The Best Food Safe Wood Glue

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This is the Best Food Safe Wood Glue, your guide to understanding how would glue affects the food safety of your woodworking projects. I’ll show you several things to consider when your building, as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy.

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Food Safe Wood Glue

The-Best-Food-Safe-Wood-GlueWhen you’re making projects that are meant to contact food, you need a reliable way of ensuring that nobody is going to get sick by using what you made. Safety for the user should be in the front of your mind at all times.

That being said, so many people focus on the finishes that they use rather than the rest of the materials. It’s just kind of assumed that wood glue is safe to be around food. It’s best however to consider all aspects of your project.

It’s also smart to consider how much contact is going to be made, and make a good decision based on the type of interaction with food. After all, not all food is the same, and a hot soup will have a different effect on wood glue than slices of cold celery.

Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself when you’re deciding on a food safe wood glue, and they’ll help you make good choices. I’ll go into each one of these in detail further down in the post.

  • What Does Food Safe Mean?
  • How Much Contact is Bad?
  • Does Food Temperature Matter?
  • Does Wet or Dry Food Matter?
  • Food Safe Gluing Tips and Tricks

See Also: How to Choose the Best Food Grade Wood Sealer

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What Does Food Safe Mean?

So let’s talk about the obvious question right out of the box. What does food safe actually mean? This is the heart of the argument, and it’s the reasoning behind making these decisions in the first place.

Food safe simply means that when you eat something that’s been in contact with this material, it won’t in anyway be harmful to you after consuming the food. That is, nothing from the chemical will enter the food that can hurt your body.

On the surface it seems like a really nice thing. After all, when you have a glue like that, does it mean that you can let any type of food make contact with it? That’s where knowing a few extra bits of information makes a really big difference for your food safe projects.

I’ll go into this in greater detail later in the post, but there’s a big difference between the types of things that interact with your glue, and how safe they actually are.

See Also: 19 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Woodworking

How Much Contact is Bad?

There’s also another component of contact between your glue and your food that has to be considered when you’re building your projects. That’s the factor of time. There is going to be a big difference between short amounts of contact, and long amounts of contact.

Glue is a substance, like any other substance. Over time, and with the introduction of other liquids and solids, it can break down. No matter how good your glue may be, it will break down in the presence of other liquids especially.

That being said, the length of time that your food is in contact with the glue does make a difference to how safe it actually is. In the soup example, that could be quite a bit of contact for a longer period of time.

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However, in the celery example, there may only be very light contact at a couple of points, and those points might not even be wet. At that level of contact, it’s very difficult to get anything into the food that would be harmful.

See Also: 50 Awesome Reasons to be a Woodworker

Does Food Temperature Matter?

Another thing to consider is the temperature of the food. All glues have a temperature point at which they start to break down, and lose a lot of their ability. While this is typically pretty high, you don’t want to get close to it at all.

This means in certain circumstances that a flaming hot steak right off the grill might not be the best to put directly on that surface. It also means that you don’t want to continually put hot steak after hot steak in the same spot because it can eventually wear through.

Heat has a degrading affect on the properties of wood glue that we enjoy the most, like it being sticky, strong, and safe for intermittent food contact. In general, try to give your wood joints a rest in between heating them up.

See Also: How to Make Unique Cutting Boards

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Does Wet or Dry Food Matter?

Finally, consider whether the food is wet or dry that’s going to be making contact with your glue on your project. Dry food is going to affect the glue a whole lot less than wet food, and that simply because of the contact amount.

Think about a bowl of pretzels. There’s going to be very little of the pretzel that actually touches any glue, and a dry object up against another dry object isn’t going to transmit very much back-and-forth.

In contrast, something like a dip will have a ton of contact, and the chance of pulling something from the glue goes up significantly. It’s a lot safer to make projects for dry food then it is food with moisture.

See Also: How to be a Modern Renaissance Woodworker

Food Safe Gluing Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks that can help you with using a wood glue that’s considered food safe, and they will help you be more successful.

  • The better the joint, the finer the glue line is, and the less contact you’ll make.
  • Do everything you can to really prepare your surfaces before gluing them, that way there are no large pockets of glue that will be visible on the final project.
  • Don’t just use any glue, definitely pick out a glue that’s food safe, which I’ll talk about in the next section.
  • You can even design your project to minimize the amount of joints that will actually make contact with food, further making your project safer.
  • If you avoid hot foods, wet foods, and long periods of time in contact, you’ll have a much better experience making food safe woodworking projects.

See Also: 14 Easy Tips for Using Wiping Varnish

Your Starting Point

Now that you’ve gone through some of the different scenarios that can affect your decision making when it comes to a food safe product that you can use to glue your projects together, it’s time for me to recommend a glue.

This particular glue is approved for light food contact, and can be a good option for a lot of your woodworking projects. You are going to know the most of course, because you’re actually going to be the one building the stuff.

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Make good decisions, and understand that food safe doesn’t necessarily mean 100%. It’s a lot about the circumstances that you put the glue into, but armed with the knowledge that I just shared, you’ll be better at that as well.

I’ve always been a supporter of Titebond, and Titebond Three Ultimate Woodworking Glueis rated for light contact with food. If you’re going to make something it’s going to have food contact associated with it, this is a good place to start for your glue.

Your Action Assignment

Now that you know all of the different considerations when looking for a safe way to glue your projects together when they will make contact with food, it’s time to take action. Is there a project that you’ve been thinking about making?

Maybe there something to do with food that you have been worried about? Hopefully this clears up quite a bit of that worry. Again, nothing you buy is going to be perfect, but you can do a lot of things to help.

If you have any questions on food safe wood glue, please post a question in the Q&A forum and I’ll be glad to answer them. Happy building.

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  • More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
  • 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
  • Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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I receive Commissions for Purchases Made Through the Links in This Post. Join My Woodworking Facebook Group


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