Sanded finish spoons advice

ScottE

Full Member
Mar 22, 2017
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273
Norfolk
Hi all, after some advice if you wouldn't mind.
I have three sanded finished spoons that are complete but need some advice on oils or protective coatings.
The big one is just to go on the mantle but I'd like to show the grain off....the other two are going to be used.
Reading conflicting advice on which oils...walnut, olive, linseed......
Thanks in advance
 

Paulm

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May 27, 2008
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Hants
I use walnut oil, more recently some "spoon butter" made from one part pure beeswax to three parts walnut oil, gives a nice finish to the wood and is food safe and most importantly it dries.

Don't use olive oil as it doesn't chemically dry or harden over time and can become sticky and sometimes go rancid.

Oils that do dry and are generally considered food safe include walnut (if no nut allergy), tung, and linseed although linseed can leave quite a strong smell and taste.

Boiled linseed oil should be avoided as it contains chemical dryers that aren't thought to be food safe.
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
I think the issue of nut allergies ought to color any decision about finishes.
On line, you can search for MSDS, the legal Material Safety Data Sheets, and make your finish decision from those.

Walnut Oil is a triglyceride, just like olive oil and you can brush your teeth with it.
I have always used Greek Kalamata Olive oil because I have lots of it. That's the sole reason for my preference.
It doesn't go rancid and never gets sticky, inside the wood as there is no air like a surface application.

To seal the wood and prevent wash-out over the years, I use a 3 minute, 30 second oven baking process.
I'll admit, there's a risk of the wood cracking even with the brief heating. Not in 70 spoons and 30 forks.
Even boiling water can't move the oil, which ever one you pick.
 
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ScottE

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Mar 22, 2017
402
273
Norfolk
I got some walnut oil from the supermarket as we had just been, never heard of it or seen it until I started investigating spoon finishing.....applied and looks spot on.
RV I get the baking process, it sounds scary though after all that work !
Bit of video showing the oil going on!!!

 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Nothing to it. Not my invention, just simple gas physics.
Preheat your kitchen oven to 325, no hotter.
Put a wire mesh cake cooling rack on a sheet pan.
Put your spoons on that and slather them dripping with the veg oil of your choice.
Into the oven for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. No more or they will begin to brown like chips, OK?
With oven mitts, pull the pan out and let the whole thing cool.

The heat made the wood air expand and bubble out through the oil. You can see it.
Then as the remaining wood air cooled, it contracted and sucked the oil into the spoon wood.
An application of Charles' Law, same as a hot air balloon.

A simple soaking can't do this. That blows off in boiling soup as Charles' Law predicts it will.
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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I was carving spoons and forks, a dozen at a time.
The finishing was so fast, it was a relief.
Best guess is about 90 minutes per unit.

I have done this with beeswax over a birch wood sink dish that gets wet just about daily.
Never again. Never. The splattered wax was a nightmare to clean up. But, 100% waterproof!
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
My Dad used walnut oil in his paintings, tired of the linseed smell.
I like to razz him about using it on toast.

Has to be a hundred finishes. I wanted applied physics to do the work for me.
 
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Trotsky

Full Member
I've been using Robson Valley's method for hot oiling spoons, spatulas and other items for some time now and it's the best I've come across for a utensil that's in regular use. It just lasts and lasts meaning you're having to faff around much less often. For me it's also convenient as I always have olive oil to hand, getting walnut oil might mean a trip to the shops and food grade linseed oil here usually means buying online, there isn't any protracted drying time either. Simply allow the items to cool fully, wipe off and put them away wherever they live.