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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to use bees wax to help seal a cutting board. I have seen "cosmetic grade" and "food grade" offers on the Internet. Is there a difference between these grades? The cosmetic grade was significantly cheaper.
 

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You would probably be alright with the cosmetic grade bees wax but the food grade would be better. They make three grades that I know of and each level is refined and cleaned better. The industrial grade might could contain insecticides and other substances you wouldn't want to take a chance of ingesting. It's used as lubricants on equipment. The next grade is the cosmetic grade which they use in cosmetics which they consider for external use only but they do use it in lip balm. The next grade is the food grade which is the most clean and would be safe if ingested.
 

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I've always used food grade simply because I felt the difference in cost is worth the piece of mind. Cosmetic grade might be just fine, but if something happened to my wife or kids I'd be mad at myself for being cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all for the advice. I will spend the extra and go for food grade to be safe.

Here is the reason I think I need to seal the board. It was a gift to my daughter-in-law from her recently deceased dad. She asked me to sand out the cut marks which I did. But it is made of relatively soft oak and seems to be face grain. The open grain seems like it needs to be sealed so as not to collect any particles from food that she prepares.

I am a novice to woodworking and finishing. Am I making any sort of mistake by sealing oak like this?

Here is a pic.
 

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Thanks all for the advice. I will spend the extra and go for food grade to be safe.

Here is the reason I think I need to seal the board. It was a gift to my daughter-in-law from her recently deceased dad. She asked me to sand out the cut marks which I did. But it is made of relatively soft oak and seems to be face grain. The open grain seems like it needs to be sealed so as not to collect any particles from food that she prepares.

I am a novice to woodworking and finishing. Am I making any sort of mistake by sealing oak like this?
You are better off with the food grade. You are correct to be sealing the open grain oak. It is not a good board for cutting board use.

The beeswax will work - but it will not last long. The good news is it can be easily re-applied.

If you want a longer lasting seal, consider Salad Bowl Finish.

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2000752/9151/general-finishes-salad-bowl-finish-quart.aspx

Lasts longer, but need to sand before re-applying.

For beeswax I like to use this product, a mix of beeswax and mineral oil, both food safe.

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2021064/24112/georges-club-house-wax-4-oz.aspx
 

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I suggest mixing up your own supply of beeswax and mineral oil finish. It needs to be reapplied a few times a year to keep the board sealed. It dries out faster in dry climates and you sort of have to judge when to redo it. Throw a couple drops of water on the board, if they ball up you are good. If they sink into the wood after a short time, it's time to add another coat of the finish.

The good news is that making the supply is easy. The better news is that it is easy to apply, the best news is that is has an absolutely wonderful aroma when it is freshly applied. The recipe is posted lots of places, some use mineral oil, some use olive oil. This one is easy because the mixing is in zip lock bags so the cleanup is easy.

http://eddiecastelin.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/SandingWax.54184013.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the sage advice guys. For this board, I think I will pick up a jar of clubhouse wax. That way my DIL can reapply whenever she needs to.

I would like to try my hand at building an end grain board. I have seen some beautiful builds on this forum. When I get around to doing it, I will try to mix up my own concoction.
 
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