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Food safeness (Read 795 times)
 
Philip Peak
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Food safeness
Sep 26th, 2005 at 12:42am
 
  I got asked a question at the craft fair I had a hard time answering and instead of lying to the guy I told him I did not know and if he wanted to email me later I would research the answer and let him know.  Well in case he does here is the question. 

  I finished a Catalpa bowl I turned with nothing but the beal buffing system compounds.  I sanded the bowl to 400 grit and used the tripoly and white diamond compounds and then the caranuba wax.  Is this bowl food safe and will the wax finish protect it if the bowl was used as a salad bowl.  My initial thought was, yes it should as long as it was not exposed to excess moisture and it was wiped out with a damp cloth and dried when done with it. 

FYI this is the bowl I sold Saturday that I bragged about.
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Ned A from South GA
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Re: Food safeness
Reply #1 - Sep 26th, 2005 at 3:15am
 
Unless the underlying wood is unsafe, then it should be "safe."

The other issue is bowl protection. If it is left in water, etc it will be a problem for the bowl. On the flip side, the salad oils and food oils will eventually create another finish once the wax is washed away or worn off.

Also, I think the majority of finishes are food safe if they are allowed proper time to cure. However, if selling, I would stick to finishes that state they are food safe, or wax and oil finishes.

As Raffan like to say in all his books, the bowl will develop its own patina after used a few months.

Feel free to correct me if I am in error anywhere. Cheesy
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« Last Edit: Sep 26th, 2005 at 3:16am by Ned A from South GA »  

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steve haley
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Re: Food safeness
Reply #2 - Sep 26th, 2005 at 4:02am
 
The only thing ive noticed with the wax finishes if you get water on them is they get very water spotted.As for food safe not a problem.
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Lee Goehring
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Re: Food safeness
Reply #3 - Sep 26th, 2005 at 5:14am
 
Two authors I have found that may help either clarify the question or confuse you further are Steve Mickley and Michael Dresdner. Both have answered this and many similar questions numerous times in various on-line forums and published articles and books. They do not necessarily agree on all their answers to finishing questions. Russ Fairfield also has some good comments in his "Universal Truths of Woodworking" regarding finishes.

Personally, I consider all modern finishes we use to be REASONABLY safe from a food perspective if used according to the label instructions and allowed to cure properly. I also happen to believe that, NO MATTER WHAT material or substance you are talking about, someone, somewhere, at some time, will be found who is allergic or sensitive to it. So even the bare wood itself could possibly cause unintended problems for someone.

It's my understanding that waxes generally do not provide much protection to the wood from anything. They are mostly useful for cosmetic effects and not a durable, protective finish.

Glad to hear this show went better for you, Phillip.



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Rev. Doug Miller
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Re: Food safeness
Reply #4 - Sep 26th, 2005 at 6:38am
 
Lee is right, all finishes, when cured, meaning that there is no smell left, are food safe.  Some have tried to say that walnut oil is about the only "safe" finish.  However, those with nut alergies don't need to be any where near a piece finished with walnut oil.  Most agree that a piece designed to be used as a salad bowl are best finished either with wax, which will need to be replenished everytime the bowl is used, mineral oil, whch will also need to be replenished when the bowl is washed out, or a "no-finish" finish, where the entire bowl is sanded to at least 2000 and burnished several times so that the surface is closed and hard.  Russ Fairfield talks about this method extensively.  Try the link below. 

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Negeltu
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Re: Food safeness
Reply #5 - Sep 26th, 2005 at 6:41pm
 
I mainly use mineral oil and beeswax for my items that are meant to be used.  The main reason I do this is that the mineral oil is the easiest for people to go buy and use themselves.  When a person uses the bowl that I've made they can just wash it and apply some mineral oil themselves.  No specialized finish for them to have to learn to apply.
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Curt Fuller
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Re: Food safeness
Reply #6 - Sep 27th, 2005 at 5:09pm
 
That's a very good idea Negeltu and very practical.
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