I recently bought a Condore with a hardwood / tropicalwood handle. The handle needed some light sanding before it was smooth. I would like to protect the wood from moist and other damaging factors. What is a good and relative easy way to protect the wood? Ofcourse without becoming slippery.
My Golok came with a rather smooth handle.All I did was a bit of carving to decorate and increase grip friction,and then rubbed in a few coats of Birchwood Casey Tru-oil on the wood to give it a hard sealed finish.
As a note I did let the Golok sit in the air conditioned house for about a week to let the handle dry a bit as it seemed moist with fresh wood scent.After rubbing in five thin coats of Tru-oil in, the wood grain was sealed nicely.Let it sit for another weak and it setup into a hard semi-gloss finish.Applied a bit of wax and the finish looks deep and nice grain.
beeswax? it dries out, unlike linseed oil.
I bought some boiled linseed oil at a local hardware store. The first layer is drying in outside air. When the oil is dried I’ll apply a few more layers till the wood is ‘’soaked’’ so water won’t be a problem anymore. I hope the oil will dry out nicely without staying oily to the touch.
I also tryed the stuf on G10 handles. It looks great! To my understanding G10 dosn’t absorb, unlike wood or micarta. Will need to work out over time if it’s for nice looks only.
I like the wipe on poly. It doesn't go on as thick as the traditional polyurethane, and gives more of the oil finish look with more durability.
With the oil, and especially boiled linseed, you should wipe off the excess about 15 minutes after you apply or it will take forever to dry. After it dries, wipe more on and wipe off the excess. You can also mix some mineral spirits with the oil to help it soak in, and also dry faster.
I was given this technique by someone who has refinished a number of WWI and WWII rifles. A blend of mineral spirits and boiled linseed oil, about 50/50. An application once a day for a week, then once a week for a month, then once a month for a year, then once a year or whenever it looks and feels too dried out. Might be a bit extreme. Maybe the once a day for a week, then once a year or so depending on how it looks and if it's been dinged or scratched. The nice thing about linseed oil is that it's really close to impossible to put on too much. Just wipe if off.
Between applications use a good wax to protect it. I've used Johnson's Paste Wax for years and recently started using Rennaissance.
The hardwood Condor handle did not came out nice the first time. Probably I overdone the quantity of linseed oil. After sanding off the sticky oily layer i needed to start all over. The secont attempt had a goor result. The wood grain and smote finish came out nicely. I now probably did 5 fin layers and the handle looks great!
Next to re-profiling the blade and sharpening, my Condore Bushlore is ready for work!
I also applied the stuff on a pine wood handle of a puukko knife from Finland. Great results!
Thanks for your advise!
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