I happen to be an oil guy myself. Mineral oil is non toxic, non flammable and you can't taste it at all. Jill and I are making all of our daily dishes...bowls, plates etc..... out of maple and mineral oil is all we're using. The best part is the oil makes a finish that is deep and soft, but makes the grain really pop......:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
If ya check out Mike Mahoney's web site he uses walnut oil which is great stuff, but mineral oil is so much cheaper and as easy as goin' to Walgreen's to get....
A varnish from general finishes called "salad bowl finish" Woodcraft.com) is non-toxic food safe once cured for 72 hours. It would give you a great finish for the inside. three coats and you should have a glass smooth finish you can wipe out when cleaning
Plain-old shellac is also food grade material. If you ever see the word "confectioner's glaze" on candy, or anything like that, or you see a slick coating on the outside, like Junior Mints, there's a good chance that it's shellac.
The question is whether or not there is any issue with heat - if there is, I would go with poly - if not, shellac. Mineral oil would be OK, too, as long as you're aware that you're going to have to oil the canisters from time to time.
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