Finishing Question

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Forum topic by Jonathan posted 07-14-2010 07:40 PM 3370 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2609 posts in 4547 days

07-14-2010 07:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: georges club house wax cutting board cheese board mineral oil beeswax bees wax cherry walnut maple curly maple tiger maple salad bowl finish end grain cutting board

I am getting ready to apply the finish to one of the projects I’m making as a fundraising item for the 3-Day Walk for the Cure that my wife will be participating in out in San Diego in November.

The item in question is a cutting board and/or cheese tray (whatever you want to call it). I’ve only made one cutting board before and I used GF Salad Bowl Finish on that. I actually took some mineral oil to my end grain board this morning to restore it a bit.

I just purchased some George’s Club House Wax at Woodcraft the other day to use on this new cutting board/serving tray, made up of cherry, walnut, and curly maple. If you’re not familiar with this product, it is a little 4-ounce container that smells like beeswax, but also has mineral oil blended in with it. I am wondering if I should just put several coats of this onto the wood, or if I should first go through the multiple coats of mineral oil to really saturate the board?

This board has a roundover on the top edge and a small chamfer on the bottom edge, so both sides are technically useable since there aren’t any handles to get in the way. I will be putting my brand on the one side with the chamfer, but will do so down in the corner so that the rest of the surface is useable.

It would obviously be easier to just put a couple of coats of the wax mixture on and buff it out between coats, but would it be wiser to take the extra time and oil the board first? I’m not sure how much use the piece will actually get, as I have no idea who will end up with the item.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

9 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7232 posts in 4691 days

#1 posted 07-14-2010 08:15 PM

Greetings Jonathan,

It sounds like you’ve kinda answered your own question…. But since you’re asking, this is what I would do.
After the board is final prepped( final sanding, dust removed), I’d saturate the board with mineral oil real good.
After it has taken the oil for a couple of days and looks dry, do it again, and again till the board is saturated all
the way through… Then put a coat of the Club House Wax on and let it soak in…. Buff it off, and apply
another coat or two until you are satisified with the results…. Let it dry to the touch, and you’re good to go.
Edit: I’ve never used this name-brand product, so I don’t know the results of it, but with only 4 oz., you
can’t go too far with it… you said…. maybe a couple of coats….... good luck…. keep on keeping on.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4547 days

#2 posted 07-14-2010 08:39 PM

Never having used the stuff before, I wasn’t sure if I actually needed to go through with saturing this board in mineral oil first or not?

I asked the guy at Woodcraft and he said he’d never used it before.

The directions simply say to put a couple of coats of it on, buffing off between coats. There is no mention of oiling the wood first. And there’s no information about it on their website either, so I thought I’d ask here in hopes that someone has used it before for a similar application?

I found one posting by Scrappy, saying he’d used it, but that’s all it said.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4571 days

#3 posted 07-14-2010 08:48 PM

In the short term, it probably makes no difference if you saturate it with oil or not. In the long term, it will make a lot of difference. What’s more important to you?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4547 days

#4 posted 07-14-2010 08:59 PM

Long term.

I don’t want whoever ends up with this board having an issue downstream from me.

I’ll go ahead and oil it first then… multiple coats over several days, before waxing it.

I like minimizing things when possible, but don’t want to cut a corner that might be in issue later on.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View jack1's profile


2172 posts in 5523 days

#5 posted 07-15-2010 04:52 AM

Good advice from the guys and a good attitude from you jonathan.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Mauritius's profile


96 posts in 4722 days

#6 posted 07-18-2010 04:41 AM

Definitely saturate with oil first and foremost. That’s the important part. The wax helps keep it looking finished for longer, but after a little bit of use (a scrubbing or three) the wax on the surface will be mostly gone and it’ll be up the the oil to protect the board.

In my experience oil is a lot cheaper and more practically important, wax is expensive (though cheaper if you mix your own) and is largely for show when it comes to cutting boards.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 4547 days

#7 posted 07-18-2010 06:29 AM


What I did on the board I made for my wife (cherry, maple laminate) was to make up a concoction of beeswax, mineral spirits, and boiled linseed oil. Mix roughly equal parts blo and mineral spirits in a double boiler, then add a bunch of beeswax. Stir in till melted, let cool until it congeals. If you have enough wax in it, you’ll have a soft solid. Take a chunk of this, re-melt in double boiler and apply liberally (not conservatively—DAMN! Did I just get political?) to the board. When it cools and drys, buff till you get the look you want. Reapply as needed. If you want to really be cool. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil—lavender, lemon—I used vanilla—to make it smell fresh and nice.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4830 days

#8 posted 07-18-2010 12:23 PM

I don’t mean to be cynical or smart alecky here, but how can just oil, mineral or otherwise protect wood on a long term basis? I find that stuff in the kitchen gets washed often and the oil just washes right out since it doesn’t penetrate very deeply anyway, at least on side grain.

The only remedy is renewing the oil often. If you are giving something oiled as a gift, a donation or selling it, you should have a little sticker or something attached to it telling the recipient that oiling often is required and what type of oil or oils would be suitable. The same should be done for things with other types of finishes as well.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4547 days

#9 posted 07-18-2010 03:08 PM

Mike, I am definitely going to inform the recipient that the board has been oiled with mineral oil (along with the George’s Club House Wax on top), and suggest that they maintain the board with mineral oil, giving it a quick wipe on all surfaces, not just the top, once a month, or whenever the board looks dry, whichever comes first. Mineral oil is also very easy to obtain and impossible to screw up, so the recipient shouldn’t have any issues, won’t need any special finishing tools, and can simply wipe a bit on with a paper towel. Who knows if it’ll even get used as a cutting board? Maybe just a serving tray. The rule will still apply though, as they wash the thing, it’ll need to be re-oiled.

I just want to try the mineral oil/wax finish this time, as I’ve never done it before. So far, the board looks beautiful. The oil has really deepened and intensified the colors. I did get a great picture with half the board oiled, and the other half au-natural. It’s still soaking it up. I actually just got up and am going to go give it another coat, then another coat later today. A few more days, then it’s time for the wax.

Thanks for the responses guys.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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