PDA

View Full Version : Non-toxic Finishes--Another View



NormMessinger
02-10-2001, 10:42 AM
It was my opinion that the concern for a non toxic finish for baby furniture was not justified. To say lead based paint would probably not be a hazard to an infant in a boat cradle would be inflammatory so I demured. I was curious, however, to know what wood workers, some professional, some experienced amatures, would advise so I asked EKrueger's question of the participants of the Woodworking Forum on Compuserve. Here is what they had to say:

#: 296113 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 14:06:03
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: Bill Hartmann
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 296127

Norm

All modern finishes are non-toxic when cured.

So any of them would work.

Bill

#: 296127 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 16:44:14
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: R. Neil Haugen, OR
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 296128

Dear Norm,

You'll probably get the same things from most any of the experienced folk around here ... once cured, most any of the finishes you would choose will be non-toxic especially at any level one could POSSIBLY consume them at. The solvents are the toxic parts, and once cured are either not present or in such low quantities or in a non-toxic form that one has nought to worry about. With some experience directly in these things (made a changeing table 2-1/2 years ago (for the little tyke currently watching the ol' disney flick "Bedknobs and Broomsitcks" with his 14 yr old brother) I might suggest a standard poly as the water-based poly I used on the table has softened and come "undone" in the narrow area on a top edge that oft gets a wet diaper dragged over it. I realize that cribs don't have quite the same exposure to this substance that changeing tables do, but overnight leaks are not unheard of ... <g>

And you are quite welcome to quote me! <g>

Neil

#: 296128 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 16:45:02
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: John Wilson
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 296129

Norm,

Quote me any way you want<g>

There are many possible finishes suitable for this case, Teak oil, Tung oil (a few years back regarded as the best option in this situation) Danish oil, Shellac based finishes, shellac sanding sealer then a traditional beeswax polish built over that. Melamine lacquer is food safe so long as it's put on as a thin coat which sinks into the surface instead of building up on the surface, and is well cured (at least three days after the smell goes away). Polyurethanes are also non toxic once cured but preparation of the cradle is more important, oil or wax traces can stop the lacquer from adhering properly.

A reasonable non toxic finish is a shellac varnish (or straight shellac as in French Polishing) with a beeswax in turpentine paste wax to protect the shellac from the visisitudes of life, the only point is that the wax be Silicone free.

May the lord help us but here in the UK several big companies still sell furniture waxes containing silicone oils and waxes. I once asked one of their research chemists how they remove the silicone, the answer 'Oh we use Sugar Soap aon our test pieces' I tried it and it makes a mess onf any surface uther than on a new catalytic lacquer; you may as well strip the piece and pray you get it all.

I've also used Sunflower and other food oils, the downside of these is that unless you put it on in many light coats it tends to be a sticky mess for a week or so, also they tend to throw a yellowish colour cast to the wood. The commercial wood oils are non toxic and dry much faster.

You can home brew a good hard wearing wax from beeswax, genuine turpentine and Carnauba wax (this is a resin from south america heat the mixture in a water jacket stirring regularly, you should get about 10 to 15% carnauba, the rest being beeswax. Flake the waxes into the heated turps and try not to add too much otherwise when it cools down it's almost as hard in the tin as you want it to be on the furniture. I've used this on kitchen table where you need a wearing surface; apply with a stiff brush and leave for a couple of houirs before attempting to buff the surface with a good clean shoe brush.

Sorry, I get carried away<g>
Regards John
(UK restoration)

#: 296129 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 16:51:06
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: Larry Marker
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 0

I think the biggest issue is a finish that can be washed after the kid pees or pukes on it. I'd use poly.

Larry

Larry got right to the bottom line.

--Norm

NormMessinger
02-10-2001, 10:42 AM
It was my opinion that the concern for a non toxic finish for baby furniture was not justified. To say lead based paint would probably not be a hazard to an infant in a boat cradle would be inflammatory so I demured. I was curious, however, to know what wood workers, some professional, some experienced amatures, would advise so I asked EKrueger's question of the participants of the Woodworking Forum on Compuserve. Here is what they had to say:

#: 296113 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 14:06:03
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: Bill Hartmann
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 296127

Norm

All modern finishes are non-toxic when cured.

So any of them would work.

Bill

#: 296127 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 16:44:14
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: R. Neil Haugen, OR
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 296128

Dear Norm,

You'll probably get the same things from most any of the experienced folk around here ... once cured, most any of the finishes you would choose will be non-toxic especially at any level one could POSSIBLY consume them at. The solvents are the toxic parts, and once cured are either not present or in such low quantities or in a non-toxic form that one has nought to worry about. With some experience directly in these things (made a changeing table 2-1/2 years ago (for the little tyke currently watching the ol' disney flick "Bedknobs and Broomsitcks" with his 14 yr old brother) I might suggest a standard poly as the water-based poly I used on the table has softened and come "undone" in the narrow area on a top edge that oft gets a wet diaper dragged over it. I realize that cribs don't have quite the same exposure to this substance that changeing tables do, but overnight leaks are not unheard of ... <g>

And you are quite welcome to quote me! <g>

Neil

#: 296128 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 16:45:02
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: John Wilson
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 296129

Norm,

Quote me any way you want<g>

There are many possible finishes suitable for this case, Teak oil, Tung oil (a few years back regarded as the best option in this situation) Danish oil, Shellac based finishes, shellac sanding sealer then a traditional beeswax polish built over that. Melamine lacquer is food safe so long as it's put on as a thin coat which sinks into the surface instead of building up on the surface, and is well cured (at least three days after the smell goes away). Polyurethanes are also non toxic once cured but preparation of the cradle is more important, oil or wax traces can stop the lacquer from adhering properly.

