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Sep 25, 2013 04:36 PM

wooden salad bowl

Yikes! My black walnut wood salad bowl was left partially soaking in the kitchen sink (not by me!) and it is now rough and slightly swollen on the inside bottom. Any one know how and if I can recondition this? Thank you.

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  1. Let it dry for a couple of days (weeks?).

    sand it a little to remove the rough edges and recondition with mineral oil.

    1. Hi, ctscra:

      How? Very slowly, as in your oven, heat OFF and the door OPEN so that all the heat you get is from the lightbulb. It may take days or weeks

      If? Maybe. I would expect some warping, and would not be surprised if it checks or cracks. I have a 100+-yr-old black walnut bowl that hasn't been abused, but a century of washing and drying has twisted it up some. But I kind of like that.

      You *can* have wooden bowls like these stabilized by putting them in a vacuum chamber and impregnating them with epoxy resin. That will make them dimensionally very stable even if you soak them. But I would also seal the interior surface afterward if you go that route.


      1. The replies you are getting might assume that your bowl is one piece. I have two one piece salad bowls, but my black walnut bowl is made from multiple pieces, rings really, glued together in a cone shape, and then finished. The crooked bowls described here could be older bowls made from one piece of wood, and they are scarce now, unless imported.

        I would carefully dry it. Wait to see how it dries. You might have to refinish it with the proper oil. (Can't help you there.) But it might be OK after drying, or at least usable.

        Did you buy yours in Missouri?

        3 Replies
        1. re: sueatmo

          Yes, my bowl appears to be several pieces somehow attached so tightly that after years of use it feels . . . felt like one smooth piece, It had a beautiful patina. We would make vinaigrette right in the bowl and it emulsified nicely, giving the wood luster. I got mine in Iowa 25-30 years ago.

          1. re: ctscra

            Mine is about 20 years old, think. Hard to imagine. I love how light it is, even though it is quite big.

            How is it doing? Drying nicely?

          2. re: sueatmo

            Hi, sue:

            My advice to the OP would be the same, regardless of whether his/her bowl was turned from one piece or a glued-up block. But if it's glued up, I think it's more likely it will crack along one of the glue lines, and a less likely to warp.


          3. take it to an autobody shop and have them slow dry it for you . they have these verrrrry slow even dryers for high gloss specialty paint jobs that keep them from cracking.

            1 Reply
            1. re: girloftheworld

              A cardboard box with a 40W lightbulb in it works, too.

            2. Just wondering what is the advantage of trying to speed up the drying process? Will that somehow enhance the dimensional stability of the wood?

              I have the distinct joy of sorting through batches of kiln dried dimensional lumber for straight and true framing studs and find the success rate is about 1 per 10 so while the drying process is critical just wondering how heat helps dimensional stability if that is the goal here?