Question about type of wood

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EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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Hi all--Nothing to show off--yet--but was hoping folks might be able to offer some thoughts on a suitable wood type for a project. We tend to buy a number of fruits and veggies that aren't suitable for refrigeration. I'm kind of tired of them sitting unorganized on the counter so I'm going to build a basket to hold everything. Something like this: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url...ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCPiWgOX64OsCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD.

Here's my question: What wood do folks recommend for something like this? I could probably use anything that's cheap and somewhat durable, but I was leaning toward aromatic cedar. My hope is that it would keep the fruit flies away and promote freshness. Any reason not to use it? I've not worked with it before, but I can get it relatively cheap at my local lumber yard.
 
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jttheclockman

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Your link does not work for me. But my opinion you never want to use woods such as that because the smell will infiltrate the fruit and also you need to be aware of tannins leaking into fruits when choosing woods. Ash wood, pine wood, and sweetgum wood and bamboo, are what many of farmers market baskets are made from. Now I make many fruit baskets designed for center pieces on tables and make from many different woods. I have customers ask if they can put real fruit in them because I also sell wooden fruit for display purposes, and my answer is yes but suggest they use a decorative towel between basket and fruit or breads or rolls that they choose to put in them. Again just my opinion.
 

EricRN

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I hadn't considered the tannins. The thought about the smell occurred to me. Glad I asked the question. I'll pick up some pine or ash and use that.
 

leehljp

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I see many out of oak or walnut around my area. I also see most people's fruit basket lined with decorative paper lace liners too.

Scroll down to see one in a rectangular basket.
 

ed4copies

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It has been a decade since I sold retail, at shows, so this info may be obsolete:

Mexican woods (cocobolo and bocote) used to carry a $10,000 tax per tree. This money was, allegedly used to support Mexican elementary schools. Part of my sales presentation was to make it clear to the buyer that we are told we are supporting the advancement of the local kids.

You can find "stories" about many of the woods we use--do your best to make sure the stories are true, then use them as "value added" to the purchase of your writing instruments.

FWIW,
Ed
 

Jolly Red

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Put a finish on any wood and the tannins and oils in the wood will not come in contact with the wood. As long as the finish is not damaged. Also, the odor of cedar does not repel moths and other bugs. Just look at the number of bagworms in some of the red cedars. But using it in an enclosed space will make the items stored there smell good for a while, till the aromatic oils evaporate. The smell will come back if the wood is sanded, but you wouldn't want to do that with a finished bowl.
Tom
 

tomas

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I have used Lyptus for this type of project. Lyptus is a Eucalyptus hybrid grown in Brazil. It works much like mahogany. The trees reach harvest ready size at about 12 years, so many would call it sustainable. It has long, straight grain. I enjoy working with it where I'm not looking for a fancy grain. I suggest finishing it with satin polyurethane. I learned about it from a WoodSmith article about 12 years ago.
 

jttheclockman

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It is a good idea to seal the basket and the use of shellac will work well. I happen to dip mine in Danish Oil which has a small amount of Poly in it to seal the woods. But again as I said when people ask about using to store reall foods in them I suggest a seperation with a cloth or as Hank linked some dollie. Here is an example of my baskets which I have shown here before. They are designed to be center pieces for tables. You can see I display some examples of what people can use for. This is a photo of a set up at a craft show recently.
656Fruit_Baskets-med.jpg
Copy of IMGP0481.JPG
 
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