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that all commonly available "oil" finishes are safe for food utensils once the solvents have evaporated and the finish has cured. Nevertheless, if vou are con-

s cerned. I suggest you stick with one of the brands that claims to be safe for food contact. That way, you have the assurance that the manufacturer stands behind the product's safety.—H. /:'

rating the finished wood from the stripped wood.

If you want the finish to protect the wood, it's important that you achieve a continuous film on the surface of the wood—that is. a film with no voids in it. Voids most likely occur in the pores or at the sharp edges where the pores meet the wood's surface. Finishes like varnish, shellac, and lacquer are thick enough to easily bridge right over the pores when you brush or spray them on die w(x>d.

"Oil" finishes are too thin to span these voids. Therefore, it's important that you apply the first coat or two wet enough on the wood to soak in and fill the pores. Otherwise, the thin film won't bridge across the pores and there will be voids in the finish. It takes two and sometimes three or four coats to achieve a continuous film. You can tell vou have a continuous film

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