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Perry Holbrook
03-10-2007, 12:08 PM
I have an order for a modified version of the box below. It could lead to a much larger order. The top portion is a 3" steel pipe cap, the bottom is dyed maple, top is glass. The customer wants me to make it a little taller which is no problem. My concern is that she wants it to be a "spice cup" which is used in a particular religious ceremony. So I need the steel to be food safe.

I will burn off any oils on the cup, sandblast the inside and outside and buff the outside. Then I need to put a coating on the steel that will be food and water safe and have absolutely no odor.

I was thinking about the "salad bowl" finish I see in the catalogs but wonder if it will stay on the steel long term.

Anyway, any and all thoughts would be appreciated.

Perry

Rick Christopherson
03-10-2007, 12:32 PM
You are confusing the reasons why oils are used for cutting boards with them being food safe. Any finish that cures will be food safe when cured, and you do not want to have a non-curing finish on metal (actually you can't because metal is non-porous).

The matal parts need to be stainless steel or painted to prevent rust. If you do paint, I have found that a topcoat of spraycan lacquer protects the paint nicely.

CPeter James
03-10-2007, 1:10 PM
Chrome plate? Stainless would be better and the added cost might not be that great in comparison to the total cost. You may have to look on the net to find a supplier. A flood service equipment dealer of food processing equipment supplier would have what you want. maybe a dairy of dairy farm could give you some ideas where to look. All their piping is stainless.

CPeter

Cliff Rohrabacher
03-10-2007, 1:20 PM
nice piece.

Here's my 2cents.

Go to a local powder coating shop, pick a smallish one.
<<http://www.customcoaters.com/html/north_carolina.html<<

Have at least one metal cup in hand.
Have your color sample and an idea of the surface texture you want glossy, satin, pebble etc., and be able to talk about the potential volume per month or year you expect to be doing.
Also be ready to discuss the thickness of the applied coating when finished. You want to have some control of that as you'l be producing mating parts in a seperate process.


If they are nice they might Comp you a sample or at the very least comp you a few slices of sheetmetal with a couple different types of finish and color for you to work out with your customer.

Howard Acheson
03-10-2007, 1:23 PM
Let me start off by saying the steel that has been cleaned and polished is perfectly food safe. It may rust at a later date but while the rust may be an appearence issue, it's not a health issue.

So your objective is to polish and then apply a coating that will protect the item from oxidation, You could use a non-corroding material like aluminum or high chrome stainless steel. You could also have the item chrome plated. However, I would just clean up the metal with a brillo pad, wipe it out with alcohol to rid the surface of the wax in Brillo and then apply a couple of coats of a clear spray can lacquer. That should be fine and it's easily repaired or redone if necessary over time.

Perry Holbrook
03-10-2007, 2:07 PM
Thanks for the input so far. At the price point of this item, my first thought is that any kind of out sourcing will not be possible. My supplier of the steel cup may have them in stainless but again if it's not necessary I don't want to pay the extra for the stainless.

I already spray lacquer for all my top coats. For some reason, my little brain said "wait a second" when I thought about it being in contact with "spice". Sounds like it's not a problem.

I was also considering shellac, ultra blond. Since it's a natural finish it just feels better for some reason. Any thoughts?

Perry

Roy McQuay
03-10-2007, 2:33 PM
Thanks for the input so far. At the price point of this item, my first thought is that any kind of out sourcing will not be possible. My supplier of the steel cup may have them in stainless but again if it's not necessary I don't want to pay the extra for the stainless.

I already spray lacquer for all my top coats. For some reason, my little brain said "wait a second" when I thought about it being in contact with "spice". Sounds like it's not a problem.

I was also considering shellac, ultra blond. Since it's a natural finish it just feels better for some reason. Any thoughts?

PerryMy $.02, unless there is some reason unknown to the rest of us, why would you not use stainless ? It would eliminate the need for additional coatings and the time used to obtain and then apply it. It will last forever without any maintenance in the future. It is a beautiful piece and it looks like stainless in the picture.

Joe Chritz
03-10-2007, 2:50 PM
Looks like you got the answers you were looking for.

Don't forget shellac. A regular spray coat of shellac will do fine and is still used in coating food products and some pills.

First choice is stainless and it could be a good selling point too.

Joe

Perry Holbrook
03-10-2007, 9:36 PM
Looks like shellac will do the job. I had no idea of its use as a pill coating, etc. After further searching, I now know it is edible, used in some medical stuff and is actually classified as a natural plastic.

It's also easy to tint, which I may do.

Just to clear up why I don't want to use stainless, I'm sure the stainless would cost more than the steel, the extra cost comes out of my profits.

Thanks again. Problem solved. Perry

Jim Becker
03-10-2007, 9:57 PM
Perry, shellac will be perfectly fine, but so would the lacquer. For the former, be sure to get the "superest" super blond shellac you can source to minimize color change.