Making cups/kuksas leak proof

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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby Graeme Fraser » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:25 am

Alas, I used to see my spirits disappear at an alarming rate but I have not touched a drop for nigh on seven year.....

I am close to finishing a kuksa/noggin/cup in Norway Maple and am working on getting a better tooled finish. When done I'll try the boiling milk thing with one difference, I'll have to use goat's milk as I'm allergic to cow's. Its just an intolerance really so using cow's would probably have little effect on me but....

My last Kuksa was in birch with a fairly decent tooled finish (Ithink :?: ) but I soaked it in hot linseed (from High Barn Oils) so it'd be interesting to compare.

Very interesting thread.

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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby Bertie » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:31 pm

love the idea of milk products sealing wooden drinking cups - but i would like to point out that most wooden cups in norway are pretty thick -
Some years ago it was decided to replace all wooden chopping boards used in commercial iktchens with nylon/plastic - woodchoppingboardmanufacturers gor a bit uptight and had some tests done - it turns out that to begin with plastic/nylon is far more bacteria free than wood - as time passes in its use - the wooden chopping boards show less and less bacteria in comparison with the plastic/nylon jobbies - the theory as i understand it is that wood has some property that after a while builds up and makes it less bacteria friendly than man made substances - i love the idea of whatever it is that lives in the wood going on to kill bacteria, but i rather doubt its as simple as that.
Here wooden cups are for coffee.
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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby robin wood » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:57 pm

The guy who did the much quoted research was Dr Dean Cliver, Professor of Food Safety at the University of California I exchanged mails with him several years ago and have a link to his paper and some extacts here http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/using-woodware.htm

I think the food safe finish that is OK for hot and cold liquids and spirits is a pretty tall order. The only finishes I know that cope with that are cooked oils (kochloma ware though that probably involves chemical driers now) and Japanese urushi which is not easily available, is very unpleasant irritant before cured and needs just the right humidity to cure.

So for me I use cured linseed for hot and cold food and for hot and cold drinks. For spirits I use beeswax.

Cured milk has long been used and I have always thought it was the protein (caesin) that you wanted not the fat which would be likely to go rancid, if I was experimenting with it I would use skimmed milk. Caesin is commonly used as a natural paint base eg for windsor chairs in the USA. The Hughes family of Co Armargh are recorded as boiling their dairy bowls in milk to seal them.

I take all the archaeological stuff with a pinch of salt. Early on I asked archaeologists if we could establish what a wooden bowl was treated with originally but if the analysis comes back showing mutton fat there is no way of knowing if it was the original treatment or the last meal.
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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby Terence » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:48 pm

did a quick search on medical databases I use for University. didnt come up with anything recent about wood and food safety but there was an interesting article i came across (sorry to be posting stuff irrelevant to the thread but it made me laugh):

Walter CJ, Barker P.
The novel use of wooden spoons for control of massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage.
Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2010 Mar;16(2):189.

"...Massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage represents a challenging operative emergency. Temporary control of the aorta and inferior vena cava (IVC) using intra-luminal balloon occlusion, preemptive trans-thoracic clamping or infra-diaphragmatic clamping has been achieved with variable success. We report the use of wooden spoons... as a cheap alternative.....This equipment requires minimal financial investment and only basic woodworking skills..."
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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby robin wood » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:29 am

I just came across the answer on another forum. What you need to do is grind your wood up, mix it with plastic and cast it to the shape you want. They look good, and are cheap. Could put us wood carvers and turners out of business. Be interesting to use one and see if it feels and ages like plastic (nasty) or wood (nice)
http://www.lakelandbushcraft.co.uk/acat ... tml#aKP002

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£16.95
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£6.95
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£7.95
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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby Bertie » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:31 am

Very interedsting article Robin - thanks


New postby robin wood » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:57 pm
The guy who did the much quoted research was Dr Dean Cliver, Professor of Food Safety at the University of California I exchanged mails with him several years ago and have a link to his paper and some extacts here http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/using-woodware.htm

Now of course the leaking though the pores would explain why burrs are so much saught after for cups - the ideal grain structure would be one that curves around.
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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby arth » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:29 pm

robin wood wrote:I just came across the answer on another forum. What you need to do is grind your wood up, mix it with plastic and cast it to the shape you want. They look good, and are cheap. Could put us wood carvers and turners out of business. Be interesting to use one and see if it feels and ages like plastic (nasty) or wood (nice)
http://www.lakelandbushcraft.co.uk/acat ... tml#aKP002

Image
£16.95
Image
£6.95
Image
£7.95


Amazing! if you are going to buy a plastic cup you might as well buy a cheap one for a pound.

You can't beat the feel of real wood.
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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby timbadger » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:22 am

I was just reading about the historical uses of Nettle (urtca dioica), partly for weaving and cordage but also tea's and have used it for wine and beer last year - both rather good - but anyhow one thing mentioned was that the leaves can be used to help seal leaky wooden cups bowls etc!;

"The juice of the Nettle, or a decoction formed by boiling the green herb in a strong solution of salt, will curdle milk, providing the cheese-maker with a good substitute for rennet. The same juice, if rubbed liberally into small seams in leaky wooden tubs coagulates and will render them once more watertight. "

Taken from

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html

And worth a read in my humble :-)

Not sure if a salt solution would taint for future use, but i may well try using strong nettle tea and see if that helps seal cups.
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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby louvres » Thu May 16, 2013 9:38 pm

Anyone else tried using boiling milk then? worked as well?
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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby ToneWood » Fri May 17, 2013 7:03 pm

Sean, Re. linseed oil tainting the taste - how long did you let it dry before using it? I reckon 6-10 months might be necessary for the linseed to fully dry/cure.

Drew Langsner writes about milk preserving wood in his book, with regard to traditional Swiss woodenware, including "dairy-ware". The air is pretty dry up there in the mountains though.

I don't know if alcohol would work but it does have a distinct affect on cells:it tends to solidify them (perhaps by drying them?). Something to think about if you drink a lot. A botanist laughed when I first mentioned that to him, then he recalled that he used alcohol to firm-up plant cells when preparing them for examination under a microscope.
Last edited by ToneWood on Sat May 18, 2013 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Making cups/kuksas leak proof

Postby louvres » Sat May 18, 2013 12:31 pm

Tried the boiling milk method, looks like it works perfectly.
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