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Grady Pinckard
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Postby Grady Pinckard » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 6:01AM

I have a client that lives in a 120 year old house that she inherited from her grand parents. She needs new counter tops in the kitchen, and has requested Cypress wood plank counters. Does anyone know if cypress is toxic? What kind of oil would you use for finish? She is aware that there is a possibility of warping, cracking and checking and she is ok with that.
Thanks in advance
Grady

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Postby Michael Yeargain » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 6:33AM

Grady,

To my knowledge the Cypress spurge (which is an herb) is the only Cypress that is poisonous. I believe this can also be found in North Carolina and surrounding areas.

\"Cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias) is a naturalized herb found across southern Canada. Ingesting the plant has caused loss of cattle in New York State. This plant is usually avoided by livestock but is ingested if incorporated with hay. The plant is abundant in in some locations in southern Ontario. Some humans are sensitive to the irritant latex and may develop inflammation.\"

Ref: http://www.cbif.gc.ca/pls/pp/ppack.info ... p_sci=comm
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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 6:42AM

Grady

Here is a link to several sources of wood toxicityinformation.

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Postby Michael Yeargain » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 6:43AM

That's a great resource Dan.

Thanks
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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 6:54AM

The \"feds\" don't have any toxicity data on cypress. Here is another resource: Forest Products Laboratory - Cypress.

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Postby Grady Pinckard » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 6:55AM

Thanks Guys.
I would be using bald cypress.
Dan thank you for the hyperlink, great info.
Grady

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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 7:04AM

And here is the USDA data. This sheet shows toxicity as \"none.\"

Now to your other question on finish--something tough :wink: . Given the way we treat counter tops in our house, I just can't see using any type of wood, it would get pretty beat-up quickly :lol:

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Postby Michael Yeargain » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 7:07AM

I did a set of Oak counter tops for a historical house in Aiken, SC. and we used Minwax for the stain, sealed that with lacquer sealer and used a resin top coat. This resin topcoat is the same thing used in bars and some tops in restaurants.
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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 7:08AM

Okay Grady, here is the [url=http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/finlines/knaeb98c.pdf]USDA scoop on \"Finishes for Wood Bowls, Butcher Blocks,
and Other Items Used for Food\"[/url].

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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 7:17AM

Oh, one last comment...be sure you have the customer sign a statement detailing their understanding of the problems that can arise with a wood counter top and the finish, including the (remote) possibility of it harboring bacteria and unknown toxicity.

Customers who \"understand all the potential problems\" are usually the first to develop amnesia when a pre-discussed problem arises. :wink:

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Postby David Werkheiser » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 7:53AM

Grady,
15yrs ago at the last shop I worked at, we used a lot of cypress for exterior work. 1yr. after building a house full of shutters we got a call from the owner, saying that the shutters were rotting. We never could find out if it was due to unknowing using sap wood or a possibility that kiln drying \"cooked\" the protective properties out of the wood.
What I hated about cypress, was that the grain has a tendency to \"lift \" and in hand sanding we would get a lot of splinters .
David Werkheiser

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Re:

Postby Mike Bowers » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 11:46AM

Michael Yeargain wrote:I did a set of Oak counter tops for a historical house in Aiken, SC. and we used Minwax for the stain,
sealed that with lacquer sealer
and used a resin top coat. This resin topcoat is the same thing used in bars and some tops in restaurants.


Mike why did you you a sealer? I have never heard of sealing before a resin pour.
Mike
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Postby Michael Yeargain » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 8:36PM

I just wanted to get the surface smoother to start with, because the decking was oak, This kept me from having to use so much resin. The customer wanted the gloss but didn't want that thick look of resin.
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Postby Mike Bowers » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 8:38PM

How thick was the pour Mike?
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Postby Michael Yeargain » Wed, Sep 05 2007, 8:40PM

a little more than 1/8\" at least. It wasn't an exact science for sure. But I haven't had the first complaint. And she loves them.
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