I’ve made up a few wood spoons out of cherry but im not 100% sure on how to go about finishing them. I’ve sanded them down to 320 and was going to use mineral oil to keep things simple, is it best to wipe it on or fully submerge it in the oil? or is there a better option out there? I’m still very new to woodworking and this is my first project that’s going to get wet.
The same finish you use on the cutting boards in your kitchen is best.
There are a lot of food safe finishes. Mineral oil is the most universal and readily available at any drug store and/or grocery store. The wood will only soak up so much oil at once. You can immerse them but simply liberally wiping it on and then repeating until it wont soak up any more.
If the spoons are going to be gifts be sure to tell the end user to NOT put them in the dishwasher. The hot water and heat at the end will dry out your spoons and maybe crack them. Hand wash them only. The same for cutting boards. Putting a cutting board in the dishwasher is the kiss of death for them. Both the spoons and cutting board can be washed with soapy water and dried immediately. Reapply your finish anytime they look dry. Just apply a liberal coat and let it sit on the counter on a paper towel and the next day or two wipe off the excess if there is any. But them back in the drawer.
The spoons will be a gift so thanks for the warning about the dishwasher, ill definitely pass that info along. One more quick questions for you : would you recommend raising the grain prior to appling the mineral oil? Ive never done that before but my understanding is it basically just means to get the spoons wet and sand one final time?
Yes, you’ll definitely want/need to raise the grain exactly as you’ve described.
I would agree with @MikeG about raising the grain. Wet sand and let dry and give it one more sanding at your last grit. You want the spoons to be smooth.
I make a food-safe board balm out of beeswax and mineral oil. Applied after soaking in oil and letting it dry, it provides a long-lasting finish. YouTube has a gazillion vids with the recipe, if you’re interested. I include a tin of it with all gifts.
I found this woodwhisper video to be pretty helpful:
Also this one:
Both are pretty clickbaity, but still worth a watch in my opinion.
All things considered though, I’ve been pretty happy with walrus oil for basically anything. Finishing woodworking stuff has all kinds of camps and whatnot, and there are people that spend a lot of time on it. I find that I’m usually ready to just be done with the project, and it’s not an area I spend a lot of time on.
Thanks to everyone who chimed in to help me with this. I ended up juat using mineral oil because its what i had on hand and i think they turned out really nice. This was my first attempt at spoons so im pretty impressed with the result.
What bit did you use?
Spoons look great! I like to use straight up fractionated coconut oil instead of mineral oil as it is all natural. Then finish with a coconut / beeswax balm.
I used a 1/2’ diameter box core bit using the technique explained to me from this post. https://community.carbide3d.com/t/hoping-for-a-little-spoon-assistance/62304/4
I shaped the back with my orbital sander. It worked well enough but I will invest in a belt sander if I decide to make anymore.
Thanks! I was actually thinking of experimenting with coconut oil as i use it for cooking all the time so it’s something i always have in the house. I recall reading you have to be careful with any oils derived from food/nuts as there’s a potential for it to turn rancid. Have you ever run into that?
Actually, if you just use a wooden spoon it will absorb enough oil from food that’s cooking to keep it “seasoned” forever. (Otherwise, just paint it and hang it on the wall! )
Fractionated coconut oil has an indefinite shelf life. Typically, they say you can store it for up to 2 years but it is one that doesn’t go rancid.
I looked online for fractionated coconut oil and most of the products are geared towards skin care. Is that what you are getting? I was concerned that there may be other additives in those.
I have bought fractionated coconut from Amazon before but now I just purchase 100% pure organic fractionated coconut massage oil. Haha. It is just 100% pure oil and no chemicals or fragrances. It is much cheaper as a “massage oil” than as a cooking oil even though they are completely the same. I also make a mixture of coconut oil, essential oils (lemongrass) and bees wax to coat my boards after I soak them in the coconut oil.
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