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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Default Finish for spoons

Hello,
I've been making some wooden spoons. The first one was a little Green Tea scoop I made out of some Blood wood I had laying around. Then I made a very nice large cooking spoon out of some really nice curly maple. When I showed it to my wife she just loved it, but asked what I was going to finish it with so it doesn't get stained by the food your cooking. So now I've read the whole tread on food safe finish's. But what would be a good finish for a spoon that will be used in cooking? I mean it won't be getting baked, but I will be using it to stir hot food while cooking it. Also, anyone that makes spoons, could you please tell me what the best thickness to make the actual bowl of the spoon? The one I just made is about .10" thick, and maybe .125" on the bottom. I thought this would be OK, until I was done. Now it feels so light I'm wondering if it should of been thicker. I don't want it to crack when subjected to some heat, like in stirring a sauce or stew.Thanks for any help. Love this place.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 12:37 PM
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I think the wooden ones you buy don't have any finish on them. The only finish I can think of that wouldn't wind up coming off would be an oil finish but I don't know if it would leach into something you're cooking or how long it would be effective. Of course, you can always add more. An 1/8" thick sounds thin.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 07:21 AM
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Personally, I use shellac on the handle only, and a beeswax/mineral oil blend on the bowl of the spoon. However, this is only effective for the initial presentation. It cannot be expected to last. Like the previous poster said, the ones you buy have no finish.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 12:31 PM
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I have a collection of 4 carved spoons and 6 carved forks that my late father-in-law carved. Some are 50+ years old.

Bee's Wax is easily melted and not used for anything that heat will effect (utensils and cooking)...

What my father-in-law did for these and for cedar planks that were used for cooking, was to rub them down with cooking oil and then bake them with low heat... Sharon doesn't remember how much, as they had a kitchen type woodstove. They couldn't afford extra things like mineral oil would be, so I'm assuming it was just vegetable oil.

As you know, that is also how you cure cast iron cookery and how the pores in those are sealed. Once cooled the first time, it is sealed. That is also how he seasoned his cedar planks for cooking. Once you cure cooking oil like that, it creates a hard, shellac type finish. They are not shiny nor have anything above the surface of the wood... It just looks like they have a dull darkened mat finish to them.

Some of these are made from red cedar. Others are made from burled maple, where the handle was the branch and the head of the spoon was where the branch went into the tree.

Even though from these are made from different woods, they are all the same color, a medium brown... Where you can see that the oil was darkened by heat, which darkened the grain and tinted the wood, until he got what he felt was "done." It seems he did that by "color" as, even though there was much time between these pieces, all these woods ended up with closely the same tint.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 02:36 PM
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Here a article on finishing wood utensils

Food Safe Wood Finish for Your Wooden Utensils

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semipro View Post
Here a article on finishing wood utensils

Food Safe Wood Finish for Your Wooden Utensils
I think that was a good article for utensils that do not get "hot." Good to know about walnut oil... never used, so have no experience with.

Uncured cooking oil on wooden products will go rancid... but heat cured will not. (How long did the cured finish of your grandmothers frying pan last?)

Now, I have used Mineral oil and it is my #1 choice for cutting boards, hands-down. I've also used mineral oil and bees wax on cutting boards, but use just mineral oil for most of them. But it is a finish were you wash, clean and (occasionally) reapply. On a cutting board, the wood is not sealed. will soak in and will still stain. It is also a surface that is cut into, so there is depth to the finish. It is also not a "hard" finish.

I do know that walnut cutting boards look good, but I have heard that as a cutting board material, it is known to transfer a somewhat hint of an acrid taste to what is cut on it. I'm wondering if that might be true if using walnut oil or if the oil tastes more like the meat of the nut(?)

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Last edited by MAFoElffen; 11-09-2013 at 04:07 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 04:08 PM
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I have carved during the last 15 years maby 50 spatulas or spoons and all treated with salad oil. There is one good rule about what to use as finish on wooden kitchen utilitys. The rule is, something you can eat. Would you eat schellac? Boiled linoil? Salad oil is a perfect finish. If you use it you can't prevent it from getting colour slowely.
You can allso use same technic as when you turn wood in a lathe: after the sanding rub your spoon with a round peace of hardwood eg. oak. You get a spoon with closed grain and a shining surface you can now treate with salad oil.

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My profession is to restore old loghouses that is in the classical way. Look at www.tiny-e.fi and (FB) Tiny-e. Restaurointipalvelut for exaples
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2013, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Gentlemen, for your help. I think I will make another identical spoon out of the same wood and try two finish's. I want to try the walnut oil, and I read on a spoon carvers web page that he uses edible flaxseed oil. The problem is the cure time. He say's to submerge the spoon in the oil for 3 hours. Then, take it out and wipe it down, and then let it dry for 3 months. He said it seals the wood from staining and it gets a nicer luster the more you handle it. Think I'll try both and see which one holds up better. Thanks again for all the help.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2013, 03:50 PM
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Flaxseed would be good, too.

Too many wooden spoons dry out and split, because people are too scared to use them.
Get those babies wet and use them.

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