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Thread: Vermont Natural Coatings on turned pieces

  1. #1
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    Vermont Natural Coatings on turned pieces

    Has anyone tried Vermont Natural Coatings (based on whey protein) as a finish for turned pieces? I try to use non-toxic or low toxicity finishes on all my work, and hadn't heard of the Vermont products until recently. I'm interested in knowing about your experiences with these products.

    Thanks!

    -dan

  2. #2
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    Okay then...looks like Vermont Natural Coatings are not used by a lot of turners. I will probably give them a try and report back on what I find. Part of the fun of learning to turn for me has been getting more familiar with a range of finishes and their pros and cons.

  3. #3
    Think my search term was something like "FDA approved finish", anyway came across a Federal Register document that seemed to suggest (not in clear English) that most finishes when cured are essentially food safe.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stephan View Post
    Think my search term was something like "FDA approved finish", anyway came across a Federal Register document that seemed to suggest (not in clear English) that most finishes when cured are essentially food safe.
    That is what I have heard also. The one thing to remember is curing time and drying time are not the same.

  5. #5
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    Dan,

    I just stumbled onto this thread, I usually hang out over in general ww.

    líve never use VNC on turned work but itís my absolute favorite varnish, period. I was once told by their tech support that I could drink the stuff and not suffer any major problems. I got turned onto it after Fine Woodworking rated it as the best brushing varnish. AND they said that the brush of choice is disposable foam.

    About the only thing you have to get used to is how little time you have to go back and tip off brush marks. the other issue is that it settles. It can take a while to get the gunk off the bottom of the can (plastic) and dissolved. After stirring, Iíve used VNC thatís a year old and itís fine.

    other than being easy to use and non-stinky, I love the hardness and feel. Tap your fingernails on a piece and the finish clicks like porcelain. The feel is hard to describe. Buttery? Iíve noticed that people like to run their hands over my projects.

    VNC makes a floor finish that you might try. The floor finish is even tougher than the furniture finish but it can run. But what do you care? Just finish at the lathe and let it rotate dead slow for 20 minutes.

    you can wipe it on but I never have. They make an heirloom wiping varnish but it comes in a jug, not a can. Given that this stuff settles, I donít see how you could keep it around if you canít stir it.

  6. #6
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    Never used it on a turning (interesting idea), but VNC is the finish on the floor of my shop and it’s great in that application.
    There is a very fine line between ďhobbyĒ and ďmental illness.Ē - Dave Barry

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    líve never use VNC on turned work but itís my absolute favorite varnish, period. I was once told by their tech support that I could drink the stuff and not suffer any major problems. I got turned onto it after Fine Woodworking rated it as the best brushing varnish. AND they said that the brush of choice is disposable foam.
    I see several on Amazon with the label "Poly Whey." Do you prefer the satin, semi gloss...?
    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Vermont+n...f=nb_sb_noss_2

    JKJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I see several on Amazon with the label "Poly Whey." Do you prefer the satin, semi gloss...?
    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Vermont+n...f=nb_sb_noss_2

    JKJ
    ive used most of the sheens. I like satin.
    ive finished a number of projects right on the lathe. Itís easier to avoid runs.

  9. #9
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    Never tried them but have always wanted to. I've inquired at a couple local retailers because I've never seen it on a shelf but they just say they can order it. Since it's so close I can't see ordering it on line when I probably drive by them once a month. But I don't think they are set up for retail business. One of these days I'll call them and ask if I can order on-line and just pick up as I'm passing by. But I really hoped that if I stopped there and got talking with them I would get a better feel for what they sell.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    Never tried them but have always wanted to. I've inquired at a couple local retailers because I've never seen it on a shelf but they just say they can order it. Since it's so close I can't see ordering it on line when I probably drive by them once a month. But I don't think they are set up for retail business. One of these days I'll call them and ask if I can order on-line and just pick up as I'm passing by. But I really hoped that if I stopped there and got talking with them I would get a better feel for what they sell.
    worth a try. Iíve talked to them a couple of time and they were really nice by Kansas standards. Then I travelled to Vermont and found that everybody is REALLY nice. So, by Vermont standards, they are about average.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    worth a try. Iíve talked to them a couple of time and they were really nice by Kansas standards. Then I travelled to Vermont and found that everybody is REALLY nice. So, by Vermont standards, they are about average.
    We drove around New England a couple of years ago. The area across the northern part of New England, including the small towns and countryside in Vermont, is one of my favorites in the country. Nearly everyone we met was friendly and helpful.

    JKJ

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    worth a try. I’ve talked to them a couple of time and they were really nice by Kansas standards. Then I travelled to Vermont and found that everybody is REALLY nice. So, by Vermont standards, they are about average.
    Unfortunately we all seem to make plans and then not find the time to make them happen. I look forward to to seeing some pictures of projects people have done with VNC products. I don't mind Minwax products but I certainly would opt for a local company when possible. Hopefully when the virus is behind us we all can go back to traveling around.

  13. #13
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    Hi All,

    Sorry busy week at work and just noticed all the great replies. Bob Flexner has stated (and many experts agree with him) that all finishes are food safe once cured. When I said low toxicity I meant the level of VOCs that you are exposed to when applying the finish. Vermont coatings have very low levels of VOC as does shellac mixed up with drinkable grain alcohol, Tried and True products, Sutherland and Wells Botanical Polymerized Tung Oil, Odies Oil (and many oil/wax blends depending on the solvent) and quite a few others. But as others have posted, whatís interesting to me about the Vermont products is that they seem to be more of a varnish, meaning they are film finishes that you can build up in layers. So potentially more protective than many of the others that I listed above. I also just love trying out different finishes on turned pieces to see how they complement the (or not) the piece.

  14. #14
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    Left out another one of my favorite nontoxic wood turning finishes: Shellawaxcream from U-Beaut.

    Roger thanks for all the great info on the Vermont products.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gaylin View Post
    Left out another one of my favorite nontoxic wood turning finishes: Shellawaxcream from U-Beaut.

    Roger thanks for all the great info on the Vermont products.
    Aw shucks, you are too kind.
    im always good for a shout out for made in USA. Always root for the home team.

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