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"Food safe" glues & finishes?

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Forum topic by DonnyBahama posted 09-11-2011 07:35 AM 8037 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DonnyBahama

215 posts in 1998 days


09-11-2011 07:35 AM

The last time one of my woodworking projects came into contact with food was when I made a cutting board in high school shop class. 30+ years later, Mom is still using it, but as (if?) I recall, we used plain old yellow glue to make them. I now need to repair a wooden bowl that’s split along a joint. Do I need to use a special glue for that?

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society - http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29451


18 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2661 days


#1 posted 09-11-2011 08:07 AM

If it were me, I would use Titebond III to repair the crack…...it is waterproof, and then I would use mineral oil to make it food safe if you intend to use it for food….

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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DonnyBahama

215 posts in 1998 days


#2 posted 09-11-2011 01:40 PM

Thanks, Rick. I’m not sure I understand what you mean… in what way (and at what point) do I use mineral spirits on it? And won’t the mineral spirits take the finish off?

The application here is a wooden salad bowl which gets used constantly. The finish on it is in pretty poor shape, so I guess I shouldn’t be too concerned about the MS taking the finish off. My secondary question should probably be how to refinish it?

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society - http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29451

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pmayer

864 posts in 2532 days


#3 posted 09-11-2011 02:48 PM

Mineral oil is different than mineral spirits. Mineral oil is sometimes referred to as “baby oil” and is non-toxic. It is a non-curing oil that is frequently used on cutting boards, since the constant cutting would destroy any surface built finish.

For a salad bowl, you could use mineral oil, but given that you are not cutting on it, I would suggest using a poly finish on this. Any one of them would do, as all modern finishes are food safe when cured which takes about 30 days for most finishes. There are food safe salad bowl finishes out there as well, such as this one: http://www.amazon.com/Salad-Bowl-Finish-Quart/dp/B001DSXD7A/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1315745192&sr=1-3. I used a product like this one time and didn’t like it much, so I normally just use a regular poly, let it cure for a month, and scrub it with hot soapy water before first use.

I agree with Rick on the TB3 recommendation. Its food safe, waterproof, and a great all around glue.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View PutnamEco's profile

PutnamEco

155 posts in 2753 days


#4 posted 09-11-2011 03:11 PM

Mineral oil and mineral spirits are two different things.

I use walnut oil on my wooden knife and spoon handles. Apply as you would BLO. I believe mineral oil would be a little more durable and a less expensive option, but it is my personal preference not to use it, as I’m exposed to enough petroleum products already. I will add, that you should use FOOD GRADE mineral oil if you plan on that finish, as some of the industrial grades are not really all that good for you.

Watco makes a butcher block oil and finish as well. I’ve got a can on my shelf that I tried on a birdhouse, never followed up on how well it held up in this application though.

I’ll echo the reply on Tightbond III, FDA approved for indirect food contact. I’ve heard of people using Gorilla Glue, but I won’t vouch for that.

-- “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2661 days


#5 posted 09-11-2011 04:47 PM

Hey guys,
I’m glad the misconception was cleared up between using mineral oil and mineral spirits. When I fiirst read what I wrote, I said “surely I didn’t write that about using mineral spirits”..lol. I would also concer with PutnamEco about the use of Gorilla Glue….Just use the Titebond III and a good food safe finish, and you’ll be fine…......Later.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View rustfever's profile

rustfever

716 posts in 2777 days


#6 posted 09-11-2011 04:59 PM

Use only pharmaceutical grade mineral oil. It is safe for human consumption and is available at most any pharmacy. It is not expensive.
Be careful of using regular grade mineral oil, as it is not required to be safe for human consumption.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2661 days


#7 posted 09-11-2011 05:32 PM

rustfever,

That’s the kind I use…...it’s good for keeping the bowels open, too…..Makes them good and slick….:))

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

864 posts in 2532 days


#8 posted 09-11-2011 06:11 PM

Walnut oil is actually a bit more durable than mineral oil because walnut oil cures. Using mineral oil with beeswax blended in helps, but it still washes off pretty quickly.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3599 posts in 1954 days


#9 posted 09-11-2011 06:30 PM

PutnamEco and others…. Gorilla puts out many types of glue, not just the normal ‘Gorilla Glue’ you are use to.
I use Gorilla Wood Glue rather than TB II or TB III because it is available, cheap, local and it is food safe.
I’ve used TB II and TB III before and have no problem with them, other than the hole in the applicator needing to be cleaned out after every use and before every use.

Here is the GG website for GG Wood Glue: http://www.gorillaglue.com/glues/woodglue/index.aspx

Look at some of the other stuff they make also.

Good Luck!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2661 days


#10 posted 09-11-2011 06:35 PM

Paul,

I didn’t recommend Walnut oil because some folks are allerigic to walnut dust, the oil itself, and the nut.
We’ve had this conversation on here several times about what woods give you allergies, and the oils, too.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12642 posts in 3564 days


#11 posted 09-11-2011 11:48 PM

Any idea where to get some….

The first searches I did came up with poison oak and poison ivy….. I had to dig a little deeper.

http://www.stutler.cc/pens/wajima/urushi.html

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

864 posts in 2532 days


#12 posted 09-12-2011 09:54 PM

Hi Rick,

I didn’t actually recommend either (I had suggested poly), but was responding to PutnamEco’s comment about the durability of each.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2541 days


#13 posted 09-13-2011 01:08 AM

Mineral oil is totally food safe and cheap and easy to find. It is the same prodect some people buy at the drug store for constipation. I’ve made quite a few cutting boards and rolling pins that I have finished with mineral oil. It dulls over time, but I tell the recipients to just pick up some mineral oil and refresh it.

As an FYI – Shellac is also completely food safe. In fact it is used in some food products. Most time release drug capsules are made form a shellac based product. I don’t recommend it because it is not a durable finish, but it is another option for someone looking to be food safe.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7175 posts in 2264 days


#14 posted 09-13-2011 02:11 AM

I’ve had really good luck on a Walnut island top using Tried and True varnish oil. http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=45105&cat=1,190,42942
It’s been six years now and the patina is just beautiful. It gets a new coat once a year and buffed off the next day.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View DonnyBahama's profile

DonnyBahama

215 posts in 1998 days


#15 posted 09-13-2011 10:18 AM

Thank you, everyone for your replies and advice. I’ll either go with TB3 or Gorilla wood glue. (I am and have been a big fan of GG since its introduction but I suspect TB3 may be easier to find.)

Sorry about the confusion over mineral oil/spirits. I made that post on very little sleep and my mind was not at it’s best. That said, I appreciate the new-found knowledge regarding mineral oil.

Interestingly enough, my wife (who never ceases to surprise and impress me) has all along been (unbeknownst to me) using walnut oil to condition and protect this bowl. It’s nice to hear that it cures. Also good to be reminded of the dangers. (One of my closest friends is deathly allergic to walnuts. My wife has always been careful not to serve him salad out of this bowl.)

The only question I have left is regarding PutnamEco’s recommendation to apply the walnut oil “as you would BLO”... I’ve never used boiled linseed oil. In fact, finishing is one of my weakest areas. The sum extent of my finishing experience involves tung oil (and I haven’t used that in decades) and polyurethane finishes. Beyond brushing on a coat or two of poly (typically the kind with the stain built in), I’m pretty clueless about this area of woodworking. So if someone could expand on “applying as I would BLO”, I’d appreciate it.

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society - http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29451

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