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Is birch wood strong and nontoxic?

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Ives

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Been trying to google but can't find out for sure. I know maple and beech are, but what about birch? One website said it has a hardness of 4 out of 5, and so does maple, so I guess it's as strong as maple? It's not so easy finding out about toxicity though, as in, for a baby toy that will be sucked on. Anyone know?
 

Jacob

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Birch has been used for toys and domestic appliances for thousands of years. Extremely unlikely to be to toxic or it would be well known by now.
If in doubt try a bit on the baby and see if you get any reaction.
 

marcros

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I use the same approach for the wifes cooking on the dog (RIP)
 

Jacob

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Sorry to hear that the dog died. Was it meant for you?
 

marcros

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I believe so- something to do with having been told to remove the growing collection of rusty tools from the house.

(Dog not really dead before somebody reports the thread to the RSPCA!) How is the injury Jacob?
 

Cheshirechappie

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Just had a shufty in Bill Lincoln's 'World Woods in Colour', and he gives one of the uses of european Birch as ice-cream spoons, so it can't be all that toxic.

Another wood that has a long history of use for domestic and culinary uses - butcher's blocks, dairy shelves for maturing cheeses on, chopping boards - is Sycamore. Creamy white, nice to work. My kitchen chopping board is sycamore, has been in use for over twenty years, and hasn't killed me yet. So that's another that's definitely on the non-toxic 'OK' list.

(Glad to see you're posting again Jacob. Hope you're on the mend.)
 

Jacob

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marcros":35p0n5i5 said:
.....How is the injury Jacob?
OK ta. It's stopped hurting! Got a new brace which flexes to 30º which makes cornering easier, but genuflection is a no-no.
8 weeks to go without putting weight on it. Getting quite speedy on crutches. Got a wheel chair from the Red Cross so might be able to get into the workshop soon. See if I can cut a few fingers off!
 

twothumbs

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There was thread about Birch a while ago. Scandinavians use it very successfully for almost everything.
 

woodaxed

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i used some green birch to make some drinking cups for the viking group i belonged to and we had no problems with it
and only soaked them in sunflower oil to protect them
 

JanneKi

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In Finland it's used widely, for centuries, for kitchenware and at least one Health Library lists a number of plants/trees and it states clearly there that (http://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/terveyski ... i=lmy00016) it's not toxic. The leaves are also edible and you can make tea of them. I think the part that's not so good for eating is the bark (but then again, why would you eat it?).
 
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