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Thread: Recommendation on finish of wooden toy for infant boy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Rockville, MD
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    1,220

    Recommendation on finish of wooden toy for infant boy

    I retrieved this wooden toy from a yard sale. I thought I would sand the scratches and put a new finish coat on it for a friends grandson, who will be 2 yrs old. Amended from 15 months old by some research that heavily suggested 2 years was better time. However, what if he does give it a taste test. We still would want the finish to be non toxic to him. Is there a finish that is usually put on toys like this for 2 year olds? I am familiar with spraying Shellac, a relatively safe finish, but am hesitant to use only that because of it's water solubility and durability in the hands of a young boy. Recommendations from those who have experience on situations like this will be greatly appreciated.

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    Last edited by Don Morris; 12-06-2019 at 1:36 PM. Reason: Several sites gave recommendations for BD gifts for a two year old boy. One of which was a wooden train.
    Real American Heros don't wear Capes, they wear Dogtags.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    35
    I use a beeswax/mineral oil mix that I make for using on cutting boards. I think most people call it board butter. Just put a bit on a soft cloth and rub it in. I made a bunch of toys for my grandsons and used it. Worked great and was easy to put on. If you don’t have access to beeswax, you can buy a premixed version at the big box stores. I think the brand name is Howards....like in Howard’s Board butter.

  3. #3
    +1 on the beeswax finish for kids toys. I make a bunch of kids toys every year to donate to Christmas toy drives, I use Clapham's salad bowl finish from Lee Valley which is a beeswax mineral oil blend.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    50,646
    All finishes current on the market are safe when fully cured relative to the "taste test". If this was something new that you made, I'd do either bees wax or Tried and True oil with or without the bees wax. (they have both formulas. Or I'd use shellac. Given you acquired this toy used I'd do the shellac out of those choices. And shellac is NOT "water soluble". Alcohol will remove it, but not water. Standing water may affect it negatively from a visual standpoint, but it will not remove it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Rockville, MD
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    1,220
    I've used Jim Beckers advice multiple times and it always seemed to work. Plus, I'm familiar with spraying shellac. Thanks guys for the input. Will make the parents and my wife and I more comfortable with what I do.
    Real American Heros don't wear Capes, they wear Dogtags.

  6. #6
    I've made dozens of toys out of maple and I've not applied a finish to any of them other than sanding so they are smooth and burr free. The gain a wonderful patina from use and occasionally a little personalization by the owner. I definitely wouldn't use any water based dyes. You can view these at my website.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

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