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finish to withstand 450° contact?

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Forum topic by mzimmers posted 01-03-2017 07:41 PM 432 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mzimmers

187 posts in 3486 days


01-03-2017 07:41 PM

Hi, all -

I’m building a pie safe, where baked goods are to be put to cool. I’m making the cabinet and shelves out of ash.

I’m wondering whether there’s a kind of finish out there that would make it safe to put glass or tin pans straight from the oven into the cabinet. I’m guessing not, so I’m thinking of putting in some 1/8” steel rods to stand-off the pans from the wood.

Any input is most appreciated.

-- M. Zimmers


18 replies so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

888 posts in 219 days


#1 posted 01-03-2017 07:50 PM

I would finish the interior with plain old linseed oil … linseed oil and shellac on the exterior.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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mzimmers

187 posts in 3486 days


#2 posted 01-03-2017 07:57 PM

Really? Linseed oil is that tough?

-- M. Zimmers

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jbay

1087 posts in 470 days


#3 posted 01-03-2017 08:10 PM

I like the idea of some runners out of 1/8” aluminum. Just cut a saw kerf and lay them in.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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mzimmers

187 posts in 3486 days


#4 posted 01-03-2017 08:12 PM

I was thinking iron rather than aluminum, as it makes for a better heat sink, but I imagine either would work. I’m just wondering whether I’m over-thinking and/or over-engineering this.

-- M. Zimmers

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jbay

1087 posts in 470 days


#5 posted 01-03-2017 08:15 PM

I wouldn’t want to place them directly onto the shelf.
Another thought may be tempered glass on top of the shelf.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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Ron Aylor

888 posts in 219 days


#6 posted 01-03-2017 08:15 PM



Really? Linseed oil is that tough?

- mzimmers

Sure … might have to touch it up every few years. Take a look at an antique pie safe … there might be a bit of discoloration, but that adds character!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Redoak49

2261 posts in 1560 days


#7 posted 01-03-2017 09:37 PM

I do not think a pie safe was meant to store hot food but just to keep insects and animals from food.

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papadan

1918 posts in 2939 days


#8 posted 01-03-2017 10:53 PM



I like the idea of some runners out of 1/8” aluminum. Just cut a saw kerf and lay them in.

- jbay


+1

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

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mzimmers

187 posts in 3486 days


#9 posted 01-03-2017 10:55 PM

I decided to go belts and suspenders with this one: I put in two aluminum runners, and I’ll finish with linseed oil.

Thanks, all.

-- M. Zimmers

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johnstoneb

2333 posts in 1744 days


#10 posted 01-03-2017 10:55 PM

You need an air gap all the way around any pastries when cooling. Your idea would work well steel or aluminum.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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bbasiaga

864 posts in 1566 days


#11 posted 01-03-2017 11:23 PM

As a baker, i would say make sure to build a big vent in your pie safe. You generally try and cool hot things on an open rack right out in the, well – open. Otherwise the water vapor will condense and rain back down on what you baked, ruining its texture. Also the moisture trapped in the safe will want to mold.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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JBrow

1022 posts in 491 days


#12 posted 01-03-2017 11:28 PM

Mzimmers,

I tend to agree with Redoak49, a pie safe keeps the pies safe and is not a very good cooling rack. About 10 minutes on a cooling rack drops the temperature of the pie and pie pan quite a bit. After the pie has cooled a bit it could go into the pie safe. But even then, I would prefer to let the pie cool for a couple of hours so that the filling can set up. A pie safe would reduce the rate at which the pie would cool and leave the filling runny over a longer period of time.

However, I think a pie safe that offers an integrated cooling rack would be an interesting design. The cooling rack could be open to the air so finishing would be less of an issue. Once cooled, the pie could be transferred to the enclosed pie safe.

But if the pies are to go directly from the oven to the pie safe, metal stand-offs proposed by jbay would be a may or may not be a good approach. While the metal stand-offs would keep the hot pie plate from direct contact with the wooden shelf, the heat from the hot pie could dry out the upper surface of the shelf. If this happens, the shelf could cup. Even if the cup is very slight, it could be enough to prevent the pie plate from setting on the shelf without rocking. Therefore either the tempered glass shelves suggested by jbay or metal racks like cooling racks and oven racks would avoid the potential problem of cupping shelves.

No matter when the pies are placed in the pie safe, steering clear of interior finishes other than maybe walnut oil or mineral oil may be the better options. No interior finish at all may also be worthy of consideration. Penetrating and film finishes I have used off-gas for quite some time. I suspect that a fresh baked cherry pie with a hint of an off-gassed solvent would detract from culinary delight otherwise expected from that first bite.

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cabmaker

1531 posts in 2380 days


#13 posted 01-04-2017 12:18 AM

Keep in mind…..the kindling point for most wood species is approx 400 degrees F

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ArtMann

241 posts in 387 days


#14 posted 01-04-2017 02:52 AM

I use a CNC router to carve trivets for sale. I did extensive testing of finishes to answer that very question. I make stuff to use rather than just look at. What I found is that Minwax semigloss Polyurethane varnish does not melt, discolor or otherwise degrade when you repeatedly put a casserole dish preheated to 450 on it. Of course, the trivets are not solid but have grooves and patterns cut in them for cooling purposes. Here is an example:

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mzimmers

187 posts in 3486 days


#15 posted 01-04-2017 04:25 PM

Wow…so much to know, and so much to think about. Thanks again, everyone. Based on what JBrow and others mentioned about gassing off, I think I might forego the interior finish, at least for now.

And, I suppose I’ll use the cabinet for storage, not for cooling. I’ve already installed the stand-offs, but they won’t hurt anything. For the stand-offs, I got some 1/8” x 1/2” aluminum flats from Lowes, and cut a 1/8” groove 1/4” deep. They were a bit loose, so I put a few spots of super glue in to hold them. If I’d been really worried about heat transfer, I’d have made them from steel and probably a little taller.

Oh, and Art…that trivet is disgustingly beautiful. Every time I see someone post something like that, it reminds me what a rookie I still am at all of this…

-- M. Zimmers

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