Non-toxic oil for hardwoods?

What's a good non-toxic oil that can be used to treat bare hardwoods like hickory, bloodwood, cocobolo, etc.? Thanks in advance.
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Once applied, none of the finishes are toxic. Danish oil, tung oil, etc. will all work
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ITYM once cured, rather than once applied.
Some tropical exotics are reputed to contain antioxidants that interfere with oil finishes so the same advice applies as to all first experiences with finishes. Try it on a piece of scrap.
--

FF

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Probably the least toxic oil is BLO, boiled linseed oil, available anywhere. It literaly smells like grass. But then again flax (linen) is a grass I believe... It works nicely as a "lightly darkening" oil, perfect for wood.
Alex
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The boiled linseed oil I've got has lots of metallic driers in it. Reading the MSDS is downright scary. I don't know that I would consider it non-toxic!
You might want to consider "Salad Bowl Oil." It's FDA approved for food contact, and it's a pretty nice looking finish.
You might also want to check out the "Tung Oil for Cutting Board" thread that was started yesterday.
BTW - Are you looking for a finish that is non-toxic once it's dry or a finish for kids to use that is non-toxic when it's being applied? I think we have all been assuming the former. If it's the latter you are interested in then that's another story. I think mineral oil would be safe on that count but you should certainly double-check.
- Bruce

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The answer to that question is the key. Many products are downright dangerous in the raw state, but, completely benign in the finished state. MSDS sheets for even the most simple of products will scare you. Just about everything in existence will give someone an allergic reaction.
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Boiled linseed is one of the more toxic oils you could choose. Depending on the process used to "boil" it, it may have lead or cobalt salts in it.
Anyone who asks again what to put on a cutting board without Googling first is going to get told to use chilli oil !
And if that doesn't work, croton oil.
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Lead? That's some kind of incredible shelf life if he's in the US.
wrote:

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The information on this web page: http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=brands&id 009014 is apparently based on an MSDS from 1997 for RAW Linseed Oil made by the Parks Corporation (A division of Zinsser Co.). It says that " Use of this product will expose you to arsenic, Beryllium, chromium, cadmium and nickel which are known to cause cancer and to lead which is known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm."
I'm not sure what the story is with boiled linseed oil. Maybe these substances are added to the raw stuff to get it to dry and are not needed in the boiled version, but I would certainly want to be sure about that before I treated any linseed oil as non-toxic.
wrote:

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http://www.madamedical.com/pdf/MSDS_Oxygen.pdf
Also 1997.
2003 http://www.praxair.com/praxair.nsf/0/e88be35d13ef81f685256a860081e837 /$FILE/p4638e.pdf
It's a dangerous world out there.
However, as I mentioned earlier, you don't have the digestive ability to get metal out of the cured film. It would take longer exposure to acid than you're capable of giving.

http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=brands&id 009014
nickel
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Then why is the FDA so picky about which finishes they will approve for food contact, and why should I be less picky than the FDA?
- Bruce

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wrote:

I don't know how the US rules work, but in the UK the rule that banned lead driers in linseed oil (about 0.25%) was the one written to ban the use of lead paints (20-30%).
I still wouldn't use linseed oil for food use, let alone a lead-dried linseed oil.
As you can't buy lead-dried linseed, and making it's a frightful chore and hard to get right, then I wouldn't recommend it for anything.
--
Smert' spamionam

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Sorry, I should have explained, the FDA is the US Government body the regulates foods and drugs. As far as I know the only finishes they have approved for use on surfaces that contact food are "Salad Bowl Oil" and mineral oil. As far as I know they have not approved linseed oil, whether or not it contains metallic driers, for surfaces that contact food...
-Bruce

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The FDA is picky because of liability lawyers like one vice-presidential candidate, and people such as yourself who want a life without danger - or else!
GRAS is what you need to look at. NO finish is "approved" by the FDA. I think they even dropped the bogus approval claim on Behlen's because it would require the same expensive tests demanded of pharmaceuticals, and their tung varnish wasn't significantly different than anyone else's, thus qualifying them at Behlen's expense. Haven't seen it in the catalogs lately, anyway. ALL curing oil finishes are GRAS for containers.
If you think about it, mineral oil is one of the WORST things you can use, since it either shelters potentially harmful bacteria from detergent death in a lipid-friendly environment, or it isn't there at all. Hardly a barrier.
<< TITLE 21--FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED)
PART 175--INDIRECT FOOD ADDITIVES: ADHESIVES AND COMPONENTS OF COATINGS--Table of Contents
Subpart C--Substances for Use as Components of Coatings
Sec. 175.300 Resinous and polymeric coatings.
Resinous and polymeric coatings may be safely used as the food- contact surface of articles intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding food, in accordance with the following prescribed conditions: (a) The coating is applied as a continuous film or enamel over a metal substrate, or the coating is intended for repeated food-contact use and is applied to any suitable substrate as a continuous film or enamel that serves as a functional barrier between the food and the substrate. >>
Ad nauseam.

http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=brands&id 009014
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I have been very happy with some of my results involving walnut oil. I buy it in the supermarket, and it gives a very light silky tone to the wood.
Only problem is it demands good temperatures to harden, and the drying takes some days, 3 to 6 depending on the temperature and the type of wood.
But oh, for that silky sheen!
Bjarte
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check out the Millies tung oil located at www.sutherlandwelles.com
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For the oily exotics like cocobolo, try sanding to a really fine grit like 4000 or higher and then just wax it.
For less hard wood, walnut oil fit for cooking is a safe choice. Boiled linseed oil contains metallic driers that are toxic. Other finishes may contain metallic driers so it is a risk to assume that commercially available finishes are all safe when dry. You would have to know all the ingredients in the formulation. I believe Sutherland Wells makes a nontoxic "varnish".
The reason that very few wood finishes are "officially" safe is the cost of properly proving and documenting it. The FDA demands quite a bit of information and documentation. This has been policy and practice throughout both major political parties occupation of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
Good Luck.

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