The Pre-Oiling Service and HABiol Worktop Oil: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide
Our pre-oiling service has proved increasingly popular and we have been pleased to be able to supply so many perfectly-finished worktops to our customers; however, as with all our processes, we continually seek to update and improve the level of service we provide. We have recently updated our oiling procedure to use HABiol Worktop Oil that is in line with the excellent quality of Rustins Danish Oil. All fabrication orders despatched from Monday 29th October 2014 onwards will benefit from our new process.
Please read on for more insight…
Our new machinery
Prior to oiling, our solid wood worktop blanks are sanded to 150 grit as standard. However – in order to prepare the surface and open the pores so that they are even more susceptible to oil penetration – we have recently invested in a new sanding machine to mechanise this process and guarantee a perfect finish every time. We have also invested in an innovative oiling machine which produces a flawless oil finish for every worktop; this automated process applies the optimum amount of oil per square meter (12g) in a shorter amount of time, improving both consistency and efficiency.
Our new packaging machine is the final step: this machine automatically shrink-wraps items, protecting the worktops immediately from the elements and providing a durable finish ready for further transport packaging.
The Worktop Express® team are confident that these well-tested processes will improve the quality and efficiency of production so that our pre-oiling service is more reliable than ever before.
Our new process – in a nutshell:
The updated system will encompass various processes, which are briefly summarised as follows:
- Your worktop will be passed through the automated sander, which will sand to 150 grit (standard factory finish – this allows the timber’s pores to open in preparation to absorb the oil).
- Your worktop will be oiled on all sides, including the edges, and will be checked by our quality control team.
- Your worktop will be transferred to the drying area for 2 hours.
- After this time, your worktop will be passed through the sander once more, which will now sand to 240 grit (an even finer grade that will improve the smoothness of the material and prepare for the final coat of oil)
- Your worktop will be transferred to the oiling machine for a second and final coat of oil.
- Next, your worktop will be transferred to our specially-designated drying enclosure for 12 hours. This ensures that the worktops will be dried completely, with even exposure to all parts – the oil is an oxidising agent and requires this for a premium finish. This thorough drying process also means that when the worktops are packaged the oil will not be compromised.
- Once your worktop is entirely dry, it will be transferred to the packaging machine and automatically shrink-wrapped.
- Finally, a label will be applied to the underside in order to show which side of the worktop is the ‘top’ face, making it easy for you to refer to when it comes to installation.
Rustins Danish Oil and HABiol Oil: The Perfect Combination
Unfortunately Rustins Danish Oil is not compatible with our pre-oiling machinery and thus it has been necessary to seek an alternative. After extensive research our experienced technical team concluded that HABiol Oil was ideal for the pre-oiling service, and achieves an identical finish to Rustins with our automated machinery.
We would use Rustins throughout our process, but unfortunately it is not compatible with our machinery, and therefore we needed an alternative. Whereas previous oils used were not compatible with Rustins for maintenance purposes, HABiol is fully compatible with both our machinery, and with Rustins.
In general, there is no difference between the finish achieved by HABiol Oil and Rustins Danish Oil and both can be used to create a perfectly oiled finish on a worktop. Though whilst HABiol will be used in our fabrication facility, we will only be supplying Rustins to consumers.
Rustins Danish Oil
Rustins Danish Oil is one of the most widely-sold products of its kind in the UK and is our recommendation for DIY worktops (all those that will not be fabricated or pre-oiled by us, with the exception of Prime Oak). If you are planning to apply the initial, intensive application of oil yourself, the process is extremely straight-forward – it is an easy material for DIY oiling and future maintenance.
We recommend applying three coats of Rustins Danish Oil to each face of the worktop and six coats to the endgrains and sides (with proper drying time allowed between each) before installation. After installation, oil once a week for the first six weeks and once every three months thereafter.
We have always performed regular quality checks throughout the pre-oiling service. Within our new system, quality control checks will be made at 5 independent points through the process:
- When the worktops arrive at the factory assessments will be made regarding species, quality grade, colour, size, and a visual check for any defects. Any worktops that are not satisfactory will be rejected (a rare occurrence as our timbers are high-quality, but we do not take this for granted).
- After any fabrication, careful checking will ensure that the dimensions are correct and in accordance with the customer-approved diagram.
- A third check is completed to ensure that the worktop is ready to go through the oiling process.
- After the first oiling coat, when the worktop is dry, we check the condition of the timber before putting the worktop through the sander.
- After the second round of oiling, when the worktop is dry, we make a final check before packing.
The finishing process
After it has been oiled for the second time, the worktop is transferred to a specially designed storage area where the oil has a chance to react with the surrounding oxygen. The worktops are left to dry for at least 12 hours to achieve a completely flawless finish. They are then carefully wrapped and prepared for delivery, where a label will be applied to the worktop’s ‘bottom’ face. This will distinguish the difference between the top and the bottom side (to aid with installation).
Receiving your pre-oiled worktops
Your worktops will require a coat of oil immediately upon installation, and should be oiled regularly thereafter. We recommend re-oiling every month for the first year of use and then four times a year after that. Here are some simple instructions for oiling your worktop:
- Clean your worktops with the ‘Surface Cleaner’ that is supplied in our Rustins Worktop Maintenance Kit and leave it to dry for at least 8 hours (please note that our standard aftercare kit – intended for use on DIY worktops in accompaniment with Rustins Danish Oil – does not include wood cleaner).
- Once completely dry, apply Rustins Danish Oil, spreading it evenly over the surface of your worktop. Leave for approximately 30 minutes, allowing sufficient time for the oil to soak into the timber.
- Wipe away any excess oil using a lint-free cloth.
As previously mentioned, we advise purchasing either a Rustins Worktop Maintenance Kit or a DIY Aftercare Kit depending on the recommended oil for your worktop. If utilised correctly the kit will help you maintain the premium condition of your worktop for years to come – a small investment that will provide great long-term benefits.
Our pre-oiling service and associated accessories are easy to purchase – simply visit our bespoke cutting service page and follow the instructions. If you have any questions regarding our new pre-oiling process or our recommended oils, please do not hesitate to contact us. Alternatively you may wish to consult our updated FAQ page.
If you would like to purchase pre-oiled worktops online, please consult our ‘How to Order Pre-Oiled Worktops Via the Online Bespoke Worktop Tool’ information guide.
Please note: this guide was updated on 27th October 2014 to reflect recent changes to the products utilised in our pre-oiling process. For more information on the changes, please visit our Improvements to our Pre-Oiling Service for Wooden Worktops blog post.