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Food grade wood sealer/protectant

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Mark Williams, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Moderator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Any good home recipes or off-the-shelf stuff out there? I guess whatever would be used on a wood cutting board is what I'm after.
  2. they sell some stuff called "salad bowl finish" i believe.... not sure of the name but i used some on a knife before and it was really nice. you guessed it . its the stuff the finish salad bwols with. water tight and safe to eat off of
  3. Wild Rose

    Wild Rose

    Aug 23, 2002
    Tried and True finishes - 3 different finishes all excellent

    Food grade Flax Seed Oil (available at just about any health food store) - it's nothing more or less than food grade linseed oil - which is one of the best finishes since linseed oil has natural antibacterial properties (DO NOT use Boiled Linseed Oil since it is NOT food grade)
  4. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Moderator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Thanks Guys
  5. TJ Smith

    TJ Smith

    Sep 17, 1999
    That salad bowl finish works pretty well. I fill a tall narrow jar with it and then dip my handles in it as it's hard to brush it on without marks.
    Take care
  6. John Andrews

    John Andrews

    Jan 24, 2003
    Mark, back in school we made a bunch of maple cutting boards and used olive oil. It worked really well.
  7. indian george

    indian george

    Feb 15, 1999
    Hey Bubba!!!! I use Preserve. You can get it from Woodcraft. The company that makes it is Master Blend, PO Box 363, Manluis, NY 13104-0363.
    It is made especially for application that you mentioned.
  8. Mike Hull

    Mike Hull

    Nov 25, 2000
    I have seen professional wood refinishers use melted parrafin wax. They simply brush it on, then when it is set up, remove the excess with burlap rags, and buff with a softer one.
  9. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Moderator

    Nov 28, 2000
    That's the great about this place. Everyone has so many helpful ideas.However, kinda makes its hard to figure which route to take sometimes :)

    The surface I want to put it on is a pretty dry and pourous redwood burl. Does that help narrow it down? I like the idea of just parrafin wax but I wonder if it wouldnt be better to put down a layer of the Flax first for the antibacterial properties I guess I can play around with some differant ones and see what happens.
  10. Protactical


    Aug 24, 2003
    When one says "food safe" It begs the question whether you mean safe for you to put in your mouth, or would a lawyer feel it was safe for you to put it in someone else's mouth.

    Basicaly there are 6 materials that spring to mind.

    -Non-drying oils, these include stuff like Mineral oil, which is my favorite, since it doesn't have an odor, and doesn't go rancid. These usualy look bad on softwoods, and they can transfer to clothes etc...

    -Drying oils, stuff like tung oil, or Watco. The problem here is that many of these contain driers, that are toxic to give them a boost. Pure polymerizing tung oil which is tung that has been heat treated, but contains no additives is my favorite here. Watco is also supposed to be fine (check recent literature) if it has been allowed to dry long enough, like aobut a month and a half. These product finish better, but are stills marginal over softwood.

    -Wax, by itself, or over the above oils. Beeswax is the most amazing material, but it needs ot be buffed out to a 1 micro layer so to speak. Harder waxes like carnuba give a tougher finish, but are real hard to apply, unless thinned. I think Carnuba is what they put on Smarties or apples.

    -Varnishes. Both chemical and natural. Drying oils taken to the next level. They tend to sit on top of the wood and they tend to be a little thick. One has to choose foodsafe versions, but that is what something like salad bowl finish is.

    -Shellac, nature's miracle finish. unbelieveable. The best. Really hard to use.

    -Catalyzed super chemicals. Epoxy and superglue. Both can be foodsafe. Epoxy needs to be incredibly accurately mixed however. They use superglue in surgery, and it builds and seals nicely over wood.

    Overall, most popular wood finishes are foodsafe if they haven't been poluted with toxic thinners driers, etc...
  11. AwP


    Apr 13, 2004
    That was a very informative overview of finishes, thanks.

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