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I made an end grain cutting board for my wife that had various hard woods that were all supposedly food safe.

Doing some reading and watching videos, I understand that this can vary depending on the type of wood and grain and such, or personal preference. The woods chosen also have a contrast in various colors, from a lighter blonde look to a dark look. From Walnut to to Cherry to Oak (I think, it was mostly scrap pieces and hard to remember).

What is a good finish that is food safe for a cutting board and for different colors of wood? The design is random, not a specif detailed design.

How is this different than using beeswax?

  • There are multiple previous Questions here that ask about food-safe finishes that you should hunt them down to glean as much related info as you can from here. The search on SE works perfectly so you'll have no difficulty finding the relevant Q&As. – Graphus Mar 21 '18 at 18:59
  • "How is this different than using beeswax?" Not sure if I understand what you're asking here. Beeswax is one of the classic finishes for cutting boards. And one of the better ones, far superior to oiling IF you don't want to leave it bare. – Graphus Mar 21 '18 at 19:01
  • "The search on SE works perfectly." - I think the search engine actually built into the site is actually rather poor; the good news is that passing "site:stackexchange.com" to google is very effective. – Martin Bonner Mar 23 '18 at 14:19
  • @MartinBonner Internal search works flawlessly for what it's intended to do. If you look for a term that has been used in a Q or A it will find it (I've tested this multiple times to say the least, nearly every week for years), but it can't look in Comments unfortunately. – Graphus Mar 26 '18 at 16:25
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Mineral oil is a food safe finish for cutting boards. Though because it is not a drying oil meaning that it will not harden. It also means that the finish can be washed off. This results in proper care including regular reoiling of the cutting board. You don't get the sheen that you would get with beeswax though you do get a deeper penetration into the wood.

  • thank you Chuck for the response. That is essentially what I am looking for and good to know about the sheen with beeswax. I have never used beeswax so I will look into it. – Keith E. Truesdell Mar 21 '18 at 19:22
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    Keep in mind not all mineral oils are the same, many are NOT food safe, be sure to check before you use. Many food grade mineral oils are labeled butcher-block oil of cutting board oil instead. . – John Mar 21 '18 at 19:29
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    I get mine from the pharmacy section at Walmart, cheap and food grade – Chuck S Mar 22 '18 at 13:36
  • Chuck S, that is a great recommendation, is there a specific brand from Walmart you can recommend? Is there something to watch out for if I am surfing through the shelves there at Walmart (in the way of a product or something else)? Do you notice a quality difference at all? How good is the price savings (as compared to a big box store like Lowes, or Home Depot, and vs a speciality store like Rockler)? – Keith E. Truesdell Mar 23 '18 at 14:50
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    Mineral oil is used for (among other things) a laxative. I get the store brand but in the pharmacy area it is going to be food grade. at home centers there is the possibility that it could be enhanced making it non food grade – Chuck S Mar 23 '18 at 17:19
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I made one as well and used grape seed oil. It’s working well after 6 months of daily use.cutting board1 cutting board2

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