Food Safe Finishes For Turned Bowls

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Blog entry by Chefdavid posted 11-09-2011 12:18 AM 8167 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Greetings, I have been turning for less than a year and I have finally started to master the art of bowl turning. After a few bowls flying off the lathe…. A few blowing up… I have had a few now that have come off the lathe in one piece. My question the the Lumber Jock Nation is what is a good food safe finish for those wooden bowls that have survived? All comments and suggestions are welcomed!! Thanks!

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3 comments so far

View MOJOE's profile


571 posts in 4352 days

#1 posted 11-09-2011 05:04 AM

I’ve read that ALL finishes are food safe once fully cured…..though I think I’d stick with butcher block oil or something similar. I’ve also read good things about General Finishes – Wood Turner’s Finish (WTF).

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View cundy's profile


17 posts in 3313 days

#2 posted 05-08-2012 09:01 AM

Hi Mojoe,
After a lot of research into timber products being food safe, I would like to give you some advice on finishing timber products.
Most people will use a lot of different types of oil (olive/vegetable etc ). but the only one that will retain a “food safe” surface is tung oil (at least two coats)
All timber products are porous and will absorb bacteria when any where near liquids E.G. water, if coated with tung oil it will “reduce” the chance of harboring bacteria.
Any glues used in timber products also need to be ” FOOD SAFE” and at the moment I am using a product called “Titebond111” which states that it is “Food Safe”
You need to resand and coat on a regular basis, at least once a year for timber cheese boards and any boards used in a “chef’s kitchen” on a more regular basis.
Here in aussieland after working in the food industry for over 30 odd years all timber boards are frowned upon in large kitchens because they harbor bacteria according to (Enviromental Heath Auditors)

Hope this info will help
Regards cundy56

View robbiethewood's profile


124 posts in 3327 days

#3 posted 05-08-2012 09:41 AM

A light food-grade mineral oil is a good preservative for wooden cutting boards, as it helps keep water from seeping into the grain. Alternatively, one may also use a food-grade drying oil such as poppyseed oil, tung oil or linseed oil. The first two dry much faster than linseed. Note that most commercially available linseed and tung oils are not “food grade”, as they contain metallic driers. In general, edible savory vegetable or olive oils are not recommended because they tend to go rancid, causing the board to smell and your food to pick up the rancid taste
. Wood also has natural anti-septic properties hope this helps


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