Almost finished this small cutting board (approx. 1" thick, 6" by 8"):

enter image description here

I got walnut oil from LeeValley and applied it after sanding and other finish touches.

It's been already about 36 hours since I applied it and wiped out the excess, and it still feels "oily" (as in, I touch the board and my fingers get oily).

I wonder whether I applied too much? Being end grain, as soon as I apply, it sucks it in, so I kind of kept applying until there was sort of a pool of liquid. Left it a minute or two, then wiped it.

Two questions:

  • How long (ballpark) should I wait before I start using the board? (or more in general, if I did indeed apply too much, what can I do now to rectify this?)
  • Just now (after having oiled and waited the ~ 36 hours), I noticed that the surface was not smooth enough, so I re-sanded (with a random orbital sander, a Dewalt DWE6423K) for maybe 5 to 10 minutes per side. Do I need to reapply oil? (it does not look like it needs it — the picture above was taken after this second round of sanding, but I thought I'd ask)
  • 1
    End grain is like a sponge in terms of how it absorbs stuff as you discovered, and the walnut oil inside will weep out until it stops weeping out (it's never going to harden because oxygen can't get to it in there, but there will reach a point when the surface isn't actively oily). Re. how much you applied, there's no real 'too much' point since nobody can agree whether boards should be oiled (or otherwise treated) in the first place, and then what to use, how much, & whether it's OK to use the board oily or not etcetc. Boards and oiling bring out the worst kinds of guesswork and supposition!
    – Graphus
    Feb 28 '21 at 8:39
  • 1
    Re. your second bullet, oiling (or otherwise treating) is largely or completely done for aesthetics, not because the boards actually need it (although there's more debate on this with end-grain blocks than with long-grain boards). So if you're happy with how it looks you're done, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Your little chopping block looks super BTW!
    – Graphus
    Feb 28 '21 at 8:42

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