Cleaning a butcher block

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Cleaning a butcher block

Post by Butterbean » Sat Jun 01, 2013 18:47

I came across a butcher block table Friday and picked it up for a song which included delivery. Legs were a little wobbly but with a socket this was fixed in short order. The top of the block is a bit dirty and I want to clean it good before put it in the kitchen. It has what feels like wax on the top. Its a little sticky and needs a good going over. Anyone have any tips on how best to clean something like this?

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Post by ssorllih » Sat Jun 01, 2013 19:16

Scrapers will work best. Find a wide paint scraper with a carbide blade and scrape with the grain. You will have to put your back into it and peel a little wood as you work. I have scraped water stains from oak floors that way in areas larger than your table in about two hours.
Last edited by ssorllih on Sat Jun 01, 2013 19:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Jun 01, 2013 19:17

That is a fine table!!
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Jun 01, 2013 22:17

Thanks. I'll look for one of those scrapers. To go back over it what type wax should I use. What is on there feels like beeswax. When it gets hot it feels sticky like beeswax.

I'm scratching my head trying to figure out where to put it and if I keep colleccting stuff like this ya'll may see me on that hoarders show. :oops:
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Jun 01, 2013 22:41

If you plan to use it for butchering then don't put anything on it. And just scrape it clean after each use. You must keep it from the weather. If it will just be a very nice general purpose bench then boiled linseed oil will be a good choice. Another very good finish is Watco teak oil finish. That is a rust-o-leum company now but the product is still good.
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Jun 01, 2013 23:20

I plan on putting it in the kitchen once I rearrange some things and thought it would be a good table to wrap and package on. I wish it was two foot shorter but I think its going to work fine. It seems you can't have enough counter top if you are as unorganized as I am.

I think I have some linseed oil in the garage. I'll give that a try first. It comes off sticky too if I remember right so maybe that's what's on there now. Its 94F outside now so its pretty hot.
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Jun 01, 2013 23:30

Bean , Mix the linseed with a little turpentine and a splash of japan dried. and wipe off ALL of the excess. The Watco is a better choice.
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Post by Big Guy » Sun Jun 02, 2013 01:15

scrape or sand down to bare wood, then only put mineral oil on it.
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Post by Blackriver » Sun Jun 02, 2013 15:11

Here is the mineral oil I use, it is NSF H3 rated for direct food contact.

http://www.super-lube.com/direct-food-c ... zp-63.html
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Post by sawhorseray » Sun Jun 02, 2013 17:21

Man, that is one nice looking table set-up Blackriver, just gorgeous! I'm with Big Guy. I'd take a belt sander to it, maybe 60 grit to start, and get all that old stuff off in a hurry, then do a little time with a 100 grit belt. Finish it off with some 120 then 150 grit on a vibrating sander. Your mineral oil looks to be just the ticket. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to dis-assemble a buck or hog on the baby, congrats on the nice find. RAY
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Post by Doug » Sun Jun 02, 2013 17:48

ROS (Random Orbital sander). ...
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Post by ssorllih » Sun Jun 02, 2013 18:00

Gonna gum up a bunch of belts on that piece.
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Post by huckelberry » Sun Jun 02, 2013 21:39

If it is getting that soft waxy feel only when it gets hot its very likely that it has been used previously to handle fats like meat and the like. what you feel is less likely bee's wax and mountain likely fat or oil. But I gotta go with Big Guy on this. Sand it down with the belt, finished with a fine grit orbital and use a food grade mineral oil. That thing will look awsome. I am truly jealous. Nice find.
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Post by Butterbean » Mon Jun 03, 2013 14:02

I don't think I can sand it till I get the majority of the sticky coating off it. I've done that before on something else and it wasn't as thick as this and it gave my sanding belts a fit.

I believe I'll have to scrape first to get it where its sandable. The finish is so thick and heat sensitive I can dig my fingernail in it so it should take to scraping pretty easy. Not looking forward to scraping it though. I thought I might take the cutting torch and put a rose bud on it and heat the coating lightly then scrape.

Worth trying anyway.

I'm pretty tickled with the find. Also got the wine rack in the upper right of the picture tossed in as well.
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Post by Big Guy » Mon Jun 03, 2013 14:31

If its that soft and sticky I think I would try using a stainless steel coarse scouring pad and some mineral spirits to get the majority of the gunk off, then go in with the belt sander.
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