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Thread: Butcher Block - Salad Oil as finish/sealant

  1. #1

    Butcher Block - Salad Oil as finish/sealant

    I have a couple of very old butcher block cutting boards that I've just sanded down to clear wood. I was going to use Mineral Oil to finish them, when a friend asked me why I didn't use salad oil instead. I had no good answer for him, but it sounds like a possibly good idea.

    Any reason not to go this route? Any negative results from using Salad Oil?

    Your advice is appreciated.

    Thanks
    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Stephen, the biggest downside to using salad (vegetable) oil is that it can go rancid over time, and stink to high heavens.

    There are some folks that swear up and down that veggie oils on their boards doesn't go bad, but I have smelled the funk of rancid oiled boards personally, so I know for fact it can happen. Whether it does happen depends on a number of variables like temperature, humidity, how the board is washed, etc.

    Personally, I only use mineral oil. It's cheap, food-safe, odorless and taste-free.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Stephen, the biggest downside to using salad (vegetable) oil is that it can go rancid over time, and stink to high heavens.

    Personally, I only use mineral oil. It's cheap, food-safe, odorless and taste-free.
    Potential rancidity had not occurred to me. That is a definite deal breaker.

    Thanks for that feedback.

    Regarding MIneral Oil, I was going to use Baby Oil, which I have on hand, but in addition to Mineral Oil, it has "fragrance" listed as an incgredient. Wondering now if that too has some drawback?

    Thanks again
    Steve

  4. #4
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    Don't use the baby oil, Steve. You can get pharmaceutical (unscented) mineral oil in the laxative section of your local supermarket or drug store. It's less expensive than the baby oil, too.

    Back when I was making a lot of cutting boards, I used to get strange looks in the checkout line with half a dozen bottles of mineral oil in my basket. I'm guessing people would look at me and think "that poor guy...he must be plugged up something fierce".
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Stephen, the biggest downside to using salad (vegetable) oil is that it can go rancid over time, and stink to high heavens.

    There are some folks that swear up and down that veggie oils on their boards doesn't go bad, but I have smelled the funk of rancid oiled boards personally, so I know for fact it can happen. Whether it does happen depends on a number of variables like temperature, humidity, how the board is washed, etc.

    Personally, I only use mineral oil. It's cheap, food-safe, odorless and taste-free.
    Vaughn is spot on. I had this same thing happen and heard the rumors that Salad Oil Finish works as well. It didn't for me and went rancid.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
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    Hi Steve, in addition to the stink factor, vegetable oil also gets gummy and sticky over time. Save yourself the aggravation and follow the advice to use mineral oil.

    --MJ
    "We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time."--Vince Lombardi

  7. #7
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    Where is a good place to buy mineral oil? I don't think I am looking in the right places to find it.

  8. #8
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    I too would go with the Mineral oil, but I'd also add that I've heard a number of guys, swear by Walnut Oil

    I think our very own Frank Fusco has used it with success.

    Good luck!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    drug store?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Heidrick View Post
    Where is a good place to buy mineral oil? I don't think I am looking in the right places to find it.
    Mineral oil is sold as a laxative. Any drugstore or pharmacy will have it, and large supermarkets as well.

    And I want to say thanks to everyone.

    I have been oiling and buffing, and now have a couple of very nicely restored cutting boards.

    Thanks
    Steve

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