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Thread: treat a wooden handle

  1. #1

    treat a wooden handle

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    I am very new to knife making as a hobby. I have made my first two blades for kitchen knives out of a mason's saw blade. I was planning on using oak to make the handle/scales.

    My question is, how do I best treat the wood? I am looking for the ability of the handle to not absorb moisture, as well as durability and of course, looks.

    I have heard of people using wood stain and then a coat of epoxy or just treating it with oil. Any advice is welcome. - Vince

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    If you are going to use oak, I would just spray it with clear lacquer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Houston Texas
    oil works o.k if you like a natural knife look and feel, but it needs replacing, and the wood can still get dirty/wet. epoxy, or super glue will seal very well be durable, and look great, however it will no longer fell like wood, but plastic-that is the major draw back, but like plastic you can easily wash clean, and it wont get dirty
    yeah ive got a couple that I just put a couple of coats on, and though I don't use them often, or roughly they look great.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Do 5 or 6 coats of Danish oil or Tung oil and let it dry for several days. I t will hold up well.
    Aspire to Inspire before you Expire

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Southeast Ohio
    Oak, as a rule has a very open grain. Which makes it less desirable than some other woods I could name. Hickory for one.
    Hickory is preferable to oak in a kitchen setting; Old Hickory knives and many of the makers that have been around for years use hickory because of its toughness and durability.
    It is less likely to warp and check than the oak is.

    If I were making up a set of kitchen knives I might look at G-10 or micarta.
    If wood was going to be used, I would have it stabilized or purchase stabilized from a reputable dealer.

    Just something to think about, Fred

  6. #6
    Thanks Everyone. I appreciate the advice. I can already tell that this will be a hobby for life. I will post pictures when they are done. -Vince

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I would probably go with the tung oil, as per the instructions..

    wipe on, leave for 15 minutes, wipe off, let dry for an hour
    repeat... etc.

    for 5 or 6 coats.

    After the last coat is wiped off leave for 24 hours and buff with 0000 steel wool.

  8. #8
    what about wood hardener like nelsonite? wouldnt that hep with the pourous dilema. You can soak it in wood hardener for a few days-let dry then apply teak/danish or whatever.-just a thought---marekz

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    i just dip it in some polyurathane--well i use too. It worked for me but now i know better.TONY

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    moose jaw sask canada
    tung oil let dry buff do it 4 coats and buff did I mention buff lol.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
    Like Fred said, use stabilized wood then you don't have to worry about it. Sand to 600 grit, give it a quick buff and its good to go.


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