I have a terrific salad bowl that I use all the time. Where it was originally joined, on the side, has begun to separate slightly - enough for dressing to seep out. I need advice on which food safety adhesive to use.

  • I have an Answer ready to go but had a thought at the last minute, can you close the split using pressure? If you can't the most obvious conventional repair (working some glue into the split, then clamping) won't work. In which case filling the split may be the most viable option, although it isn't an invisible repair much of the time.
    – Graphus
    Aug 16 '18 at 21:35
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of How to effectively fix a crack in a turned bowl Aug 16 '18 at 22:21
  • 2
    Personally, I wouldn't try to force the crack closed. The stress will still be there, so you'd just be asking for another crack somewhere else. I'd put tape on both sides and pour a tinted epoxy (West or Entropy) into the crack. Aug 16 '18 at 22:22
  • An epoxy fill as suggested by @SaSSafraS1232 is what I was thinking of as the alternative to glueing the split close. Just want to emphasise something mentioned in some other Answers here, that there's no need for an expensive epoxy for fills like this, cheapie epoxies are fine. The one I use costs the equivalent of about two bucks (literally the cheapest on the market here) and as far as I and other users can tell it's just as good as the name-brand 5-minute epoxies we used to buy. If you already have a high-end epoxy by all means use that , but if buying new cheap will generally work well.
    – Graphus
    Aug 17 '18 at 11:57
  • @Graphus I haven't found any of the cheap hardware store epoxies that are thin enough to pour. They all seem to be about the thickness of toothpaste. I'd agree that there's no reason to buy a whole $100 set of epoxy for one fix, though. Aug 17 '18 at 15:59

I need advice on which food safety adhesive to use.

The problem you face is that no adhesive will bond to wood that has been in contact with oil, and of course most salad dressings contain a lot of oil. You won't be able to just push some glue into the crack and clamp it for a while. Even without the oil problem, it can be difficult to work glue all the way into a crack, so a simple glue repair might not work. The right way to repair this bowl would be to cut the cracked area and glue in a new piece of wood, and then shape the new piece to match the rest of the bowl. People do that kind of thing sometimes (here's an extreme example), but it'd be a fair amount of work and it might not be what you want if you enjoy the bowl in its current form.

I think your best bet is to leave the bowl alone and put it to some new use that doesn't require holding liquid: fill it with fruit, use it for nuts around the holidays, collect your spare change, etc. Then splurge a little on a great new salad bowl.

And to answer the question that you actually asked, if you need to glue clean edges of wood together with something that's water resistant and food safe, Titebond II and Titebond III are good choices. Titebond III is more water resistant than II, but either one should work well, and both are FDA approved for "indirect contact" with food (i.e. they're good for things like cutting boards and bowls).

  • That link is so awesome.
    – jdv
    Oct 1 '18 at 17:04

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