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Pestle and Mortar

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Derek Lane26/10/2010 17:21:17
3204 forum posts
990 photos
Hi all going to make a Pestle and Mortar as a Christmas pressie for someone.
I have some Chestnut and oak are these suitable for this and any other woods.
I am thing in the terms of wear and suitability for food stuff
Oddjob26/10/2010 19:56:14
1635 forum posts
79 photos
As someone who enjoys a bit of cooking I often use a pestle and mortar and I don't think that any wood is suitable.  I have never even seen one made from wood.  It just doesn't have the necessary weight or hardness.  Grinding any hard grains or spices is almost certain to bruise any wood except perhaps Lignum Vitae and that is too oily.  It would be impracticable to use any finishing oil or polish as these would contaminate the food when they inevitably become damaged.
I currently use one of these and it suits me fine.
Oddjob26/10/2010 20:53:21
1635 forum posts
79 photos
Out of curiosity I did a Google for pestle and mortars.  There are a few wooden ones around - all bar one I found were made from olive wood.  The one exception was from oak and the mortar was cut into the corner of a chopping board - quite a good idea I thought.
One site did say that wood was unsuitable because microparticles of the food being ground get into the grain and encourage bacterial growth.
Derek Lane27/10/2010 11:47:59
3204 forum posts
990 photos
Thanks Richard
The weight thing I can understand and some woods are bl**dy hard
They said that about wooden chopping boards and then produced them in plastic. Since then they found that there was less Bacteria on the wooden ones which were safer than the plastic(Can't remember where I saw this)
Eric Harvey 127/10/2010 17:29:09
221 forum posts
81 photos
Ihave used oak for a mortor and for the pestle I used a garden shrub commonly known as apple blossom,its surprisingly hard when seasoned,regards,
Ron Davis28/10/2010 13:03:32
1606 forum posts
201 photos
I Made several when I started turning, partly because they were verey nearly all I could do at the time.
I used seveal woods, but not oakbecause of the possibility of staining from contact with iron.
I always used field maple for the end of the pestle, the other end  matched the mortar.ans always turned the mortar end grain if you seee what  mean, a bit of use will close up the end grain rather than dent it
You could ask if the mortar and pestle will be used or an ornament, if an ornament then do it how you like

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