Waterproofing Opinels? (yes, again)

I have to agree with what was all said. Wood without liners will always be a problem. As afishhunter said get one of those "modern" Outdoor ones that are made out of plastic.



Not traditional, but pretty cool. IMO.
 
I have used a drop of gun oil (Hoppes), and sewing machine oil.


Some of mine are too loose now.

But honestly, after swimming with one, it was never bad enough that I could not open it.
 
I used to use Opinels for paring/utility duty while employed as a professional cook. My quick solution was to just leave them open if they got really wet and swelled and put them in the roll with all my other knives. I still use Opinels in the kitchen, and if they get really wet, I leave them out open till completely dry, or place them in the knife drawer in the open position. Not an answer, I know, but now my point. If you are using them in a camping type scenario, perhaps a suitable sheath could be found, or made, to just leave them open yet safe for carry. They have always been too quirky for me to rely on if I only plan on having one knife, there are just too many other readily available options that better suit my needs personally. I do love them though, in spite of their shortcomings...
 
I tried talking to a couple knife maker friends about making a Micarta/G10 Opinel handle - all of them said Nope.

And though they're not traditional with those plastic handles, I think Opinel has a good idea for their Outdoor model. But then they went and made it a 50/50 serrated blade. I handled a friend's Outdoor and compared it to my #8 to see if a blade swap could be done. The blade on the Outdoor model looks thicker than a standard #8 so I think that might cause problems.
 
Opi6.jpg

GrandPa's n° 12, # 60 years old, of which 35 carving meat for his living, all day (should say night in fact). Washed several times a day during work.
My n°8 1975, used everyday in the kitchen and various tasks including fishing and gardening. Washed after each use.
Grand'Pa and Grand'Ma, then Dad's then mine pre-WWII n°5. Suffered much abuse when I played with it, did everything a child can do in the coutry with a knife including some fairly dangerous games, falled several times in rivers and lake Leman, lost in the garden for weeks then found again, now my gardening knife for small tasks.

No trace of swell, they never seized, n°8 never been oiled, no blade wobble, n°12 oiled once every century or so... all working fine, quite everyday for 8 and 5. And as would say someone, they cut like the dickens. :eek:

Frankly, no chauvinistic argument intended, but, Gentlemen, would you believe that a knife aimed at peasants and country workers would still sell after more than a century if it seized each time it sees a tap?

Opi4.jpg
 
Opi6.jpg

GrandPa's n° 12, # 60 years old, of which 35 carving meat for his living, all day (should say night in fact). Washed several times a day during work.
My n°8 1975, used everyday in the kitchen and various tasks including fishing and gardening. Washed after each use.
Grand'Pa and Grand'Ma, then Dad's then mine pre-WWII n°5. Suffered much abuse when I played with it, did everything a child can do in the coutry with a knife including some fairly dangerous games, falled several times in rivers and lake Leman, lost in the garden for weeks then found again, now my gardening knife for small tasks.

No trace of swell, they never seized, n°8 never been oiled, no blade wobble, n°12 oiled once every century or so... all working fine, quite everyday for 8 and 5. And as would say someone, they cut like the dickens. :eek:

Frankly, no chauvinistic argument intended, but, Gentlemen, would you believe that a knife aimed at peasants and country workers would still sell after more than a century if it seized each time it sees a tap?

Opi4.jpg

Cocorico! Vraiment, il n'y aucune du problème la. C'est la même pour mes Opinels, aussi.

Zieg
 
Bien sur! :thumbup: :D
Opis are made in the Alps and you probably know that people up there don't throw money through the windows!
 
Jolipapa, my mountains are not as high as the Alps but they also tend to be a bit more wet!!! My Opinels (which I do love) act up on the wet, humid times and definitely when washed.

Alberta Ed, would carpenters bees wax be a close replacement to floor wax? I have a good amount of the former. Use it often for prepping threads on bike parts. Works sort of like loctite.
 
Most of my opinels were treated with BLO soaks and monthly Vaseline in the joints and I never really had any problems with seizing though I'm not sure if I wash them as thoroughly as you do. The only one that seizes up is an untreated bubinga slim. For that one I have to resort to the coup de Savoyard ( knocking the butt of the knife hard on a table to the blade opens a bit and can be pinched open.) but it gets me thinking, I have a Nontron from France and it has plastic liners at the joint which gives it very smooth action. I've sometimes wondered about adding thin nylon washers to the joint on either side of the blade to see if that might stop the blade from seizing. Would be worth a try if you're customizing the opinel to begin with.
 
... but it gets me thinking, I have a Nontron from France and it has plastic liners at the joint which gives it very smooth action. I've sometimes wondered about adding thin nylon washers to the joint on either side of the blade to see if that might stop the blade from seizing. Would be worth a try if you're customizing the opinel to begin with.

Good idea!
 
My No8 is mainly used in the kitchen but it does occasionally end up outside. A couple of times a year I sand it down with 0000 wire wool and drop it into a bottle of raw linseed oil for a few days.
I've never had any problem with it seizing up. I did wonder about soaking it in butchers block oil or even the wax used for proofing waxed coats but the linseed oil seems to work fine.

wCU6W9k.jpg
 
Have you tried Snow Seal and a hair dryer? I use it on shoes, sheaths and my untreated wood Mora handles....

Still beads up water 2 years after I treated it...

Jolipapa, my mountains are not as high as the Alps but they also tend to be a bit more wet!!! My Opinels (which I do love) act up on the wet, humid times and definitely when washed.

Alberta Ed, would carpenters bees wax be a close replacement to floor wax? I have a good amount of the former. Use it often for prepping threads on bike parts. Works sort of like loctite.

FWIW, I have been very pleased with the results of treating my Opinels with Sno-Seal, which the jar claims is beeswax. I typically put a small dab in the microwave for a very short time to make it very soft, but not quite liquid, and use a toothpick to liberally rub the softened Sno-Seal into the pivot area and beyond. For me, it has seemed a more effective and longer-lasting treatment than Vaseline. I bought an Opinel #7 last December and gave it the Sno-Seal treatment, and it has been trouble-free, with one exception, since then, and I use it and wash it off almost daily. The one exception was on vacation on the shores of Lake Huron in August, where it was quite humid, and the blade was starting to get quite tight from handle-swelling. But I did a 6-hour "dashboard bake" in my car parked in the hot sun, and the swelling went away, never to return. Admittedly, my Opinel has led a pretty sheltered life: I use it almost daily in the kitchen for food prep and clean it right away. Cleaning does not mean soaking overnight in hot soapy water; I simply rinse it under the kitchen faucet, rub it with a soapy nylon dish scrubber, rinse again under the faucet, dry the blade with a dish towel, and set the knife open on the counter to dry until the next use, usually 12 hours later. As always, YMMV.

- GT
 
Since I discovered bees-wax method I was used to waterproofing my Opis with hot mineral oil (60-70 °C) bath over night but it's not the easiest way (you need to secure hot oil for few hours and so on). I'm using much more simple method now. Just push many little slices of bees-wax into the blade gap and around the pivot. Then use hairdryer - melt the wax and let it to soak in the beechwood handle. Melt a few peaces of bees-wax on the rest of handles surface, then polish the handle with piece of leather. And done. I used my DOpi as a swimsuit knife (sweet water - mountain creeks, rivers) this summer and I had zero openning problems. After all day spent in water and wet swimsuit my DOpi still could be opened with one hand (using method that I believe you, pinnah, described somewhere in the forums). Of course openning was slightly stiffer but no force was needed.
If you replace your Opi, it will cry ;)
 
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