What's a list of food safe woods?

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Forum topic by oldgreenthumb posted 04-10-2009 06:39 AM 3740 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2754 days

04-10-2009 06:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: marblewood food food safe woods question

I’m brand new to this website and new to woodworking as well. I had just gotten a bunch of marblewood for free on craiglist and was wondering what to do with it? I know that marblewood is used for bowls but I have searched high and low to see if it was safe for a butcher block. Since this question asks if an exotic is food safe, I was wondering if there is some list of food safe woods out there. I really appreciate any help I get. Thanks

-- J-Roberts Problems in the shed are always better than problems with the wife

4 replies so far

View Rob's profile


142 posts in 3350 days

#1 posted 04-10-2009 10:30 AM

If the Marblewood is suitable for bowls, then it will be safe for chopping boards. Perhaps the question should be …What are food safe finishes?
A recent article (about 6 months ago) in FWW suggested that all common finishes now used are safe for food handling. A tried and true finish is Mineral oil (AKA Paraffin wax). Avoid using things like Olive oil as they will go rancid and you don’t want that!




View robdew's profile


84 posts in 3135 days

#2 posted 04-13-2009 12:34 AM

I am pretty sure most woods are food safe as are most finishes, but I know a couple notable exceptions.

- Spalting in wood should not come in contact with food, as it is a fungus
- Nut woods should not be used for people with severe nut alergies

Pretty sure those are both from David J. Marks.

General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish is a food safe varnish and it’s what I use for cutting boards. It was a Wood Whisperer recommendation. Shellac is definitely safe, as it’s actually used in food itself. IIRC, oil from nut-based woods should not be used either.

View oldgreenthumb's profile


3 posts in 2754 days

#3 posted 04-13-2009 02:48 AM

Thanks for the info. I’m glad to know it’s safe as I have already begun to craft it.

-- J-Roberts Problems in the shed are always better than problems with the wife

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 2742 days

#4 posted 05-01-2009 09:50 AM

Just to clarify what Rob said above. Pretty much all finishes on the market are food safe ONCE THEY ARE FULLY DRY AND CURED!

I know it is splitting hairs but one little boo boo would be a bad thing. Just make sure you follow the directions on the finishing product.

Best of luck!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

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