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Natural wood sealant???
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Natural wood sealant??? on 02/01/2009 12:03:54 MST Print View

I just finished carving a spork out of red oak. (If anyone cares, I'll post a pic after I seal it)
Any recommendations for a natural oil/sealant that would be good on an eating utensil?


Jason Shaffer
(PA_Jay) - F

Locale: on the move....
Re: Natural wood sealant??? on 02/01/2009 12:24:03 MST Print View

Cool project. I've used mineral oil, and 'butchers block oil' (similar). Both work well.

Time to cook up some Dick Proenneke style peppery ram stew...

Edited by PA_Jay on 02/01/2009 12:26:38 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Wood utensils on 02/01/2009 12:36:24 MST Print View

Great idea!

Mineral oil is the accepted "food safe" oil used on utensils and butcher blocks.

I bought a small wooden spoon in a kitchen store that is light and fun-- there's something earthy and nostalgic about wooden utensils.

Don't forget chopsticks. The *only* way to eat ramen on the trail and not bad for stirring in a small pot. Emergency dry tinder for a fire too.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Re: Natural wood sealant??? on 02/01/2009 13:13:58 MST Print View

"mineral oil, and 'butchers block oil' (similar). Both work well."

It is worth noting that mineral oil is available in any pharmacy and at a far better price. Look at butchers block oil and read the ingredient.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Natural wood sealant??? on 02/01/2009 13:25:31 MST Print View

Mineral oil? We must have a difference in meanings here. To me, 'mineral oil' means the same as motor car oil! Perhaps you mean something like vegetable oil or paraffin oil?


Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Natural wood sealant??? on 02/01/2009 13:56:22 MST Print View

Thanks for the advice everyone.
I've never heard of mineral oil for this purpose.

I have used olive oil and then baked a piece to dry it/burn off excess- the result was good, but it was for a carving/sculptural piece and I wasn't sure how well it would do for food.

Yes, chopsticks are great Dale!
I already have some that I've carved out of walnut- I'm a pretty hardcore noodle eater, definitely a must.

My wife has been laughing at me all morning- carving away, sanding my little spork....(she's used to me spending hours on this sort of nonsense, I'm an artist).
I'm really into the idea of making as much of my own gear as is possible for right now- the spork has been fun.
I want lathe a really light wooden bowl to nest inside my cookpot as well. I've been thinking quite a bit about the lack of art and personality in backpacking gear- I understand the pragmatism behind it (weight/mass production), but I'm getting tired of all the name brand, generic stuff I have; I'm looking to create a more unique/artistic kit.

Al Vonkeman
(Sparkman) - MLife

Locale: The Great White North, eh!
Shellac based finish on 02/01/2009 14:01:41 MST Print View

Hi Craig,

Another option is a shellac based finish like Behlen Salad Bowl Finish.


PS Love to see a pic of the finished spork!

Daren Neufeld
(DarenN) - F
spork on 02/01/2009 18:40:33 MST Print View

i'd love to see the finished product as i've been thinking about the same project for a while now.
another option for finishing:,190,42942


Mark Edgren
(mackgren) - F
Mineral, Olive, or Peanut Oil on 02/01/2009 20:28:41 MST Print View

Below is a link from the US department of Ag. on acceptable and edible sealants for wood utensils. They also recommend mineral oil, as well as olive and peanut oils. Cheers, Mark

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Dude, check out my spork... on 02/01/2009 21:48:32 MST Print View

Damn, we are a bunch of nerds...

Anyhow, thanks for all the info folks.
Here are a couple pictures of it sealed with mineral oil I picked up today at Rite Aid. Joy!!! $5 got me enough for at least 150 more sporks and 600 chopsticks.
It weighs .6 oz, that's .1 oz less than the Snowpeak Ti spork.

I'd really like to use bamboo, just don't have any stock that's thick enough.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE: "Natural wood sealant???" on 02/01/2009 22:11:23 MST Print View

Nice work Craig! It also has dual use if you pack a bushbuddy! ;)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Natural wood sealant? on 02/02/2009 15:08:38 MST Print View

Beautiful piece of work!

Judging from the quality of your spork, you might have a second career ahead! Had you thought of a salad bowl and server set for home? They would make beautiful gifts, and I'm sure would reconcile your wife to your hobby!

Edited by hikinggranny on 02/02/2009 15:09:54 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Natural wood sealant? on 02/02/2009 15:22:09 MST Print View

Craig, that's some nice work my friend!

My Ti folding spork weighs 0.65 oz, lacks character, and was probably made by a child worker...keep on carving!

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Natural wood sealant??? on 02/02/2009 15:25:23 MST Print View

Contact this Paint store Daly's , they specialize in all kinds of odd finishes.
I use their product for wood serving trays- they can get you the best for your needs.

Edited by bestbuilder on 02/02/2009 15:26:20 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Wood utensils on 02/02/2009 17:15:13 MST Print View

You lamented the lack of a bamboo source. Well it's closer than you think. Hustle over to Wally World or your local kitchen store an look for 'bamboo mixing spoons'. I got a two 'blank' package for $9.

This is a quick and dirty practice piece weighing 0.49 ounces and is so much nicer than eating off of Ti (and 0.52 ounces).
Bamboo Spoon

Thanks for the inspiration.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Wood utensils on 02/03/2009 12:21:56 MST Print View

Round 2 -

Bamboo Spoon 2

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Wood utensils on 02/03/2009 15:38:43 MST Print View

I've always liked the look/feel of bamboo utensils and bowls.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Wood utensils on 02/03/2009 16:11:46 MST Print View

i dont know how I missed this thread? I also like bamboo utensils, they feel so much nicer on my teeth. I bought a package of bamboo spoons at Wally world or was it ebay?, Its just that I like the long handle on my Ti spoon and my bamboo spoon weights a fraction more. Cant decide which one to take sometimes.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Wood utensils on 02/03/2009 16:19:16 MST Print View

My second attempt above comes in at 0.47 ounces and is the same length as a long handled Ti spoon.

With a little shaping and sanding you could lose some weight.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Wood utensils on 02/03/2009 16:20:58 MST Print View

Worth a second look at Wally's. Thanks