Is this a good finish for wooden utensils?
#9
  
I'm carving my first set of cooking utensils (spoon, fork, and spatula), using cherry scraps. I wonder if simply using mineral oil to protect them will be as good a choice as any (knowing of course that it will have to be redone from time to time).

I have never worked with cherry before. It seems to be a good hard, tough wood that should hold up well. I've thought about using the mineral oil/paraffin finish but don't think the paraffin would last long anyway, so simply use the mineral oil. And my experience is that very few people would take the time to re-finish them with a salad bowl type varnish.

These will be a gift. What is your experience with what would hold up, and what would more likely be renewed by the user?


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#10
  Re: Is this a good finish for wooden utensils? by wood2woodknot (I'm carving my first...)
Everything I've seen about utensils says they shouldn't be finished at all. It will be interesting to see the replies.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#11
  Re: RE: Is this a good finish for wooden utensils? by fredhargis (Everything I've seen...)
(01-30-2019, 07:35 AM)fredhargis Wrote: Everything I've seen about utensils says they shouldn't be finished at all. It will be interesting to see the replies.

+1

Are these to be used or simply decorative?  If they are to be used for stirring stuff, like hot liquids, sauces, etc, then I don't think any finish would hold up long.
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#12
  Re: RE: Is this a good finish for wooden utensils? by Bill Wilson ([quote='fredhargis' ...)
(01-30-2019, 08:56 AM)Bill Wilson Wrote: If they are to be used for stirring stuff, like hot liquids, sauces, etc, then I don't think any finish would hold up long.

I agree that the utensils will get fuzzy and dull over time, but I still oil mine.  I have tried several different mixtures and always seem to end up back with just walnut oil and a tiny bit of citrus solvent mixed in to help it dry.  When a bunch of them get fuzzy and dull, I use one of those gray scotch brite pads to get rid of the fuzziness and re-oil.

I thought some spoon makers even soak them in oil.  I don't go that far, but do make sure the oil gets absorbed all the way though.

Just my $.02

Steve
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#13
  Re: RE: Is this a good finish for wooden utensils? by Steve Friedman ([quote='Bill Wilson'...)
(01-30-2019, 06:41 PM)Steve Friedman Wrote: I agree that the utensils will get fuzzy and dull over time, but I still oil mine.  I have tried several different mixtures and always seem to end up back with just walnut oil and a tiny bit of citrus solvent mixed in to help it dry.  When a bunch of them get fuzzy and dull, I use one of those gray scotch brite pads to get rid of the fuzziness and re-oil.

I thought some spoon makers even soak them in oil.  I don't go that far, but do make sure the oil gets absorbed all the way though.

Just my $.02

Steve

I sampled a couple pieces of cut off. After three or four applications of mineral oil (some of it overnight), I buffed and then cut the pieces through to see how much absorption there was. It appeared not to be absorbed much below the surface. Is cherry that dense that it does not absorb much, or does it need to soak in a lot more (like maybe soaking them at length)? I am not familiar with the characteristics of cherry, not having used it before - only knowing from this first effort that it seemed to be a tight, close grained and hard wood - much more so than walnut or poplar that I worked with before.

Any comments from someone who works with cherry regularly?


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#14
  Re: Is this a good finish for wooden utensils? by wood2woodknot (I'm carving my first...)
I recently started venturing into making utensils with some apple, cherry, sycamore, maple, and walnut scrap.

At first, I started using some Behlen's salad bowl finish.  Not only does it take a while to cure, it does break down on utensils under the stress of the heat of cooking.  

I recently made a utensil finish that is nothing more than 8 oz. of mineral oil with 2 oz of beeswax melted into it. Wipe it on, let it sit a minute, wipe off the excess, buff it out wit a dry rag.  That's all there is to it.  I like the feel of the wax on the wood.

Refreshing the finish periodically will be required.
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#15
  Re: RE: Is this a good finish for wooden utensils? by wood2woodknot ([quote='Steve Friedm...)
(01-30-2019, 09:18 PM)wood2woodknot Wrote: I sampled a couple pieces of cut off. After three or four applications of mineral oil (some of it overnight), I buffed and then cut the pieces through to see how much absorption there was. It appeared not to be absorbed much below the surface. Is cherry that dense that it does not absorb much, or does it need to soak in a lot more (like maybe soaking them at  length)? I am not familiar with the characteristics of cherry, not having used it before - only knowing from this first effort that it seemed to be a tight, close grained and hard wood - much more so than walnut or poplar that I worked with before.

Any comments from someone who works with cherry regularly?
Cherry is my favorite spoon wood.

I usually start by pouring some of the oil into the bowl and let it sit there until it's absorbed and the outside of the spoon looks wet.  Then I slather the oil all over the spoon and let it sit for an hour before wiping it off.  I usually repeat the process a couple of times, using a grey scotch brite pad in between, in an attempt to burnish the spoon between oiling.  I have no idea if the burnishing does any good, but it's just my attempt to keep them from getting fuzzy as long as possible.  I don't mind refreshing the finish when needed, but I give most of my spoons away as gifts and don't expect anyone else.

I have used oil/wax mixtures in the past and they seemed to work fine.  In fact, I like the way the wax makes the spoon feel.  It may be irrational, but I always assumed the wax was gone after the first time the spoon is out into something hot and wet and convinced myself that the oil would reduce the frequency of the refreshing needed.

Steve
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#16
  Re: Is this a good finish for wooden utensils? by wood2woodknot (I'm carving my first...)
Think will find this article worth a look. https://www.finewoodworking.com/2006/08/...e-finishes

I use mineral oil on salad mixing & serving bowls and give a bottle to folks that buy them. Don't know how often folks use that bottle but couple ladies have asked for another one free. I don't turn many bowls for food contact but mineral oil my first choice for finishing. Turned some rolling pins for a man and left them unfinished per his request.
Bill
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