Berkshire Bowls Featured On Australian Blog

Berkshire Bowls has been featured by blogger Kylie Jackes! She has done a great writeup of the store, complete with several product photos. You can check it out here.

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Published in: on March 6, 2013 at 8:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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Berkshire Bowls Featured on NerdyWithChildren.com

Berkshire Bowls is proud to announce that we have been featured in an article on NerdywithChildren.com

Nerdy With Children Article on Berkshire Bowls

If you get a chance, please stop by and take a look!

Published in: on February 12, 2013 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Food Safe Wood Finish (Part 2 of 2)

The second ‘school’ of thought is that no finish is really food safe.  This seems kind of extreme.  I do realize, however, that often in life some study comes out 20 years after you used a product that supposedly proves that in 15% of lab rats it causes cancer.  I suppose that to a complete purest, having any finish on a natural wood piece could be toxic.  The only problem is that it isn’t going to last long without any protection.  Since manufacturer’s specifically produce and market finishes as food safe and there are several that you can use (like bees wax and oils such as Tung, Walnut and even olive) that are natural, it seems unrealistic that there is nothing you can use that is food safe.

I feel that there is a happy medium in there somewhere.  If you finish something with a ‘non-food safe’ polyurethane, I would limit the direct contact to food.  Some M & M’s or chips for a dinner party might be ok for one night, but, I probably would avoid serving salad every night or other partially wet foods.  If you finish your piece in a food safe finish, that can probably be used on a more consistent basis with food.  In all cases, you do want to make sure that your piece has had ample time to dry (seeing as the drying makes it food safe).  One product that I use, suggests drying for 30-90 days before exposure to food.  I would add to that (at least in the case of polyurethane finish) that you allow it to dry that long and then clean it with a soapy sponge.  I have found that polyurethane holds up well to water and soap, so, it shouldn’t be a problem as far as ruining the piece.  The point of cleaning it is just to remove any surface residual and smell that might have accumulated before first use.

As far as natural oils are concerned, the simple truth is that if you put them in your body on a regular basis (or could) I don’t see any problem with putting them on your precious wood food items.  The one word of caution I would have is if you are using any kind of nut oil (walnut, tung, etc).  Anyone with a allergy to nuts, may have a reaction to the oils in your piece.  I have not extensively researched nut allergies.  I certainly would not want to take a chance serving my friends out of a walnut oil bowl in case one of them was allergic.

Food Safe Wood Finish (Part 1 of 2)

I have been creating wood items for several years now.  A lot of those items are for use in the kitchen or are intended used with food.  Clearly, the finish on those products needs to be food safe.

While researching food safe finishes, I discovered some interesting facts and opinions.  I would have to say that the most interesting is that there are two schools of thought on the issue of food safe finishes.

The first ‘school’ of thought is that all finishes are food safe when they are dry.  That may seem counter intuitive until you realize that the toxic part of most (if not all) finishes is the delivery method.  Meaning, the actual finish isn’t toxic in most cases, the liquid in which the finish is dissolved is.  So, once the liquid delivery method has evaporated (which basically means the finish is dry) then the piece is food safe.  Case in point, your kitchen table.  Typically when someone refinishes a kitchen table with some sort of polyurethane, they don’t go out and find a food safe polyurethane.  They simply go to their local home improvement store and buy what is on the shelf.  None of those are specifically designed to be food safe.  Yet, over time, things are set, dropped and spilled on the finish and eaten.  I can say from experience, that any exposure to toxic materials is minimal at best.  So, while I don’t subscribe to this theory for my handmade products, I feel that it is likely true.

Published in: on March 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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