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bunya pine
5th October 2016, 03:02 PM
Hi was wondering what species of wood you would recommend for hand made salad and mixing spoons?

I reckon I would not be in the good books with the boss if I have her a spoon made from toxic species of wood! ;)

In addition to this what finish would you recommend ? Or should I avoid a finish all together ?


Cheers Stewart

BobL
5th October 2016, 03:31 PM
Hi was wondering what species of wood you would recommend for hand made salad and mixing spoons?

I reckon I would not be in the good books with the boss if I have her a spoon made from toxic species of wood! ;)

In addition to this what finish would you recommend ? Or should I avoid a finish all together ?

Unless you actually eat the spoon itself (like one of our dogs did without any ill effects) I doubt you can poison anyone with any sort of a wooden spoon.
The amount that is physically removed by the cooking process is minuscule and unless you leave the spoon in heated food for hours the leach rate of any toxins will be low.
For those that are concerned about this they could soak the spoon in boiling water for a couple of hours which probably won't do much for the longevity of the spoon.

In terms of woods I have used pine, Jarrah, Tuart, olive wood, various fruit woods and even Tea Tree.

Of these my favourite is Olive wood.

I usually finish them in Ubeaut wood safe Plus but I have also use Citrus oil and sometimes leave them raw.

bunya pine
5th October 2016, 03:35 PM
Thanks Bob I actually have some olive wood and Huon scraps I will use. I will look at the ubeaut finish, must admit I have never used it. Cheers Stewart

doug3030
5th October 2016, 03:44 PM
Do not use any timber from an oleander bush. People have died from just stirring a cup of tea with an oleander twig.

Google oleander toxicity and read more.

They were once grown extensively for their flowers but are very dangerous. Every part of the plant is toxic.

Cheers

Doug

fubar
5th October 2016, 05:19 PM
I now just use paulownia for all my hand carved spoons and spatulas finished with ubeaut oil

BobL
5th October 2016, 09:05 PM
Do not use any timber from an oleander bush. People have died from just stirring a cup of tea with an oleander twig.
Google oleander toxicity and read more.
They were once grown extensively for their flowers but are very dangerous. Every part of the plant is toxic.


Green bushes and shrubs are a slight different issue as they have a lot of sap.
A dried/seasoned piece of timber is somewhat different

On this website about poisonous plants (http://www.sgaonline.org.au/getting-to-know-poisonous-plants/)this is what it says about eucalypts


Eucalyptus Gum Trees : All species contain oils that are toxic if ingested. Severe cases can cause delirium, convulsions and death from respiratory paralysis. Even a few drops of oil from the leaves of E. globulus the Tasmanian Blue Gum are poisonous

OTOH I would have no concern about making a wooden spoon out of a eucalyptus.

rob streeper
5th October 2016, 09:25 PM
I've used American hornbeam for kitchen-use spoons and wooden utensils, they stand up to use in boiling foods. Beech is also commonly used.

On the subject of dangerous wood, stay away from jasmine, it has come to be a favored means of assassination in certain circles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Perepilichny).

John.G
5th October 2016, 10:44 PM
Green bushes and shrubs are a slight different issue as they have a lot of sap.
A dried/seasoned piece of timber is somewhat different

On this website about poisonous plants (http://www.sgaonline.org.au/getting-to-know-poisonous-plants/)this is what it says about eucalypts



[FONT=Helvetica][COLOR=#000000]OTOH I would have no concern about making a wooden spoon out of a eucalyptus.

Dried seasoned oleander will still kill you dead. And I wouldn't be taking chances with Cooktown Ironwood or Georgina Gidgee either. Mate of mine stood on a fence post stump that had been underwater in a dam for 30 years, got a pissant splinter in his foot, and an airlift out with Ironwood poisoning three days later once. If anything should have been leached back to harmless you'd think it would of.
Probably be wise to avoid Red Bean as well, it's another problem child.

None of the above are eucalypts though, but it would pay to be certain about species ID if in food contact.

Pac man
5th October 2016, 10:48 PM
Stewart some good info here not much on timber species
Carving Spoons - Australian Wood Review (http://www.woodreview.com.au/news/carving-spoons)

doug3030
5th October 2016, 11:03 PM
Dried seasoned oleander will still kill you dead.

I would not let it hang around long enough to get to be dry and I would not try to work it in any way. Imagine dust from that getting into your respiratory tracts and onto the mucous membranes.

Cheers

Doug

BobL
6th October 2016, 05:00 PM
Eucalyptus oil is toxic and supposedly has a toxicity of between 0.05 and 0.5 g/kg of body weight .
This means a 100kg person has to ingest between 5 and 50g of oil to be affected.
This is consistent with the known effect on children who have been poisoned with ~ 3g of the oil.

