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Would YEW do this?

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J-G

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:) I've decided to make some Salt & Pepper grinders using the CrushGrind mechanisms as presents for family.

The design is no problem and I'm going to use Maple for the 'Salt' top and African Blackwood for the 'Pepper' top but want a distinct difference for the 'body' on both.

With this in mind I looked at what was available in 3" square stock and settled upon Yew and/or Sweet Chestnut.

I'm now having second thoughts due to a vague memory that Yew might be toxic and therefore shouldn't be used where foodstuffs are involved. Is my memory wrong?
 

marcros

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It will be fine. The wooden part of the grinder is only a tube anyway. Even for a cutting board I am sure it would be fine, but on a grinder you aren't going to get any bits falling off.

I have some yew to use for some grinders myself.

If you haven't yet bought blanks, Stiles and bates have a good selection in 3".
 

Dalboy

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Personally I would not go with Yew in contact with any foodstuff if any chance it may harm someone how would you feel if it did.
 

J-G

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marcros":1l188rh5 said:
It will be fine. The wooden part of the grinder is only a tube anyway. Even for a cutting board I am sure it would be fine, but on a grinder you aren't going to get any bits falling off.

I have some yew to use for some grinders myself.

If you haven't yet bought blanks, Stiles and bates have a good selection in 3".
I have already ordered from Stiles & Bates - their price on the CrushGrind mechanism is by far the best and it was only because I was on that site that I made the decision to get the Yew.

Dalboy":1l188rh5 said:
Personally I would not go with Yew in contact with any foodstuff if any chance it may harm someone how would you feel if it did.
It was just a vague memory regarding the potential toxicity and may well be incorrect - certainly others seem to think so, but you are quite right and I will certainly seal the inside with a few coats of sanding sealer and maybe even a thin plastic membrane. Part of the 'tube' will be clear Acrylic and if I hadn't already ordered that I would add a smaller size as a liner.

phil.p":1l188rh5 said:
...I think I would line the salt one with something anyway as salt is hygroscopic.
That is something I hadn't considered, so a thin membrane could well be a benefit in that instance.

Thanks all for the input.
 

J-G

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I've discovered why I had a vague memory about Yew and toxicity -- The leaves and bark are toxic, not the timber.

The grinders are nearly complete, I just have to fit the CrushGrind mechanisms and glue the acrylic tubes in.
 

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CHJ

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J-G":1fc15j6z said:
I've discovered why I had a vague memory about Yew and toxicity -- The leaves and bark are toxic, not the timber.
.
All parts except the flesh of the berries, contain taxin in varying degrees.
The seeds and the leaves being the highest concentrate.
The taxins do not decompose after the tree has been harvested.
I've turned a lot of Yew and have to have good extraction and dust control unless I wish to feel the effects of exposure to the dust/volatiles released, once sealed and finish applied I have no reaction to it but would not expect it to meet Child Safe clearance.

I personally would not use it for a food container holding liquids or hydroscopic items.
 

J-G

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CHJ":338sxoju said:
...All parts except the flesh of the berries, contain taxin in varying degrees...
I hear what you say and have sealed both the insides with three coats of sanding sealer, additionally the Salt has a 'tube' made from thin plastic sheet glued inside it so the only potential contact with the wood itself is on the exit cone.

If - when - I make any more I doubt that I'll use Yew. I was initially a little disappointed with the colour but then realized that at 75mm square it has to come from a substantial size tree so the darker heartwood that I've seen on the smaller specimens I have was unlikely. It also needed a deal of 'filling' and some gluing with CA due to shakes and knots.

I have two more, shorter, CrushGrind units which I'll use to make a pair from Chestnut - it doesn't have the character of Yew but I'm sure it will take as good a finish - and not have the associated problems.
 
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