Finish For Cutting Boards…

I know, its been awhile since I wrote anything, I have just been super busy with other projects!  However, I belong to a woodworking group on Facebook and someone just asked an interesting, albeit crazy question (to me) about finish for cutting boards.  To be fair:

1- The wood working group is MADE for begginers so you will have people on there that have no idea what they are doing.


2- Wood you can use for furniture vs wood you can use for food is incredibly different – like a whole other world.  So I dont necassarily blame the guy for asking this question, but uh I don’t know, I would think it would be common sense?

The question was:  Can I use finished hardwood for a cutting board?

No.  You cannot.  You should not.  You shan’t!  I mean finished hardwood is alright to walk on and live with everyday.  But to eat and cut on it?  Never!  A finish for cutting boards should be; non-toxic, food friendly, and food safe.  Here are some better options for finish for cutting boards:

Pure tung oil. Extracted from the nut of the china wood tree. Used as a base in many blended finishes. Available from catalogs and hardware stores. Difficult to apply, requires many coats, good water-resistance.

Raw linseed oil. Pressed from flax seeds. Not to be confused with boiled linseed, which contains metallic driers. Listed as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Very long curing time, good looks, low water-resistance, frequent reapplication.

Mineral oil. Although derived from petroleum, it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and entirely inert. Sold as a laxative in drug stores and as a wood finish in hardware and kitchen-supply stores. Simple to apply, low waterresistance, frequent reapplication.

Walnut oil. Pressed from the nuts of the walnut tree. Sold as a salad oil in health food stores and in large grocery stores. Walnut oil dries and won’t go rancid. Easy to apply, frequent reapplication.

Beeswax. The work of the honey bee. Can be mixed with an oil to create a better-smelling, slightly more waterrepellent finish. Sold in woodworking and turning catalogs.

Carnauba wax. Derived from the Brazilian palm tree. Harder than beeswax and more water-resistant. Can be used straight on wooden-ware as a light protective coating or a topcoat polish. Sold in woodworking and turning catalogs.

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