End grain cutting board question...

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Forum topic by Dabcan posted 05-25-2011 09:43 PM 1902 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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255 posts in 4130 days

05-25-2011 09:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cutting board end grain raised wet mineral oil walnut maple question

I made an end grain cutting board the other day out of maple and walnut, sanded it up to 320 grit and then put three coats of mineral oil. After it’s first use, I wiped it clean with a wet cloth and now it is very rough. Should I have wiped it with a wet cloth first, raised the grain, then resounded and then put mineral oil on it? Or is this just a fact of life with this type of cutting board and I should just get used to it?

Thanks I’m advance

-- @craftcollectif ,,

5 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


18140 posts in 4465 days

#1 posted 05-25-2011 10:18 PM

Im not a 100% sure but i think that you assessment was correct, the grain raised on you when it got wet for the first time. Could it be because the end grain was porous? Maybe seal the end grain next time? Im as interested as you are at the answers on this one.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 4130 days

#2 posted 05-25-2011 10:58 PM

I think end grain will always be porous, but since it’s a cutting board that gets used with food I will be eating, I would rather not put any type of sealer on it.

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View childress's profile


841 posts in 5001 days

#3 posted 05-25-2011 11:19 PM

when sanding my boards, I spritz with water after 150 and 220 then do a final block sanding at 400. Then oil/wax. The boards stay smooth after that….

go ahead and sand one more time with the 320 and you should be good to go

-- Childress Woodworks

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4509 days

#4 posted 05-25-2011 11:39 PM

I’m with childress on spritzing with water, then resanding before you actually oil the board. After it dries, resand, then apply your oil. Just remember that the finer you sand it, the tougher it is for the oil to soak into the board. I even lightly heat my mineral oil up before applying it.

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

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 4895 days

#5 posted 06-25-2011 09:20 AM

Hey I have a good solution, well, two actually. One already mentioned… leave it natural and do sand it, just plane it, with a sharp plane or even better an end grain plane (block plane).

Two would be if you want to use oil use a “cutting board oil” and if you are in Europe, you should be able to procure “Biofa” products or “Naturhaus” they make oils that are not mineral but from orange or citrus oils with no “desiccants” (driers) that are not to healthy to consume. Although in the little bit that you get from the normal oils will probably not kill you either. Biofa makes a product that is especially for wooden countertops or cooking preparation areas that is safe to use with produce and so on its called (in german) “Arbeitsplatteoel” and it works great! and you can uy it in small containers if you do not need a liter or more.

Jonathan is right, you can first “water” the wood, which is helpful or just do an” in between” sanding between coats of oil.

This is an important thing in the area of finishing, no matter how high you sand or how sharp your plane is, anytime you add fluid or apply finish to a piece of wood, the grain will raise up. so for a proper and professional finish it is absolutely necessary to do a watering first (especially helpful to help locate glue residue or stains and scratches before staining) or to do a intermediate sanding,(normally 240 or 320) and then the final finish coat. Regardless if the surface will be oiled, waxed or varnished.

Good luck!

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

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