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Salad bowl refinishing

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I found a great old wooden salad bowl (16"/40cm) at a garage sale recently and would like to refinish it. I do love old finishes, but this one is just too far gone - time to start over. I'm hesitant to use something even like "Ready-Strip Pro and Citrus Strip," which is safer than most strippers, because of worries over potential leftover residues in the wood that might leach into the food later. I could always just skip the stripping and go at it with some heavy sandpaper, but that can be a real PITA.

Ideas?

James
post #2 of 12
James, You could try using a cabinet scraper to remove the old finish. Paint stores may carry a curved scraper that would suit your needs. The sort of scraper I'm refering to is often available in hardware stores for about 8.00 and is about the size of an index card. If you have a piece of an old handsaw blade you can easily make one from that too. You would still be required to do finish sanding after you scraped the surface. Scrapers are commercially available in curved shapes. You can easily file one to match the curves of your bowl though.

I found this article with a quick search, there are many more, but it illustrates the basic
concept. How to use a cabinet scraper The edge of the scraper will have to be sharp....at right angles to the body of the scraper. This is usually done with a mill file and long gentle strokes , but you can do the same thing with a small sharpening stone. A burr is then raised by running a harder object, such as the round shank of a drill bit down the edge tipped at angled about 10 degrees. I'd suggest trying the scraper without the burr first as it may work well enough for you and it's difficult to raise a proper burr on curved surface.
post #3 of 12
what about getting in there with some sand and a little water mixed together and rubbing it with a cloth to give it a good rubbin , or you could you use rock salt and cause the friction thing that way, then give it a good rinse out and use a little olive oil to rub in to the wood and give it a really nice finish , then its sealed and seasoned as well and all you need to do is not add mayo based salads to the bowl , and every time you use it clean it with a light damp cloth to preserve the wood
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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
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post #4 of 12
Scrapers are good, so is a drill with a sandpaper flap wheel, nothing coarser than 120 grit, then afterwards maybe by hand with 220 grit.

Once you get it clean stay away from film finishes--anything that dries hard. Best bet would be walnut oil. All-natural, easy to apply, and most importantly easy to re-apply. n
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post #5 of 12
Disagree on using food oils as wood finishes. Even the ones that don't get gummy eventually go rancid and start to smell. Best choice, IMO (and not just mine) is mineral oil. Cheap, enduring, food-grade, not harmful, easy to apply and reapply, you can get it from the drugstore, and it will help keep you "regular." What more can you ask?

There's an English company, Behlen, which makes a "natural" finish for wood, food prep surfaces that's got more gloss and seal than food oils or mineral oils and is supposed to be completely safe.

BDL
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post #6 of 12
Pay attention to BDL- USP mineral is the recommended finish for wooden cutting boards since it does not form a film or become rancid- and a well-sanded bowl should be no different. It's also cheap at any pharmacy or grocery store. If you get the old finish really well removed (and finish sand the wood), then follow a new-cutting-board schedule: once a day for a week, once a week for a month, and then about once a month as long as you own it. Wipe the oil down well immediately after applying, every time.

Being lazy, I like the flap-sander idea. :D

Mike
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post #7 of 12
Agreed. You can enhance somewhat by adding a little bee's wax to the mineral oil, heat so that it goes into solution (it will stay in solution), and spreading on a newly sanded surface.
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Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
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post #8 of 12

Hi,

I have an authentic teak Dansk ice bucket that has very mild mildew on the underside of the lid and a few marks on it htat I think can come off with refinishing, so I was researching and found this thread from a few years ago.  Don’t know if any of you will see this and read it or comment, but I was curious what “cleaner” you would recommend for the first step?  I have a dremel with sandpaper wheel I can use, or by hand for that part, but I am still worried about removing the finish too much.  Since this item has a plastic liner for where the ice goes, I don’t think they may not have used a standard “food-safe” stain or coating.  Isn’t “orange oil” sometimes used on wood as a stain or sealant?  Is that “food safe” over time?  Could that have b een what they used on this teak in production? For some reason I am thinking it is, but I don’t know why, just a hunch.

 

Thanks,

Lee

 

post #9 of 12

Orange oil is mostly used as a degreaser, not for finishing wood.  Lemon oil is another story.  It's used as a cleaner and preservative for already finished, sealed wood.   

 

Try using a solution of ordinary household bleach to get rid of the mildew.  Start with a ratio of 4 parts water to 1 of bleach, and if that doesn't work after several applications, go equal parts.  Don't let it soak for more than a couple of minutes or it will bleach the color right out of the wood (why they call it bleach, doncha know).  Rather, use successive applications, rinsing between them.  After you're positive the mold is completely gone, give it a final rinse and allow to thoroughly dry.  Then you can oil it.

 

For your oil finish, use ordinary mineral oil -- the kind you buy at a drug store.  After you've oiled your bucket, if you don't like its appearance we can discuss alternatives.    Oil it generously everyday, until it won't absorb any more.  Then oil it every couple of months or so to keep the wood saturated.  While you're at it, do your cutting boards too.

 

If you want to tweak it a bit right off the bat, get some beeswax and melt it into your mineral oil at a ratio of about 5 parts oil to one part wax (by weight).  The blend will give you a deeper color, and won't need refreshing as often as straight mineral oil.

 

BDL

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post #10 of 12

If the ice bucket has a plastic liner why would you need to worry about using a food safe finish for it?  As a former Upholsterer and Woodworker I can tell you that the most accepted finish used for Teak that may get some moisture on it, would be Tung oil, although the process of applying it can be quite involved.  If your not comfortable with using it then your best bet is to finish it the way BDL described.

post #11 of 12

Heck yeah, are you a luthier or what BDL? J/k I do like the beeswax additive when oiling woods. I have a Bubinga body on one of my guitars and the beeswax is a great addition to the mineral oil.

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"The moral of this story is not everything that's slick is non-stick, and not everything non-stick is slick."
— Alton Brown

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post #12 of 12

Boar d Laze is right  on.  It should also be noted that food grade mineral oil is edible. Where cleaning type orange and lemon oils are most likely not.

Chef EdB
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      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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