Oil/conditioner for wood handles?

Feb 1, 2001
What do you guys use to keep your wood handles in good shape? I've been using Pledge furniture polish and I'm looking for something more perminent. Thanks

Chris B.
Well the great thing about wood is that it is a nautral product. No two pieces are alike, it is always in the process of shrinking or growing.

The terrible thing about wood is that it is a natural material. It is always moving, always needing oiling, and don't forget you can never find two pieces that match. :p

I would suggest instead of pledge, try mineral oil. That should kep your handles nice and moist.

Give it a shot.
Guitar fretboard conditioner. You can get it at a music store for like $5.00 for a small bottle that will last you a good while. Apply it acording to the directions about once a month or as needed. It is made for use on rosewood and ebony fretboards on expensive guitars to keep them from cracking as well as protecting the wood from oils and sweat from your hands. It works great and does not smell bad. Gibson and maybe Martin are the name brands to look for.
I use Boiled Linseed Oil. I like it because it magnifies the red in most of my khuk handles.


The Milk Snake: Beautiful, harmless, good-natured, eats venomous snakes for lunch.

[This message has been edited by Big Bob (edited 04-25-2001).]
Depends on what wood, how well it has been seasoned, and under what conditions. Deacon Deason of Bear Hug Grips used to keep his prime walnut,seperated by small blocks, in temp and humidity-controlled kiln for _seven years_ before he cut it into grip blanks. This is the most extreme seasoning that I know of. The woods used in Khukuri handles has obviously had some seasoning and has travelled through several climates before reaching you. It is obviously not green, but has seasoned, gathered moisture (to a very slight extent, as it has been oiled/waxed enough to show the beginnings of the grain) and dried a bit in its travels. I've sanded and steel-wooled mine, down to the bare wood. I use a commercial linseed oil with a penetrant that helps carry the oil just a bit further into the grain. Sanding between coats, I'll put as many as 20 coats on a piece, depending on how much more grain detail shows up with each coat. The wildest pair of pistol grips I ever finished was a piece of Pao Ferro, which finally showed red, orange, gold, and a base caramel color, laced with thin black veins. The grand finale wound up at 70 coats. Each sanding (or steel wooling) should be very light, and the amount of oil applied should be the very least you can get on one fingertip.The neat thing about foreign woods is that you never quite know what to expect, and if the bug bites you before the boredom sets in, you can add Woodchuck Syndrome to your KIKV. My new Kobra handle is now drying under it's eighth coat. It shows the caramel base color, bright golden flakes of sap vein, and a black vein is beginning to come up.In sunlight, whether due to bad eyes or refraction, there are some very small glints green. This may call for more coats
The other good thing about this finish is that dents are easily lifted with a wet washcloth and steam iron, and refinishing is just a couple of coats in the area of the damage. Final coat is Johnson's Paste furniture wax. It will harden, but still be just a little tacky under pressure of a hard grip, and is easy to re-do when sweat marked, etc.
I'd recommend Amazon Marine Formula Teak Oil or Golden Teak Oil. They actually have more tung and lemon oil than teak, and are formulated to protect wood against salt- something that's in your sweat. I use Roche-Thomas fretboard oil for my guitars and it works very well. I hadn't thought about using it for anything else. Thanks RKENNY.

"To Know and to Act are One"

[This message has been edited by Finn (edited 04-26-2001).]
"Boiled" linseed oil ( it isn't really boiled, just chemically treated to speed drying) can be found in any hardware or building supply store in the paint and finishes section. It is often "cut" to some degree with turpentine to thin it. It is good stuff and it is cheap. Some people, myself included, react to boiled linseed oil. Therefore, I use food grade walnut oil as a finish and polish. Walnut oil seems to have a consistency that is similar to linseed oil that has been cut with turpentine. Perhaps as a result the "coats" that walnut oil lays down seem to be a bit thinner than those that are laid down by boiled linseed oil. Drying time can be longer with walnut oil, too, since it does not contain the chemical dryers that boiled linseed oil does. I have found that I am at least as satisfied with my walnut oil finishes as I was with my old linseed oil finishes. Walnut oil just takes longer to build up coats of finish and the resulting finish can be a bit "duller" than a comparable linseed oil finish. Walnut oil is at least as good at bringing color, especially red, out as linseed oil. Being "food grade" walnut oil is not as toxic as boiled linseed oil and/or turpentine and it smells great. And, in the unlikely event that you don't like walnut oil as a wood finish, you can always put it on a salad or fry fish in it. Try that with boiled linseed oil! In fairness, however, I understand that a small per centage of the population react negatively to walnut products so it may be best to avoid walnut oil if your body reacts negatively to walnuts or walnut wood and it may also be a good idea to "go easy" the first couple of times that you use walnut oil...just like you would with any other new wood finish. Walnut oil can be found in the cooking oils section of most large supermarkets and health food stores.