Walnut salad bowl question

PChristy

Phillip
Corporate Member
My SIL wants me to make her a good size, 12 - 13" dia. at least 8 " deep salad bowl out of walnut. First, Is walnut food safe? Second, should I use a solid piece or glue this up? Thanks
 

Steve Martin

Steve Martin
Senior User
I have made at least a dozen BW bowls, probably more than 20 BW spoons and a variety of other BW kitchen/food contact items. I have never gotten any questions or complaints from buyers or gift recipients about bad reactions from items I made. I personally prefer solid wood objects but know several turners who are meticulous craftsmen and they have made beautiful items by gluing up BW and/or BW with other woods to create a large enough blank for their project.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
While black walnut is listed as an irritant, I don't think you would have a reaction from the finished bowl, unless you drank soup out of it every day. I would not worry about a salad bowl.

Like Steve I prefer solid wood, none of my customers have ever asked for anything else. But, it's up to you. If you want to glue blocks together then by all means go for it.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
I'm curious again. Where are you going to get a solid green wood BW blank about 12-13" d x +8" t to turn into a salad bowl?
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Green is easy, kiln dried is what's almost impossible to find.
Where would you start looking for a green walnut log having those rough dimensions? Loggers? Black walnut is not usually a side of the road piece of wood.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Last two I got were yard trees, one had wire in it so half the log was firewood I tried turning the other half and it split every time. The other was water logged from laying across a creek for many years. I got one bowl out of all that.

Green wood is not hard to find if you are looking and not terribly picky. I just can't ever get green wood to work for me.

Never had any problems with kiln dried but it is very hard to find in any size thicker than 12/4.
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
My SIL wants me to make her a good size, 12 - 13" dia. at least 8 " deep salad bowl out of walnut. First, Is walnut food safe? Second, should I use a solid piece or glue this up? Thanks

Phillip, Could you tell us a little more about the project.

Specifically, have you turned this size bowl before?

What size lathe are you using?

Do you have access to and experience with green stock or were you leaning towards laminate?



Without knowing your specifics, here is a reasonable stab at an answer. If you haven’t turned bowls in this size, I would absolutely use laminated flat material.

If you’re lathe is of a marginal size, then go with laminated flat stock. You will be able to assemble a relatively balanced built up turning blank.

Since the stock is dry, you can build a blank with the center already removed. This will save much time as well as money.

A laminated bowl can be customized by varying how you assemble the pieces. Turners like Charlie are the real experts on this.



As far as toxicity, here is a reference that was posted before. I would not feel uncomfortable with a walnut bowl.

 
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awldune

Sam
User
It should be mentioned that if you turn it green, you'll need to wait several months before doing the finish turning. A segmented bowl can be turned to a finished product all at once. It will also be much easier to source 4x4 or 8x4 stock to glue up as opposed to a blank 9+ inches thick to yield a 8'' deep bowl.

I would avoid walnut (and walnut oil) if you know someone who is allergic to tree nuts might eat from it. In theory it is OK for such people, but it is not worth the risk (or the questions from nervous moms etc) IMHO.
 
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PChristy

Phillip
Corporate Member
Phillip, Could you tell us a little more about the project.

Specifically, have you turned this size bowl before?

What size lathe are you using?

Do you have access to and experience with green stock or were you leaning towards laminate?



Without knowing your specifics, here is a reasonable stab at an answer. If you haven’t turned bowls in this size, I would absolutely use laminated flat material.

If you’re lathe is of a marginal size, then go with laminated flat stock. You will be able to assemble a relatively balanced built up turning blank.

Since the stock is dry, you can build a blank with the center already removed. This will save much time as well as money.

A laminated bowl can be customized by varying how you assemble the pieces. Turners like Charlie are the real experts on this.



As far as toxicity, here is a reference that was posted before. I would not feel uncomfortable with a walnut bowl.

Thank you for the info. I have turned bowls this size and I have attended one of Charlie's classes. I have turned green and dry wood. My lather is a HF 12*32 the 12 is pushing it in my opinion but I have done 10" bowls with no problem. If nothing else I can swing the headstock to get the 12". I was looking more towards laminated but from what I got from Charlie's class he puts a floating bottom in it so that when the wood moves the joints will not separate. I really don't want to turn a green piece
 

PChristy

Phillip
Corporate Member
It should be mentioned that if you turn it green, you'll need to wait several months before doing the finish turning. A segmented bowl can be turned to a finished product all at once. It will also be much easier to source 4x4 or 8x4 stock to glue up as opposed to a blank 9+ inches thick to yield a 8'' deep bowl.

I would avoid walnut (and walnut oil) if you know someone who is allergic to tree nuts might eat from it. In theory it is OK for such people, but it is not worth the risk (or the questions from nervous moms etc) IMHO.
I haven't thought about the allergies. I will get with her and see what she says. Thanks
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
"I haven't thought about the allergies. I will get with her and see what she says."

Not trivializing the concern but realistically how much risk is there for a walnut bowl or walnut oil on any bowl? No one is going to be eating (consuming) much of either one.
 

awldune

Sam
User
"I haven't thought about the allergies. I will get with her and see what she says."

Not trivializing the concern but realistically how much risk is there for a walnut bowl or walnut oil on any bowl? No one is going to be eating (consuming) much of either one.
Very little, but many people are not rational about allergies and especially their children's allergies.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Sam, I agree with you on that point. Some members that sell their items won't use walnut oil but use food grade linseed oil to avoid that concern from buyers.
 

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