Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Salad bowl finish on cedar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina Foothills
    Posts
    56

    Salad bowl finish on cedar

    I have a couple of kitchen handle I turned out of some scrap cedar and was considering using some salad bowl finish I have. Do I need to use a sealer? Any thoughts wood be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    765
    Gary, I don't bother sealing kitchen utensils, but that's just me. But I just use mineral oil so that may not be the best response.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    Gary, I'm also generally in the mineral oil camp for kitchen stuff. That said, I have used Formby's Tung Oil blend finish on a cedar hollow form. This is essentially a wipe-on poly with tung oil as far as I can tell, but it had no adhesion problems. I think you should be fine with Salad Bowl finish. It'd probably be a good idea to wipe the piece down with mineral spirits before finishing, just to remove any oils that might be on the surface of the wood.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    Quote Originally Posted by gary doby View Post
    I have a couple of kitchen handle I turned out of some scrap cedar and was considering using some salad bowl finish I have. Do I need to use a sealer? Any thoughts wood be appreciated.
    Cedar contains a chemical that is common in paint remover. Therefore, cedar is usually left unfinished (the aroma bit), but if there are other pieces involved (such as the lid to the cedar chest), the most consistent advice I have heard is that you have to limit yourself to shellac - most other finishes will be softened by the chemical in the cedar.

    Your question is with the cedar on the inside instead of nearby, but I bet the same principles apply.

    White cedar, which has minimal aroma, may not be a problem - I have heard that the chemical is primarily in the aroma, but I cannot confirm.

    Mineral oil doesn't dry, so probably isn't a problem with the "paint remover" chemical.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sicamous (sic-a-moose) British Columbia Canada
    Posts
    69
    Charlie I work with a lot of Western Red Cedar because it is native to my area. Cedar has natural oils in it hence its resistant to decay. A partical type of oil in cedar can smell like turpentine but it is not turpentine per say. When it comes to finishing cedar just about anything applies INDOORS. Outdoors as with many woods a film forming finish should be avoided. Semi transparent stains and a water seal would be the best option. Cedar chest should never be finished on the inside as it is the natural oils in the cedar that discourage the insects, moths etc. Over time the cedar may lose its aroma but a light sanding with 150 (approx) will open the pores again and the familar aroma will return.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    Rob, if you have had good luck, great. I have finished some cedar without a problem, but my response was an alert based on advice I have consistently seen on various forums... for example...

    From Jeff Jewitt's finishing forum, talking about finish for a blanket chest: "Blanket chests are typically not finished on the inside, partiularly if any aromatic red cedar is used. That includes the underside of the top and the tops of the sides. The chemical responsible for the pungent smell of aromatic cedar is cedrol, a chemical related to camphor compounds. This gas will soften a finish used on the inside. If red cedar is not used, you can use any evaporative finish you like, including shellac and lacquers. Don't use any oils or oil based products, even water ones like the Fuhr 255 (on the inside).

    From the Fine Woodworking Knots forum, numerous discussions including this techie answer about finish being softened ..."I have heard of this happening with lacquer before, but I didn't know it could happen with Watco. Aromatic cedar has a few chemicals that can cause a finish to plasticize. Limonene and bornyl acetate are two that are present only in freshly cut cedar. So if you can remove the tray or leave the lid open for a week or so these will dissipate.

    "If you still have the problem it is most likely caused by 2-hydroxycamphene which is the chemical that gives cedar its smell. You can't and don't want to get rid of that without waiting years. Depending on what finish you are looking for you could use an alkyd-resin varnish, shellac or a waterborne acrylic to finish your tray. If you don't want to strip the existing finish I would try making a sample that is finished the same way as the tray was and seal that finish with shellac. Put your sample piece in the same conditions that caused the tray to plasticize and see what happens. I will bet that good old shellac will rescue another woodworker from a sticky [pun intended ;-)] situation.



    I don't want to start a war, especially since (like you) I have finished cedar without a problem. However, I have also seen numerous warnings, like the two above, that make me worry about finishing anything in a confined space with aromatic cedar. Other discussions have ruled out other finishes until I was left thinking that Shellac was the best choice... maybe the only choice
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sicamous (sic-a-moose) British Columbia Canada
    Posts
    69
    We are saying the same thing Charlie. Never finsh the inside of anything beit a cedar chest or a drawer. The fellow that said he had a problem with the Watco is ....well lets just say I don't know where he is coming from. Done it many times with success. Linseed oil with pigment is all it is. Cedar can be painted on an indoor wall without a problem. It can be varnished, stained and as you say shellaced. After some research I found this:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=5tl...1STw#PPA203,M1

    Having never sprayed laquer in my life I naturally never ran accross a cedar finishing problem

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,828
    I'm in the 'no finish' camp with utensils. Remember, the foods and washing will affect and remove most finishes. Salad bowls get their own 'finish' just with use and oils in the dressing.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

Similar Threads

  1. Salad bowl finish - multiple coats
    By Chris Hatfield in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-16-2010, 10:47 PM
  2. Ash Salad Bowl
    By Mark Cothren in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-20-2009, 02:34 AM
  3. salad oil finish?
    By Frank Fusco in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-26-2009, 07:02 PM
  4. Butcher Block - Salad Oil as finish/sealant
    By Stephen Volner in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 04-03-2008, 02:01 AM
  5. Salad bowl finish
    By Kenneth Lasota in forum Turning Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-30-2007, 02:30 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •