How can I avoid 'furriness' in finish of eating spoon.

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DTBoss

Dan
Senior User
Hey there,
Been carving a few spoons lately and finishing them with walnut oil. After a use or two they get a bit 'furry' and have a less that pleasing mouthfeel....at least to my 9 year old cereal eater. Anyone know how to fix this? Some wood has been willow, sometimes cherry or oak (hardwoods seem to do a bit better). Some I've sanded a lot, some just a little, some not at all. Thanks for your thoughts!

Dan
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Some wood has been willow, sometimes cherry or oak (hardwoods seem to do a bit better).
You got it. The fuzziness is typical of pretty soft woods like willow and bass no matter how much they're sanded.
 

DTBoss

Dan
Senior User
Thanks Jeff. If I can hijack my own thread and ask another carving question. I'm sure there are many variables, but how soon after you rough out a spoon blank (like with an axe or bandsaw) do you finish the job with your carving tools? I see people with stacks of blanks that look like they'd take days to get througha, but thought that the whole idea of green woodworking was to carve it as quickly as possible while it's still wet.
Thank you,
Dan
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
My spoons are kiln dried maple, sycamore, or cherry. I scrape after carving then soak in water for a few minutes. After they dry I sand with 400 grit to remove any fuzz that the water raises. Then 3 coats of organic flax seed oil.

As to carving green i think people rough rough pretty close to final shape then dry for a week or two. This is supposed to harden the fibers so they can be carved to a knife finish and not sanded.
 

Steve Martin

Steve Martin
Senior User
I agree with Jeff that this is the nature of wood, the amount of fuzziness is dependent on the particular wood. I believe that no matter how much you sand or how fine the grain, with every stroke with sandpaper, you make little ruts in the wood which MAY eventually become fuzzy, regardless of how fine the grit of the paper. Before sandpaper, our ancestors made surfaces smooth by using scrapers. Properly sharpened scrapers will take extremely thin slices, leaving a surface as smooth as possible, and, I have found, slightly harder than the sanded surface, which will tend to stay smooth longer. I usually use flax seed oil, from a natural food store so I think it is safe for food service, but I used walnut oil for several years with satisfactory results and never had a complaint of a "nut" allergy reaction. Wash and rinse promptly, dry with a clean cloth or paper towel and allow time for further drying before putting items in a drawer or container. If spoons are used regularly, monthly touching up of the finish with a clean rag, soaked with your finish of choice, will keep the finish as water resistant as possible, will discourage fuzziness. One of the advantages of flax seed and walnut oil is that they really dry or get as hard as they can, given several days drying time at initial application. Most other oils don't ever really dry, they just oxidize and get gummy, in my experience. Have fun!
 

DTBoss

Dan
Senior User
I agree with Jeff that this is the nature of wood, the amount of fuzziness is dependent on the particular wood. I believe that no matter how much you sand or how fine the grain, with every stroke with sandpaper, you make little ruts in the wood which MAY eventually become fuzzy, regardless of how fine the grit of the paper. Before sandpaper, our ancestors made surfaces smooth by using scrapers. Properly sharpened scrapers will take extremely thin slices, leaving a surface as smooth as possible, and, I have found, slightly harder than the sanded surface, which will tend to stay smooth longer. I usually use flax seed oil, from a natural food store so I think it is safe for food service, but I used walnut oil for several years with satisfactory results and never had a complaint of a "nut" allergy reaction. Wash and rinse promptly, dry with a clean cloth or paper towel and allow time for further drying before putting items in a drawer or container. If spoons are used regularly, monthly touching up of the finish with a clean rag, soaked with your finish of choice, will keep the finish as water resistant as possible, will discourage fuzziness. One of the advantages of flax seed and walnut oil is that they really dry or get as hard as they can, given several days drying time at initial application. Most other oils don't ever really dry, they just oxidize and get gummy, in my experience. Have fun!
Thanks Steve. I've heard this elsewhere too. I think I'll put more time in to sharpening my tools and taking my time with the finishing process. Thanks for sharing yours!
- Dan
 
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