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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everybody.

I'm new here, and as all new guys do, I have a couple of questions.

I have done plenty of woodwork before, mostly in the antique trade, so most of my questions are regarding safety with children.

Some woods have a very open grain which results in minute pits in the finished surface. Usually you would fill these with shellac of a coloured filler before sanding and finishing to give an ultra-smooth finish. What is a good non toxic/ child safe way to fill the grain?

I am planning on making a few black walnut chew toys for my 4 month old baby and would like a perfect smooth finish if possible.

Also I'm not keen on her chewing beeswax and mineral oil, so would a food based oil, such as olive oil be  acceptable? I've tested it on a walnut monkey I carved, and it looks good, but I'm not sure how it will last.

Thanks for any advice.

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Posts: 856
Reply with quote  #2 
Not sure of an answer for you but I'm thinking Olive Oil will turn rancid after a short period of time. The Walnut is what I wanted to mention about as its a wood that some people have allergic reactions too, I've recently narrowed it down to causing irration to my eyes and sinus. I'd be willing to say that Hard Rock Maple would be the recommendation for you toy. Good question though and answer is just my opinion.

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Posts: 724
Reply with quote  #3 
I was gonna say you might want to be careful as some folks have an allergic reaction to walnut.
Also I have seen where a lots of folks have said to stay away from things like olive oil etc. as they turn rancid over time.

John Lewman suggested in another post the following "I would suggest that you use Orange Oil for the finish. It is non-toxic and food safe, and it brings out the natural beauty of the wood. It is an easy wipe-on finish that is popular with Australian woodworkers and is also great for wood utensils, bowls and butcher blocks"

So you might want to check it out....

Ed - Making sawdust in the shop [wave]
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Posts: 876
Reply with quote  #4 
Lemon oil is another. I don't know why your against beeswax & mineral oil beeswax is natural and mineral oil you cover you babies with as it's a baby oil and as for the rest of the deadly stuff around we chewed on it all the time when we were kids toxic paint the lot, you would have to eat a tin of it to kill you then you would be sick first . Just my opinion right or wrong.  Do what you think is right and if you not sure don't do it. [eek][wave]

Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #5 
Hard Maple is a non toxic wood used for baby teethers by several commercial companies.  Tight grain and hardness limits risk of splinters.  I agree with not using Black Walnut as it is lethal to horses and the sawdust is lethal for plants.  Can't be good for babies :-)  Not sure about the family pets.  
  I would use food grade mineral oil or nothing for a finish.
 Good luck

Rod T

Posts: 649
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Jeffy

I use an Orange oil on my toys except for teethers or chew toys. I don't use anything at all on these, just leave them raw.

After much research and finding heaps of tips on this forum, I only make these out of Hard Rock Maple or European Beech. I have also used some Australian Spotted Gum, which is really hard and tight grained like the Maple but is also very heavy.

Some people can have allergic reactions to Walnut, so I now avoid this in anything destined for children.

Rod T

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #7 
Hey, Thanks for all of the advice.

It did cross my mind that food-type oils might go rancid, I have tried it out but its only been a few weeks.

I didn't know people had allergies to walnut as a wood, so it is definitely worth avoiding! thanks for the warning. How about cherry? I have a few stumps laying about I intend on drying over the next year.

I know kids tend to prefer bright colours over a nice grain, so a painted finish on pine might be more popular anyway.

I will try the mineral oil and beeswax, and might look into the orange oil (Never heard of this before).


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Posts: 1,626
Reply with quote  #8 
The Cedartown Standard - Jun 22, 1999

Black WalNut Toxin.png 

Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.
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