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Cereal bowl

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Hi all, newbie to the forums here. I am a wood and leather crafter and i do a bit of turning too. I have been asked to turn a cereal bowl for a lady and i have no idea how to finish it. Usually I'd use danish oil, food safe tung oil, wax paste etc, however, i have never had to make something to hold milk and cereal before. I found a few threads that sort of helped a bit, but are now 6yo or older. If i have missed an appropriate thread, please feel free to point me in the right direction. Any and all advice welcomed.

Cheers,

Dave. :lol:
 

paulm

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I make a few bowls and plates now and again for eating from, popular in bushcrafty circles for use around the campfire it seems :)

These ones are from spalted sycamore and quite rustic and characterful, soaked in walnut oil for an hour or so after wetting to raise the grain and lightly sanding off a couple of times.





I use them myself, everything from steak and veg to curry and rice and porridge, muesli or whatever, not all in the same meal though !

Wash up in warm soapy water as normal (don't leave to soak or put in the dishwasher) and leave out to dry thoroughly, perhaps give a wipe with walnut oil every now and again if you want to, or just leave to age naturally.

You can do without any finish, although you would probably want to usecleaner less characterful wood than these which have varying density and features, or linseed oil (not boiled linseed oil) is another common finish but I find it a bit strong smell and taste wise. Don't use olive oil as it doesn't chemically harden over time and so stays sticky and can attract dust and dirt or even go rancid if you are unlucky. Chestnut also do a food safe finish which is based on mineral oil (paraffin oil) I think if you don't mind using something like that instead.

Some ideas to think about anyway perhaps, interested to know what you settle on in the end.
 
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Hi paul, thanks for your insights. The walnut oil sounds like a great idea, i like the thought of soaking the piece in it and letting it dry. I take it that the sanding you mentioned is after the soak not the wetting? Will give this a try when i next get paid and can get some oil. Cheers!

DC.
 

Dalboy

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The only thing that I would say is check that the person does not have any nut allergies. If in you are not sure then use the food safe oil from chestnut.
 
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Hi Dalboy, tha ks for the warning. I have ome across that a lot recently. Thankfully there is no worries on that front. And if phil.p is right, i may be going with the food safe finish anyway! thanks again though. DC.
 

paulm

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David Colquhoun":2beq5zxs said:
Hi paul, thanks for your insights. The walnut oil sounds like a great idea, i like the thought of soaking the piece in it and letting it dry. I take it that the sanding you mentioned is after the soak not the wetting? Will give this a try when i next get paid and can get some oil. Cheers!

DC.
Sorry, didn't explain too well as was dashing off to do something else !

After turning and finish sanding the bowl, and before any surface treatment, run the bowl under the kitchen tap for a second to wet the surface of the wood and then let it dry again. You will find that after it dries that the surface has become a little fuzzy due to the water raising the grain of the wood. Very lightly remove those raised fibres with a light wipe with 400 grit paper or similar, and then repeat the wetting, drying and light sanding again a second time, and then you are good to finish with the treatment of your choice.

This should prevent the fibres being raised when the bowl is being used with any liquids, and is much easier to deal with pre-finishing on the raw wood than after. It's important to only "wipe off" the raised fibres, if you sand too deep you just expose new fibres that will be raised again next time it gets wet and you'll go around in circles !

Any of the supermarkets will have walnut oil, less than a couple of quid for a 250ml (I think) bottle. I bought a load and poured it into an old saucepan as I was doing quite a few items and got bored with pouring it on and wiping round by hand, but if only doing the odd item just get a bottle or two and fill the bowl and let soak in, wipe it around and then wipe around the outside a few times until you're happy, same if you use the food safe treatment.

Hope that helps :)
 

Chris152

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Chestnut Food Safe Finish:
'A clear food grade oil suitable for items which will hold or come into contact with food (salad and fruit bowls, cheese and chopping boards etc). Whilst very water resistant it is not recommended for items which will need to hold liquids.'
So not suited to being used in cereal bowls.

I don't have the answer, but I'm not sure there is a hygienic one for holding liquids like milk that won't potentially taint the flavour? People do use wood for liquids but there seem to be issues one way or another.
 

Chris152

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paulm":3v1a2b8c said:
http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/wood-craft-blog/2009/12/14/what-is-the-best-oil-for-treating-wood/
Linseed sounds good - any idea how long it takes to polymerize? I've also been recommended to try food-grade grapeseed oil (which apparently avoids the nut allergy thing) but not done that yet.
 

CHJ

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Chris152":3jc3x2kn said:
Chestnut Food Safe Finish:
'A clear food grade oil suitable for items which will hold or come into contact with food (salad and fruit bowls, cheese and chopping boards etc). Whilst very water resistant it is not recommended for items which will need to hold liquids.'
So not suited to being used in cereal bowls.

I don't have the answer, but I'm not sure there is a hygienic one for holding liquids like milk that won't potentially taint the flavour? People do use wood for liquids but there seem to be issues one way or another.
The main problem with something holding milk will be any milk residue going sour.

Food safe oil provides water resistance that is adequate for a salad bowl etc. that just gets wiped clean with a damp paper towel or gentle swill under a cold tap but it won't seal the surface to the extent that a fluid won't seep through the wood pores if left standing.
For salad bowl use you always get staining from such as beetroot, (it fades) washing or scalding to remove milk residue will remove any food safe oil that is providing any resistance.
 

lurker

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Whenever food safe finishes are mentioned I always chip in with the same comment.

Liquid Paraffin is what you want.
It used to be sold by chemists (Pharmacists) as a cure for constipation :shock: and is still used as a horse conditioner.

If you get "Liquid paraffin B.P." its pretty much guaranteed safe of impurities.
It can be had for around £5 for 500ml.

At the risk of depriving Chestnut of business; have a look at what it says their food safe oil is.

Avoid anything made from nuts (that includes tung).
Also I find things like olive oil quickly go rancid.
 

CHJ

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CHJ":2biiis4c said:
"Liquid Paraffin BP" is also known as Mineral Oil (in USA).

The Chestnut Finishes version is a light grade that is less viscous so penetrates a bit easier, various other places will sell it as a worktop/wooden utensil finish it has a medium viscosity, also available from your local Pharmacy (much thicker viscosity) and most veterinary practices and suppliers will have it in bulk for treatment and grooming of animals.
Quoted from an old thread

I tend to use the lower viscosity version on new work to get it to soak in as deep as possible reasonably quickly then advise users to renew with any of the BP versions more readily available to the general public.
 

Sheffield Tony

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As hinted above, Chestnut food safe oil == liquid paraffin. And, as it says on the tin, it's not suitable for vessels which must contain water. However applied, it all soaks in without leaving a surface film or sealing the surface.

My less than perfect solution is walnut oil, followed by beeswax melted with a hot air gun so that it penetrates the surface, wiped around with a cloth then the surplus wiped off. It does hold water, but won't resist hot water or strong alcohol for long.
 

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