't make it better.
    Thanks again, Grandy
     
  7. Charles Henderson

    Charles Henderson

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    I don't use beeswax much unless it's a food item. I use it mostly on spurtles.

    However, a finish I use fairly often is mineral oil and HUT PPP wax. I use this on smaller items mostly. First, I coat the piece with mineral oil to bring out the grain, and then use two coats each of the brown and white HUT PPP (it's a friction polish used on the lathe). This wax bar is a mixture of synthetic waxes and polishing compounds. I've found it works extremely well on my smaller turnings that are handled often. I can't speak as to it being food safe though, that's why I use the beeswax on food items.
    It's available through any woodturning catalog. Hope this helps.



    P.S. On a side note - woodturning isn't in the spell check on a woodturning site? That's kind of funny. :cool2:
     
  8. mrGeeze

    mrGeeze

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    depends

    if its going straight into use in the kitchen i seldom bother with anything. maybe a little mineral oil. after that its soap & water, never the dishwasher. i rarely, or never oil them after that. years of work don't seem to affect them.

    if i want a shine on a piece for a gift or something, and i know its going into use i will coat it with mineral oil while still on the lathe. then i dry that off & melt a little beeswax on it with friction. Finally an old rag or shavings will buff it up nice. not "gallery" finish but a shine nonetheless. and its quick. the finish only lasts about 30 minutes (when you wash the piece) but it gets the desired oohs and ahhs from the gift recipient.

    if its going for sale then i put on some kind of film finish.
    usually blo/varnish/solvent in approx equal parts.
    2 coats over a few days. a week to cure - beall buff system.
    if it doesn't look good then, its not the finish.
     
  9. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    The reason they all sell the oil is that they can sell a lot of it to people who think it does something besides make a shiny surface until enough dust collects to dull it. When you oil the piece you cover and protect anything below the surface, so there's no real gain. Most cutting boards I see have been lacquered.

    Specifically, I like to use dilute varnishes at two-coat depths, just enough to get even coverage without laying a surface finish. In fact, where I might have some surface shine, I scuff it away. That reduces the number of places for nasties to hide by filling a bit of porosity, allows good mechanical cleaning as well as chemical, where the non-drying oil would interfere with both.

    Once again, though I have no specific research to back it up, honey, and possibly beeswax, can give infants botulism. Lots of waxes out there, I can forgo the bees.
     
  10. Gil Jones

    Gil Jones

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  11. Bob Edwards

    Bob Edwards

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    cutting boards.

    I don't make cutting boards but if I did I think I would use some sort of oil that would not go rancid. As an experiment I once saturated a small unfinished nut bowl with a cooking oil, placed it in a low temperature oven for an hour or so. I continued to "baste" the bowl as it baked. The completed bowl is still in use today and you can still feel the presents of the oil after 25 years and many trips through the dishwasher.
     
  12. Bill Neff

    Bill Neff

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    Has anyone used the Tried and True brand of finishes? It appears they don't use metals in the polymerizers and all three are marked as food-safe.

    Bill
     
  13. Vaughn

    Vaughn

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    My experience has been the exact opposite. I can only recall seeing one or two lacquered boards over the past 50+ years, and they were more for decoration than actual kitchen use. I've made and sold dozens of boards, and all have been finished with plain mineral oil with one exception (which was a special request from a customer who was not planning to actually cut on it). I've had no complaints or returns on my oiled boards. If you research the commercial wood cutting board and butcher block manufacturers (i.e., John Boos), you'll see they also recommend an oil treatment for raw wood boards. Of course, many board manufacturers will offer to sell you their "special" oil at an inflated price, but the plain ol' drugstore mineral oil seems to do the same job in my experience. I don't use it to make the wood shine; I use it to protect the wood surface from drying.

    For things like baby rattles and spinning tops (as Grandy mentioned), I do agree a film finish of some sort would be appropriate.
     
  14. Michael Stafford

    Michael Stafford

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    First of all I had no idea you were old enough to have been observing cutting boards for over 50 years. You are extremely well preserved.:p:D

    I agree with Vaughn. I have made cutting boards for display and I have made cutting boards for use. If they were made for display I did use a film finish. However, most of the time, regardless of their intended use I just finished them with mineral oil; lazy I guess. You have to believe that sooner or later someone is going to use a cutting board no matter how pretty as cutting board.

    Whether film finish or oil I think it is much ado about nothing with regards to the finish contaminating anything during use. It is certainly easier to renew an oil finish.
     
  15. Vaughn

    Vaughn

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    Good breeding and creative lighting. :D

    Actually, I guess it's been about 45 years since my granddad helped me make my first cutting board. It was a gift for Grandma, but I own it now. My folks also had maple butcher block countertops in the kitchen when I was growing up. Oil worked on them, too. :p
     

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