Which finish can tolerate moderate heat?

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Forum topic by tcot posted 01-25-2016 01:31 PM 690 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1101 days

01-25-2016 01:31 PM

Hi All;

I’m making a riser out of birch ply for my home brewing set-up.

Which finish should I use that will be able to withstand a pot of boiling water? The pot will be heated via an electrical element which is submerged in the pot, so the bottom of the pot will only be ~212F, as opposed to a pot removed from the stove.

I’d like to keep it simple…


7 replies so far

View BonPacific's profile


20 posts in 854 days

#1 posted 01-25-2016 04:53 PM

I’d look at finishes that people have recommended for Trivets, as this is effectively a very large trivet. From some googling around, seems like a lot of folks recommend using simple Mineral Spirits or leaving the wood bare. Some have reported success with Poly, but I really doubt that would survive intense heat.

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2978 days

#2 posted 01-25-2016 06:06 PM

You might want to consider metal or stone to keep it away from the wood. Maybe a riser of some sort
GOOGLE ignition point of wood

Reactions to temperature exposure
Reaction Temperature (Celsius)
Wood slowly chars* 120°-150°
Decayed wood ignites 150°
Ignition temp of various woods 190°-260°
7 more rows
Physical Constants For Investigators – TC Forensic

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2379 days

#3 posted 01-25-2016 06:12 PM

I used linseed oil + wax for a trivet, so far so good, but we only use it for a hot tea kettle.

Click for details

-- Rick M,

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2379 days

#4 posted 01-25-2016 06:19 PM

GOOGLE ignition point of wood
- levan

Did you remember to convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit. OP is asking about 212F, not 212C.

Also you could use ipe which is fire resistant.

-- Rick M,

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2295 days

#5 posted 01-25-2016 09:48 PM

Does it have to be pretty? Cheapest and easiest way to go is screw down some cement backer board. It’s water resistant and fireproof. Dents easy but so what?

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2513 days

#6 posted 01-25-2016 09:54 PM

If you go into some of the Tex-Mex restaurant chains that sell the steak fajitas that come out on the pewter platter on an oak trivet, so hot it chars the oak trivet they carry it on over time, but they use those trivets for years. I don’t think they are required to wash them in a dishwasher, just wipe them off with a disinfectant.

I think they only have some sort of light oil finish on them, but I don’t know what it is. And also, I hate the smell of the burning oak when someone orders those doggone fajitas.

Personally, I think birch plywood is going to be FLAME ON…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View tcot's profile


3 posts in 1101 days

#7 posted 01-25-2016 11:41 PM


Thanks for the responses. I didn’t think to look at trivets. I’ll look after this…

I think the temperatures most are thinking of is that of a pan being taken off the stove. In that case, the bottom of the pan will be significantly hotter than boiling water.

In this case, the pot will never be hotter than boiling water, but it will be at that temperature for ~2hrs.

Does it need to look nice? Yes, it does. I briefly thought about tile, but it’ll be too heavy, and I don’t want to make it that complicated.

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