Finish for food ???????? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Default Finish for food ????????

Okay I am getting my hands on a piece of Maple, so I am thinking about making a cutting board for Christmas present swapping thing We do.... My Question is what would be the best finish for this that is food safe and or glue if needed, I think Titebond is approved once dried by the F.D.A. ??????

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 05:29 PM
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I have been using mineral oil, which gives a nice sheen to the wood. I am told that shellac, once dry, is foodsafe. I'm thinking of trying that soon. Mineral oil has to be renewed from time to time, but I imagine shellac wouldn't last forever, either.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 07:12 PM
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Okay I am getting my hands on a piece of Maple, so I am thinking about making a cutting board for Christmas present swapping thing We do.... My Question is what would be the best finish for this that is food safe and or glue if needed, I think Titebond is approved once dried by the F.D.A. ??????
The safe, economical way to go is mineral oil. You can get it at just about any drug store for a reasonable price. An alternative is a product sold by Boos for cutting boards. It contains some orange oil so it smells good. I think that functionally, they are the same. The standard admonishment is to coat it with the oil liberally the first day a few times, and then about once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and as needed after that...

It depends on how much you use them and wash them. I've found that once a month when they are busy, isn't quite enough.


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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 07:20 PM
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I use mineral oil Warren. You are correct, Titebond is safe.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 04:43 PM
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Default Cutting Board

Titebond III is waterproof and perfect for what you are doing.

Use Butcher Block oil or Walnut Oil. You can also use Salad Bowl oil but let it cure for 24 hours after you apply it to your board.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions, it is supposed to rain all weekend so I may not be fishing and find myself in the shop getting started

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 07:22 AM
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If you use mineral oil make sure it's food grade. Other choices are tung oil, beeswax, almond oil and coconut oil.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 10:13 AM
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If you use mineral oil make sure it's food grade.
Good point! If you buy the laxative mineral oil from the drug store, you're safe.


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Other choices are tung oil, beeswax, almond oil and coconut oil.
Do almond oil or coconut oil go rancid? Most vegetable oils will.


This article from Fine Woodworking addresses the issue.


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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 10:34 AM
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Well, this food safety issue w/ finishes as a potential health hazard has been debunked for years now - basically any modern finish once cured is safe. Bob Flexner in his excellent book has nearly a full page discussion (p. 76) on the myth (to use his own word); also for those interested checkout the first page of an article he wrote HERE (click the image to zoom; the entire article is $2 to download).

Of course the major concern in the past was lead in finishes (paints and as metallic driers), but lead was outlawed in these products decades ago. Some substances, such as shellac, are even used to make certain foods & candies (the hard coatings). And also keep in mind that many of these commercial products are often just 'wiping varnishes', e.g. the 'Salad Bowl Finish' pictured below has the contents shown in the table.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Hey John, I have Tung oil and according to this info it will probably be safe also ???? Also I was wondering would it be best to coat and let dry sand then coat and repeat a few times or should one coat be enough, having never done anything that will involve food prep or food holding am I too old fashioned and worried

K.I.S.S.- Keep It Super Simple
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Don't fix it if it Ain't broken
Makin sawdust now in South Louisiana

Last edited by papawd; 09-29-2012 at 07:11 PM.
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