• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Hard finish for pestle and mortar

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Kerrowman

Established Member
Joined
17 Mar 2021
Messages
57
Reaction score
1
Location
Penzance
I’m turning a pestle and mortar on the lathe using some Scots pine logs I acquired and was wondering what the hardest surface finish I can produce so grinding can be done at the bottom of the bowl.

To be more precise I’m wondering if buffed cellulose sealer would be harder or softer than cured Danish oil. Pine is not that hard so I need to make up for it in the finish.

Any thoughts on the most appropriate finish would be appreciated.
 

Adam Pinson

Established Member
Joined
27 Aug 2018
Messages
475
Reaction score
382
Location
Dorset
I make quite a few P&M's but only from Olive wood which is really hard, i can't be sure but it seems to me that whatever finish you use would just grind away pretty quickly due to the soft pine below.... ! Maybe a heavy epoxy resin .... i have a feeling even that would not stand up to salt grinding.... !
 

Richard_C

Established Member
Joined
17 Oct 2019
Messages
507
Reaction score
185
Location
Cambridge
Scots pine isn't very hard, Janka scale is below 600 I think, beech as an example is more than twice that.

Epoxy might do it I suppose. I've made a couple of them from sycamore and used ordinary cooking rapeseed/canola oil on the grounds that it's easy to recoat every couple of months without leaving the kitchen. It seems to take a shine well.

Whatever you do, use something foodsafe.
 

heronviewer

Established Member
Joined
20 Mar 2008
Messages
179
Reaction score
12
Location
Berwickshire
I agree that Scots pine is not hard enough - there will be a hole after a few years !
I've made a couple out of elm 20 years ago and just finished them with olive oil - still going strong and virtually no wear.
 

Phil Pascoe

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
29 Jan 2012
Messages
21,180
Reaction score
1,549
Location
Shaft City, Mid Cornish Desert
It's usually recommended to use any vegetable oil except olive as olive is one of the few that can go rancid. Walnut is good. Any surface dressing will wear off anyway. It doesn't matter a jot what you use on the outside. Personally, I wouldn't use anything that needed a finish for a mortar and pestle.
 

Adam Pinson

Established Member
Joined
27 Aug 2018
Messages
475
Reaction score
382
Location
Dorset
It's usually recommended to use any vegetable oil except olive as olive is one of the few that can go rancid. Walnut is good. Any surface dressing will wear off anyway. It doesn't matter a jot what you use on the outside. Personally, I wouldn't use anything that needed a finish for a mortar and pestle.
They say the Olive oil goes rancid, but i've not experienced that, just a little brings out the beautiful grain.
 

Nelly111s

Established Member
Joined
1 Jul 2017
Messages
229
Reaction score
119
Location
Preston, Lancs
I also make olive wood P&Ms. I use melamine for the pestle and Tung oil for the inside of the mortar. Being an oil it’ll soak in before it cures.
 

Kerrowman

Established Member
Joined
17 Mar 2021
Messages
57
Reaction score
1
Location
Penzance
I also make olive wood P&Ms. I use melamine for the pestle and Tung oil for the inside of the mortar. Being an oil it’ll soak in before it cures.
When you say melamine is that a material or a liquid finish that hardens. Thanks
 

Orraloon

Established Member
Joined
18 Oct 2016
Messages
591
Reaction score
132
Location
Blue mountains Australia
Even the hardest woods ware a bit as a mortar and pestle. I had an inkling it would happen so left the chuck recess on the bottom so it can get a freshen up on the lathe when required. Its a eucalypt called ironbark and seriously hard. Anyhow its now just a kitchen ornament and we got a stone one to use. The pic is it new off the lathe but after more than ten years its now aged to chocolate brown. I never made any more of them.
Regards
John

P1010009.JPG
 
Top