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Kerfs Products

Frequently asked questions

What does the term food safe mean?
How often do I need to treat the wood with a Kerf's Product?
What is the coverage of the various Kerf's Products?
How should I store Kerf's Products and how long will they keep?
What are the minor color differences in different batches of Product?
What is the main oil in the Kerf's Products?
Can I melt Kerf's Wood Cream and apply by dipping or brushing?
The Lavender Lotion and Lemon Luster seem rather thick, why is that and what do I do?
Do Kerf's Products seal the wood and make it waterproof?
Does that mean I am limited to using only the Wood Cream in the future?
In woodturning, what is a good method of application when using a Kerf Product as a friction polish?

What does the term food safe mean?

Food safe means that food can come in contact with the item (or in our case, an item finished with Kerf's Products) and the food will still be safe for human consumption. Many food safe sealants and finishing products are deemed food safe only after drying or curing. All of the Kerf's Products are food safe right out of their containers. To maintain a food safe status, all of our products are packaged in jars and bottles which are also used by the food industry.

How often do I need to treat the wood with a Kerf's Product?

Apply as often as you like or whenever the finish needs a freshening. At first, you may need a couple of treatments in close succession. Of course, it all depends upon the item's usage and the climate of your environment. Remember, in the winter, home environments in cold climates can be as harsh and drying as the desert. This is true even in the soggy Northwest!
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What is the coverage of the various Kerf's Products?

We are unable to give you predetermined coverage figures. It all depends upon the absorption qualities of the variety of wood and even then, each piece of wood absorbs differently. Also, it depends upon how much you choose to use with each application. Do know that Kerf's will not turn rancid or harden and will keep for years when stored in an intelligent manner. A little truly goes a long way.
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How should I store Kerf's Products and how long will they keep?

Store them safely as you would any other finishing or cleaning product; tightly sealed in a place away from direct heat sources and your products should last indefinitely.
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What are the minor color differences in different batches of Product?

Minor product color differences are to be expected due to the nature of organic ingredients. For instance, the beeswax is taken from the hives each fall and some seasons the beeswax is more golden than others. Also, the essential oils, coming from plant sources will vary in color and intensity season per season. Tiny dark particles may occasionally be present. This too is natural and is actually honeybee fur.
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What is the main oil in the Kerf's Products?

After much research and many trial batches with walnut and other oils, we decided to use kosher, white mineral oil. It is very stable and non-reactive. We purchase this product from a family owned company in Seattle which supplies products and food ingredients to the baking industry. The price of this ingredient fluctuates greatly but we believe in consistent pricing of our products and absorb ingredient and supply increases as much as possible. Why not use walnut oil? Walnut oil is unstable and needs to be boiled before using for treating wood which ruins the oil's positive health properties and turns it noxious. To be cost effective, the walnut oil used in treating wood is solvent extracted from the nuts and contains residual amounts of the solvent, typically hexane. Also, walnut oil can cause skin and respiratory reactions, ranging from mild to severe, in sensitive individuals. If used frequently, boiled walnut oil is known to cause sensitization over time even in people who did not originally have nut sensitivities.
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Can I melt Kerf's Wood Cream and apply by dipping or brushing?

We have tried this method and do not recommend it. We are not pleased with the results and created the Lotion and Luster for this purpose. The best thing to do is to use the Lavender Lotion or Lemon Luster, since they are already in liquid form, then apply a coat of the Wood Cream for a heavier wax top coating.
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The Lavender Lotion and Lemon Luster seem rather thick, why is that and what do I do?

To begin with, make sure the products are at room temperature, say 68 to 72 degrees F. Ingredients thicken at cooler temperatures. Always give a thorough shaking before use. How do I get the last of the Lavender Lotion out of the bottle? The best way is to make sure the bottle is tightly capped and run it under hot tap water. In just seconds the remaining Lotion will easily pour from the bottle.
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Do Kerf's Products seal the wood and make it waterproof?

Kerf's Products provide a resistance to moisture but are not sealants. If you desire, seal the wood first then apply Kerf's to give a natural, final finish.
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Does that mean I am limited to using only the Wood Cream in the future?

No. All of our products are complimentary. If you first applied Kerf's Wood Cream, next time you could use the Lotion or Luster. Or if you initially used the Lotion, you could use the Cream or Luster next time. Items treated with Kerf's Wood Cream typically only need care with the Luster or Lotion. Of course kitchen items and items frequently used benefit from the heartiness of the Wood Cream.
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In woodturning, what is a good method of application when using a Kerf Product as a friction polish?

It seems there are as many suitable ways to do this as there are needles on a fir tree, but here's a basic format. Turn then sand your piece until it's completed. Switch off the lathe. Apply your choice of Kerf's Product. Turn the lathe back on to at least medium speed and buff the item with a soft, clean cloth. We find cotton T-shirt material works well. If desired, or if the wood's absorption qualities require, do another application and buffing. After a couple of tries, you'll develop your own techniques and preferences. If in a few days you find your piece dulling, give it a quick once over by hand with the Kerf's Product of your choice. May all your turning be Catch-free!
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