Restoring A Board   6 comments

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeIt’s January, when everything feels new. Well, except for those scratched-up cutting boards that need help recovering from those holiday fêtes.

Once a year, I restore Mrs M’s cutting board to pristine condition. This year, I got 2 other boards from the family. The pictures below show the results, which, quite frankly, are easily attained. Here’s what I do:

  1. Clean the board to get as much oil & such off of it. That will make the sanding easier.
  2. Remove the non-skid rubber feet so you don’t have to sand around them.
  3. If the board has any cracks (as one of these boards did), then those have to be cut apart and re-glued before sanding begins. Cracks are not good on a cutting board; they will harbor bits of food and bacteria.
  4. Use a random orbital sander to sand each board through 5 grits (just as I do with new boards): 80, 120, 180, 220, 320. The oily, damaged wood that you’re removing will clog up the sanding disk rather quickly but that’s OK: you only need about 1 minute per grit per board.
  5. Honest.
  6. Saturate the smooth board with mineral oil. I typically apply about 3 or 4 coats; one every couple of hours. I always let it soak overnight, and then apply one more coat of mineral oil in the morning.
  7. After the oil has soaked in, apply a top coat of board butter, and then remove the excess.
  8. You’re done … in about 24 hours, start to finish.

Here’s a photo gallery that shows all of the boards, the damage that they came to the shop with, and the result of my restoration. Click on the photos to open them and read the photo captions, if you’re unable to see them automatically on your screen.

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Cutting Boards: Restoration

6 responses to “Restoring A Board

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  1. Quick question – what do you use to clean the boards before you sand to get stains, etc? Inquiring minds want to know . . .

    • Soap & water is all you need. Scrub it dry with a brush; that’s as clean as you can get it. Same for daily use … though some will go old school and half a lemon, and rub kosher salt into the board with the lemon. That’s an old butcher’s trick, with the salt and acidic lemon juice combining to keep the board clean. Some will go modern-obsessed, and use bleach … but that’s really over the top and not necessary, IMHO.

  2. Nice information glad you posted it Henry what are you calling Board Butter, bees wax?

  3. Pingback: The Lady Asked | MowryJournal.com

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