A reasonable non toxic finish is a shellac varnish (or straight shellac as in French Polishing) with a beeswax in turpentine paste wax to protect the shellac from the visisitudes of life, the only point is that the wax be Silicone free.

May the lord help us but here in the UK several big companies still sell furniture waxes containing silicone oils and waxes. I once asked one of their research chemists how they remove the silicone, the answer 'Oh we use Sugar Soap aon our test pieces' I tried it and it makes a mess onf any surface uther than on a new catalytic lacquer; you may as well strip the piece and pray you get it all.

I've also used Sunflower and other food oils, the downside of these is that unless you put it on in many light coats it tends to be a sticky mess for a week or so, also they tend to throw a yellowish colour cast to the wood. The commercial wood oils are non toxic and dry much faster.

You can home brew a good hard wearing wax from beeswax, genuine turpentine and Carnauba wax (this is a resin from south america heat the mixture in a water jacket stirring regularly, you should get about 10 to 15% carnauba, the rest being beeswax. Flake the waxes into the heated turps and try not to add too much otherwise when it cools down it's almost as hard in the tin as you want it to be on the furniture. I've used this on kitchen table where you need a wearing surface; apply with a stiff brush and leave for a couple of houirs before attempting to buff the surface with a good clean shoe brush.

Sorry, I get carried away<g>
Regards John
(UK restoration)

#: 296129 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 16:51:06
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: Larry Marker
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 0

I think the biggest issue is a finish that can be washed after the kid pees or pukes on it. I'd use poly.

Larry

Larry got right to the bottom line.

--Norm

NormMessinger
02-10-2001, 10:42 AM
It was my opinion that the concern for a non toxic finish for baby furniture was not justified. To say lead based paint would probably not be a hazard to an infant in a boat cradle would be inflammatory so I demured. I was curious, however, to know what wood workers, some professional, some experienced amatures, would advise so I asked EKrueger's question of the participants of the Woodworking Forum on Compuserve. Here is what they had to say:

#: 296113 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 14:06:03
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: Bill Hartmann
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 296127

Norm

All modern finishes are non-toxic when cured.

So any of them would work.

Bill

#: 296127 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 16:44:14
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: R. Neil Haugen, OR
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 296128

Dear Norm,

You'll probably get the same things from most any of the experienced folk around here ... once cured, most any of the finishes you would choose will be non-toxic especially at any level one could POSSIBLY consume them at. The solvents are the toxic parts, and once cured are either not present or in such low quantities or in a non-toxic form that one has nought to worry about. With some experience directly in these things (made a changeing table 2-1/2 years ago (for the little tyke currently watching the ol' disney flick "Bedknobs and Broomsitcks" with his 14 yr old brother) I might suggest a standard poly as the water-based poly I used on the table has softened and come "undone" in the narrow area on a top edge that oft gets a wet diaper dragged over it. I realize that cribs don't have quite the same exposure to this substance that changeing tables do, but overnight leaks are not unheard of ... <g>

And you are quite welcome to quote me! <g>

Neil

#: 296128 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 16:45:02
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: John Wilson
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 296129

Norm,

Quote me any way you want<g>

There are many possible finishes suitable for this case, Teak oil, Tung oil (a few years back regarded as the best option in this situation) Danish oil, Shellac based finishes, shellac sanding sealer then a traditional beeswax polish built over that. Melamine lacquer is food safe so long as it's put on as a thin coat which sinks into the surface instead of building up on the surface, and is well cured (at least three days after the smell goes away). Polyurethanes are also non toxic once cured but preparation of the cradle is more important, oil or wax traces can stop the lacquer from adhering properly.

A reasonable non toxic finish is a shellac varnish (or straight shellac as in French Polishing) with a beeswax in turpentine paste wax to protect the shellac from the visisitudes of life, the only point is that the wax be Silicone free.

May the lord help us but here in the UK several big companies still sell furniture waxes containing silicone oils and waxes. I once asked one of their research chemists how they remove the silicone, the answer 'Oh we use Sugar Soap aon our test pieces' I tried it and it makes a mess onf any surface uther than on a new catalytic lacquer; you may as well strip the piece and pray you get it all.

I've also used Sunflower and other food oils, the downside of these is that unless you put it on in many light coats it tends to be a sticky mess for a week or so, also they tend to throw a yellowish colour cast to the wood. The commercial wood oils are non toxic and dry much faster.

You can home brew a good hard wearing wax from beeswax, genuine turpentine and Carnauba wax (this is a resin from south america heat the mixture in a water jacket stirring regularly, you should get about 10 to 15% carnauba, the rest being beeswax. Flake the waxes into the heated turps and try not to add too much otherwise when it cools down it's almost as hard in the tin as you want it to be on the furniture. I've used this on kitchen table where you need a wearing surface; apply with a stiff brush and leave for a couple of houirs before attempting to buff the surface with a good clean shoe brush.

Sorry, I get carried away<g>
Regards John
(UK restoration)

#: 296129 S9/Woodworking/Tools (CIS:HOMEFORUM)
09-Feb-01 16:51:06
Sb: Finish for Babies Cradle
Fm: Larry Marker
To: Norm Messinger 102425,36
Replies: 0 TID: 15048 Par: 296108 Chd: 0 Sib: 0

I think the biggest issue is a finish that can be washed after the kid pees or pukes on it. I'd use poly.

Larry

Larry got right to the bottom line.

--Norm

imported_Krueg
02-13-2001, 08:58 AM
Thank you Norm. That helps a bunch.
Eric

imported_Krueg
02-13-2001, 08:58 AM
Thank you Norm. That helps a bunch.
Eric

imported_Krueg
02-13-2001, 08:58 AM
Thank you Norm. That helps a bunch.
Eric