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I am not a woodcrafter myself, but I have a small business and want to offer wooden teething rings. I found some rings of white birch, but they aren't smoothe enough. I tried sanding with 220 grade paper, but it doesn't seem to do it. Has anyone ever finished anything to be baby and foodsafe before? I would love any helpyou have to offer.
Thanks so much,
Lis
 

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Lis, welcome I want to start of by saying I am all for making everything a person can from wood :thumbsup: . It is a natural thing and I love it... but you have to know a little about wood to know how it will serve it's purpose. I will put a couple links here, the first one is a recall of wooden teething rings because of a choking hazard http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml03/03518.html . I know they make wooden teething rings (I think I teethed on the wooden rail of my crib, and I'm o.k...) but that was 35 years ago when people didn't sue just to be suing. Here is a company that makes them http://www.turnertoys.com/wood_rattle.htm . Not knowing anything about wood like you said you didn't I will try to help. Thiers are made from rock maple (sugar maple) VERY hard wood...unless you are selling to beavers a baby would have a hard time breaking it and choking on it. You mentioned birch... not a very hard wood. I am guessing the recall notice was from a similar type of wood. I hate bringing up the whole liabilty thing, I have had my ideas dashed by worry worts before. I am just giving you food for thought. You can kinda see in that recall notice in the picture of the rings how the grain runs across the toy. That is the problem with the softer woods, they can break pretty easy (even a baby can do it) with the grain, especially if it is a bit soggy. Those are just my opinions, take them for what they are worth and feel free to ask any more questions you may have.
 

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I teethed on the wooden rail of my crib, and I'm o.k
I *still* like to chew on wood. Weird, I know, but some of it is actually pretty tasty.

I have to agree on the liability issue -- especially if you're in the USA. We're known worldwide to be outrageously litigious.

I suppose you could use ironwood (didn't they used to make tea out of it?) but at somepoint you risk breaking the teeth once they've come out...

As far as finishes, I used mineral oil on a cutting board. It's safe to eat (buy it in the laxative aisle at the drig store!) and it won't go bad like oils made from foods.
 
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