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Tips & Tricks: Food Safe Finishes

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Forum topic by MsDebbieP posted 966 days ago 1771 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2661 days


966 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: gateway tips tricks food safe

(I know that this topic has been covered a zillion times already but I’d like to add the topic to the Gateways being put together…)

What do you recommend as a food safe finish for items such as cutting boards or toys?

What are the options and pros/cons of each option? (Ex. time to cure, re-applying requirements)
 

Gateway to all Tips & Tricks Topics
 

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)


15 replies so far

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Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7195 posts in 1420 days


#1 posted 966 days ago

I like plain old mineral oil. It is safe and inexpensive and easy to apply. Looks nice too. :)

Sheila

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"

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MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2661 days


#2 posted 966 days ago

There is a wealth of information here in this discussion: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/3914

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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lew

9829 posts in 2255 days


#3 posted 966 days ago

I second Sheila’s comment. It is inexpensive, easily obtainable and edible. The only down side is that by itself it doesn’t have any “shine” when it “dries”. A mixture of beeswax and oil will produce more luster. But to me, a cutting board or toy is made to be used so any “shine” would soon be worn off or eaten.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Joe Lyddon

7442 posts in 2552 days


#4 posted 966 days ago

DITTO… and, if you’re ever a little constipated, a couple of swiggs does a GREAT job of fixing you up! LOL
... and it doesn’t cost a lot…

Old wood handled knives look & feel better after a Mineral Oil treatment… along with the wooden spoons, etc., etc.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

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ksSlim

926 posts in 1390 days


#5 posted 965 days ago

Mineral Oil/Bees Wax. easily refreshed and/or buff to a glow.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

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Brandon

188 posts in 1167 days


#6 posted 965 days ago

I’m now in the process of moving from mineral to coconut oil and bees wax.

-- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7442 posts in 2552 days


#7 posted 965 days ago

Brandon,

What is there about Coconut Oil that you like to replace Mineral Oil?

One is Vegetable… and one is Mineral… One can go rancid & one cannot…

(???)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

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BobTheFish

361 posts in 1052 days


#8 posted 965 days ago

Coconut oil is extremely stable.

Also, rancidity is NOT microbial. It’s oxidation. Seems like a petty difference, but one means salmonella, the other just means a slightly off odor (and that’s probably not even going to be noticable considering how little is actually coating the board, and how little will transfer to your food. Which, consider that you may use about 2 tablespoons worth to coat a board (and maybe not even that) which will slowly be “added” to your food in microscopic amounts for as long as the finish lasts compared to the tablespoon or so you’re probably adding to your pan to cook with. Think about it: when was the last time you cut veggies on a board and they ended up soaked in oil?).

Here’s a few links:
http://whatscookingamerica.net/CuttingBoards/AllAbout.htm

http://foodsciencesecrets.com/?tag=rancidity

There’s also a lemon oil wax they sell to woodturners as foodsafe:
http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/store/Finishing___Food_Safe_Finishes___Lemon_Oil_Wax___lemon_wax?Args=

Finally, another group of people have been fretting over food oils for finishes for years: musicians. Here’s what one of their boards have discussed ( http://www.tdpri.com/forum/acoustic-heaven/130846-lemon-oil-fretboard.html#post1492888 )

Personally, I’d probably melt some beeswax with some organic lemon oils, a bit of vitamin E to counteract rancidity, and hope for a nice lemony fresh scent.

Then I’d make bulk batches, fill a few canisters like this: http://www.sks-bottle.com/340c/fin7.html

and sell it along with my cutting boards as a “organic foodsafe restorative finish” at somewhere between $6-10 depending on the size of the canister I used.

Organic, smells fresh and clean, and works at keeping the boards looking fresh and well loved? People would probably love it. (of course, I would like to point out that I’d do a few abuse tests to it to make sure I know its limits).

EDIT: and here’s a cutting board with the sort of finish I just kinda mentioned:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/new-cutting-board-3334/

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northeaster

52 posts in 993 days


#9 posted 964 days ago

Over the last one to two years, I have converted to bamboo oil, which some sources describe as food grade mineral oil. This is the specific product that I tried: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/kitchen-and-food/utility-cleaning/wood--bamboo-oil/s571202.

To me, it has a somewhat smaller tendency than beeswax to make what I think are surface emulsions with water and other organics (common term: crud?) on cutting boards. I’ve also used it to reoil some more decorative antique wooden bowls, which spiff up nicely but require reapplication every 3 to 6 months.

I’d have to admit, I’m more than a bit skeptical about the practical usefulness of “antioxidants” in such oils, but this version seems easier to apply and more effective than the three or four others I’ve arbitrarily tried over the last couple of decades.

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ksSlim

926 posts in 1390 days


#10 posted 964 days ago

Not having researched the contents of the product, I’m afraid of anything that has antioxidents as an “active” ingredient. Most “oils and waxes” contain resins, the protective nature of oils (and waxes) depend on the oxidation of the resins.
I believe that this process is many times referred to as polymerization.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View BobTheFish's profile

BobTheFish

361 posts in 1052 days


#11 posted 964 days ago

Polymerization doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with oxidation. Polymerization is the formation of large chains of molecules, and oxidation is the addition of oxygen atoms to a molecule. Linseed oil is one of the types of oils that DOES polymerize, and does so with oxygen. Epoxy polymerizes without oxygen.

Blah.. anyhow, oxi-polymerization of mineral oils: http://www.wearcheck.com/literature/techdoc/WCA002.htm

it seems to be aimed on talking about oils as lubricants, but it mentions the role of anti-oxidants, as well as polymerization of oils with oxygen.

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ksSlim

926 posts in 1390 days


#12 posted 964 days ago

Yep, I miss-spoke. I persumed that many would understand that polymerization would occur when a complex compound(oil) with the introduction of oxygen could, in the presence of the appropriate enviromental stimulus result in a polymer(semi-hard coating). Antioxiidents are added to lubricants to avoid a viscous or sedimentary condition of same.
In my shop—oxidation = rust.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Brandon 's profile

Brandon

188 posts in 1167 days


#13 posted 962 days ago

Hey Joe-
BobtheFish summed it up nicely. I could not go that in detail but from the links that were given, I’ve used them and found the same answers. Also my motivation for the move was customer based. I’ve had numerous questions on what types of oil I use and if there was an alternative. Now this may be all trial and error but I’ve been convinced and am willing to try this out. If it works great, if not I’ll try something else.

For customers that are not all that concerned about mineral oil, coconut oil, oilve oil “I’ve never personally used” or just natural. I suggest using General Finishes salad bowl finish. I use it on my own boards and just love the way protects the boards IMHO.

-- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

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SteveN

21 posts in 2742 days


#14 posted 884 days ago

Vegetable oils can turn rancid, mineral oil never dries so I use walnut oil. Walnut oil will polymerize (dry/cure), will not turn rancid and taste good too. You can use the item immediately after coating with no harm or off taste to the user.

-- Steve Nearman, FurnitureRepair.net, ProRestorers.org, Fredericksburg, VA

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StumpyNubs

5967 posts in 1301 days


#15 posted 884 days ago

I spray lacquer on all my vegetables. Keeps them shiny and I like to see my reflection in them while I eat. Is that food-safe?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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