The oil is primarily in the leaves (typically <2% oil) so even if the oil content in the wood was the same as leaves a 100 kg person would need to 250g to 2.5kg of eucalyptus wood to die.
Since my largest eucalyptus spoon weighs 8 that would mean eating between 3 and 30 spoons.

For comparison, Tea Tree oil has a toxicity of around 2.5 g/kg of body weight - so by the same reckoning the 100 kg person would need to eat 150 spoons to die.

Of course the effects may show up before these levels are reached but since the oil content in the wood is much less than the leaves then even the above numbers are probably an under estimate.

According to wikipedia and elsewhere death from Oleander poisoning is somewhat overstated.
On average about 1 person every 5 years in the US dies from ingesting Oleander usually by people ingesting it deliberately (i.e. suicide), however, about 800 people a year (mainly children) do get sick each year from it.

cava
6th October 2016, 07:37 PM
My Italian BIL recommends maple carved into the desired shape, and then plunged into boiling water. I am not sure if it was green or dried.

Apparently this is the timber that was used when he was growing up in the villages of Italy.

BobL
6th October 2016, 08:11 PM
My Italian BIL recommends maple carved into the desired shape, and then plunged into boiling water. I am not sure if it was green or dried.

Apparently this is the timber that was used when he was growing up in the villages of Italy.

Italian Maple is "Acer opals" fron the Sapindaceae family and is one of 128 different Maples almost exclusively found in the northern Hemisphere.

The only Australian Maple I know of is QLD maple botanical name "Flindersia Brayleyana", which is from the Rutaceae or Citrus family, and the Queensland maple and is more closely related to orange and lemon trees than to True Maples.

doug3030
6th October 2016, 08:54 PM
Eucalyptus oil is toxic and supposedly has a toxicity of between 0.05 and 0.5 g/kg of body weight .
This means a 100kg person has to ingest between 5 and 50g of oil to be affected.
This is consistent with the known effect on children who have been poisoned with ~ 3g of the oil.

The oil is primarily in the leaves (typically <2% oil) so even if the oil content in the wood was the same as leaves a 100 kg person would need to 250g to 2.5kg of eucalyptus wood to die.
Since my largest eucalyptus spoon weighs 8 that would mean eating between 3 and 30 spoons. ...

For comparison, Tea Tree oil has a toxicity of around 2.5 g/kg of body weight - so by the same reckoning the 100 kg person would need to eat 150 spoons to die.

According to wikipedia and elsewhere death from Oleander poisoning is somewhat overstated. ...

I assume that the reason you did not quote the actual toxicity of Oleander is because it was a bit obscure to find. I could not find it quoted by g/kg for humans but I found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerium

that only 100 grams of plant material are needed to kill an adult horse. So I googled the weight of a horse and found it could be expected to be between 380 and 550 kg, so to keep the maths easy the horse is between 4 and 5 times the mass of the 100kg human you used in your example. That makes Oleander at least 10 times as toxic as eucalyptus.

This would greatly reduce the amount of toxin that would need to leach out of the spoon into the food to make a difference.

Cheers

Doug

dusteater
6th October 2016, 09:20 PM
Here`s some spoons etc made from our beautiful Lace Sheoak and the only thing that would kill you is the price :U

BobL
6th October 2016, 09:44 PM
I assume that the reason you did not quote the actual toxicity of Oleander is because it was a bit obscure to find. I could not find it quoted by g/kg for humans but I found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerium

that only 100 grams of plant material are needed to kill an adult horse. So I googled the weight of a horse and found it could be expected to be between 380 and 550 kg, so to keep the maths easy the horse is between 4 and 5 times the mass of the 100kg human you used in your example. That makes Oleander at least 10 times as toxic as eucalyptus.

Sounds about right.
100g in 500 kg is 0.2g/kg ,about the same as Eucalyptus oil.

I read somewhere that someone died by drinking a tea made with just a few leaves (estimate 5 g of leaves and 50 kg person)
that makes the toxicity of the leaves <0.1 g/kg which is consistent with the figure for the horse

doug3030
6th October 2016, 10:05 PM
:banghead:

BobL
6th October 2016, 10:29 PM
:banghead:

According to an article in the Chinese Journal of medicine , dried oleander leaves administered at 0.06 g/kg daily will kill Najid sheep in 3 - 14 days.

doug3030
6th October 2016, 10:55 PM
:banghead::banghead:

rob streeper
7th October 2016, 12:40 PM
I've done some work with oleander, specifically the toxic agent oleandrin and its precursor oleandrigenin. Oleandrin is a cardiac glycoside and it kills you by, essentially, giving you a heart attack. Not very nice. There are at least a half dozen related glycosides in oleander. They are not destroyed by boiling or drying of the plant material, extraction and quantitation of these agents was part of the work I did. Oleander extract was investigated for a while as cancer treatment (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11001386).