O.T. Question For Rudi

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O.T. Question For Rudi

Postby Dave F. » Mon Feb 21, 2005 6:08 pm

Rudi, I have a question for you. I am in the process of restoring an old.
Apple cider press I got all of the wood frame completed (made out of oak wood) I was wondering what would be the best way to finish the wood. should I stain it & use a polyuathane, Or should I use raw lindseed oil as was suggested by a friend of mine. yes the press will be used to make cider. and the press will be stored in an out door shed/building. Thanks Dave F.
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Postby Rudi » Mon Feb 21, 2005 6:33 pm

Dave:

Well, if you are going to use it, then you have to ensure that whatever finish you use is compatible with organics and whatever residue imparted to the foodstuff is safe for human consumption.

Linseed oil is a good bet. It has been used for centuries and will stand up well to exposure also.

Depending on where you are going to store this cider press when not in use, a number of different oils come to mind.

If you are going to store the press in the house in a cool dry place, then any of the seed oils can be used such as flax, canola, corn or sunflower oil. The beauty of using these oils is that they impart relatively no aftertaste to the apples and such unlike linseed oil which does tint the taste a bit. The down side is that you have to apply 3 or 4 coats at first then regularily "feed" the wood with touch up coats. This also applies to the linseed oil, although the you will not have to redo it quite as often. Otherwise the wood will dry out and then tend to suck up moisture which can lead to rot over time. As for the feeding cycle - I would put a coat on about a day or so before you were to use the press. The oil will have time to become dry to the touch, but will not "dry out".

If you do not want to do this, then you may want to consider some of the cellulose based finishes such as shellac (see below) or lacquer. When using these finishes however, the cure time is about 1-2 weeks before it is recommended to bring the item into contact with food.

DO NOT use catalyzed lacquers as they are can impart carcinogens to food for quite a while after finishing.

Cellulose is a basic building block for all organics, so it is quite safe. What CAN be dangerous, especially in the case of shellac, is the materials that are used to "cut" them. These can include methyl alcohol, methyl hydrate, toluene, acetone, thinners, etc. These substances are NOT safe to be used around food stuffs, so make sure that whatever cellulose finish you use, it can be "cut" with water or are classed as water based finishes.

IMHO, I would stay with the oils. Time tested and proven. They just take a little more maintenance.

OH - TUNG OIL is not to be used..... it is usually a commercially mixed product that combines linseed oil and shellac which is always cut with either the methyls (wood alcohol) or acetone based thinners.
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Postby Dave F. » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:11 pm

Rudi, Thanks for the great information. When you mention canola oil & corn oil as a wood preserative. Do you mean like cooking oil ? also I thought flax oil was the same as lindseed oil? Also whats the differences between boiled lindseed oil & raw lindseed oil ? Also if I read your response right that the lindseed oil is ok to use if I decide to go that route. Thanks again Dave F.
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Postby phantom » Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:00 am

IF ANYONE ELSE WANTS TO GIVE CIDER PRESS RESTORATION A TRY I HAVE ONE OUT IN THE SHED. THE WOODEN PARTS ALL NEED REPLACEMENT BUT THE IRON PARTS ALL STILL LOOK PRETTY GOOD.
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Postby Kodiak » Wed Feb 23, 2005 7:27 am

Phantom, I might be interested in the press. Could you contact me via e-mail.

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Postby Arizona Mike » Sun Apr 17, 2005 11:51 am

Dave, although you addressed your question to Rudi, I thought I'de throw in my 2 cents too. I would recommend WATCO.

This is a Danish penetrating wood sealer and finish. Its refined oils will penetrate deeply into the wood and harden there. Subsequent coats (2-3) will build the finish out to or over the wood surface. This will yield a beautiful and durable finish that will stand up to sun, and humidity. I'm not sure if it is a toxic finish though. If you lightly sand the top coat of WATCO and apply a finsh coat of spar varnish (sprayed on) you will have a slick finish that will be non toxic and give you the best in UV protection.

I have used at over seven gallons of WATCO over the past few years to seal the exterior woodwork on our old house. Its holding up very well and looks great.
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Good luck. Watco is not cheap...Its about 25/gal. but worth it. :D
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Postby George Willer » Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:35 pm

Dave,

I'm sure Rudi just forgot to ask... what kind of oak? A closed grain oak like white, black, or burr and a few others would have been best, but if you used a more common oak like red or swamp the open grain could be a problem if not sealed. Here's a test: Take a straight grained strip and stick the end in a bucket of water. If you can blow in the other end and blow bubbles the open grain can be a problem. The closed grain oaks don't have the continuous open cells.
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Postby Rudi » Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:40 pm

George wrote:

Dave,

I'm sure Rudi just forgot to ask... what kind of oak? A closed grain oak like white, black, or burr and a few others would have been best, but if you used a more common oak like red or swamp the open grain could be a problem if not sealed. Here's a test: Take a straight grained strip and stick the end in a bucket of water. If you can blow in the other end and blow bubbles the open grain can be a problem. The closed grain oaks don't have the continuous open cells.


George:

I sure wish I could say I forgot to ask, but it never occured to me. We do not have much access to varieties such as swamp type oaks. We do have the red, but it is not usually used for items such as a press.

However, the point you bring up is very valid and would be a useful test to run on the end grain. I haven't heard anyone mention that test in many many a year. Thanks for reminding me.

Mike:

Yup, I am also aware of the Watco finishes and have used them for years. MinWax now owns Watco from what I understand. The company has changed ownership about 4 times in the last 20 years or so.

The Danish Oil (primarily it is teak oil) is a good choice for many applications, but as in all things I would check the label carefully for which applications it is suitable for. I cannot remember if it will leach or not. Same thing with the Walnut Oil and some of the other recipies.

Check out the other products from MinWax as well as from Circa 1850. They have some very good products that would serve Dave's requirements quite nicely.

Mike the Cabinets really look GREAT !!!!
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