Reply by Kelly

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Posted on Cutting Boards - Finishing with Howard's, but Which One?

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3177 posts in 3868 days

#1 posted 09-13-2020 05:08 PM

As I noted, above, THE ONLY reason it will look like the mineral oil didn’t last as long as the mixes is, it’s doing a better job of protecting your cutting boards. It is not evaporating. Rather, oil in highly saturated areas are wicking to dryer areas.

As the entire board becomes more saturated with oils, so shrinking becomes less a concern, thus drying and splitting or cracking problems disappear.

Experiment with thinned motor oil on a dry wood fence. The first couple of generous applications will appear to be gone within a few weeks in the hot summer sun. The third coat, on the other hand, will be notable years later. This is because the surface area is more saturated.

You will still be able to add more oil over time. If you are rigorous in your initial applications, the fence will be better protected and that “not so durable” non-hardening oil finish will have your fence or shingles looking beautiful (a warm reddish gold, even on driftwood) and free from splits and cracks while the neighbors’ take on that beautiful gray, complete with cracks and splits.

You could compose a brochure explaining these things, including explanations of the hype many push. Approach it as a covering-the-customer’s-butt thing.

Yes, plain mineral ol works just fine. But as ChefHDAN mentioned, the small amount of added wax makes a big difference in the appearance of the board and how long you can use it between renewing the finish. If you haven’t tried a finish like Howard’s you really should. When the final coat has soaked in as much as it is going to you can buff the surface with a soft rag to give a beautiful look and silky to the touch surface. Not oily at all. I started using just mineral oil and I really prefer the finishes with a bit of wax in them. The end result is much nicer looking for presentation as a gift. I can well imagine it would help sell boards if that is your goal.

- Kazooman

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