Will bone absorb oil?

airyq

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Messages
765
I have 2 Case Wildlife series fishing knives, the Wildlife series is the one with the laser "scrimshawed" bone handles.

The bone handles on the Wildlife series, to me feels like it has been sanded down and not high polished like the normal Case handles.

I had oiled both knives with Militec.

Now there are patches on the handles that have darkened and yet look a bit translucent, almost like the patches on cardboard that have had oil dripped on it.

It is possible for the bone handles to absorb oil or Militec?

I tried to apply Militec on the entire handles so that they would at least be consistent but the rest of the handles have not taken on the same look.

Any one have any idea?
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2001
Messages
18,423
Yes, bone will absolutly absorb oil, not just through the surface, but through the pourus ends where it meets up with the bolster. I only use food grade mineral oil, (sold at any pharmacy as a laxative VERY CHEAP), on knives with bone or wood scales. I have never had it harm or change the color of bone, so you might want to try it.
 

airyq

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Messages
765
Actuallly the patches that I am talking about do start from where the handle meets up with the bolsters.

I think I will try a thick application of mineral oil and hope that the handles even up.

Thanks TLC.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2001
Messages
18,423
It might, but mineral oil is clear and I have never had it color bone at all. Most of the newer fancy oils are just mineral oil with chemicals added. The chemicals are most likely what colored the bone.
 

Danbo

Platinum Member
Joined
Nov 28, 1999
Messages
14,979
Mineral oil might be clear, but bone and stag will definitely pick up some color from it. Good color, in my opinion. One thing I always do with stag handled knives, is to soak them in mineral oil for a couple of days. The stag picks up nice creamy colors, almost like ivory.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2002
Messages
3,215
Yes, bone is porous and will absorb oil. It does tend to darken bone, especially bone that is natural or light colored, that is, it tends to be more noticeable on. Do not despair though, the oil is actually good for it. Bone tends to dry out and the oil will help prolong its life. Bone that is dreidn out will tend to crack and this will help it.
What actually works best though is mineral oil, which also works well, on your stag and ivory, to help prolong its life.

Mineral oil will also darken your bopne, but very slightly, hardly noticeable. It depends on the material and the density.
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Messages
924
I've had rem bone knives darken unevenly. I still treat them to oil and it does eventually dry out a bit and even up.
 

brownshoe

I support this site with my MIND
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
9,308
I've had the same problem with a case white bone handled folding knife and mineral oil. I believe the mineral oil acts as a carrier for tiny dirt or steel shavings from sharpening. That's why you only see it around the bolsters, but not in the center of the handle. The mineral oil penetrates the bone and carries the dirt with it. The dirt is now part of the porous structure of the bone and will not be removed. You probably don't get this problem as much with fixed baldes. If you really care about your bone or stag and treat them as safe queens, a wax should be better. However wax will wear off, so if its a using knife, mineral oil is probably better.

I wouldn't put miltec on anything bone, its basic color is yellow not clear like mineral oil. Plust miltec is higher in viscosity (i.e. its thicker) than mineral oil, which is probably why it needs to be heated to get good penetration.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2004
Messages
120
The following opinion is not based on experience with bone, but with leather, wood (gun stocks), Arkansas stones and other porous surfaces:

If you plan on USING something with a porous surface (handle, etc.) and plan to treat it with oil, your best bet is to completely treat it before the first use to achieve and maintain a consistent/even color. Porous materials of any kind will act like a sponge for almost any fluid (and the particles suspended in it) and treating it after the fact will cause the particles in suspension to penetrate further. However, if the material has sufficient fluid from the start, the discoloration from use and contamination ("dirt") will be lessened, and my experience (especially with leather and stone) has been that it cleans easier, with less staining.

As for evening out the color, I'd suggest wrapping the handle in a saturated cotton rag, and letting it sit in a warm place for a while. BUT you might want to get a clean piece of bone (from a steak[uncooked] or from some game), sand it, run it through the dish washer, and dry it in the sun for a few days and try IT first to see if it takes it evenly.

I hope you find something that works.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2002
Messages
3,215
Unfortunately all bone is not the same. What may happen to one, may not happen to another. As all bone is porous it will absorb fluids to some extent. as far as being "evenly absorbed" that's unfortunately pretty relative.

JHouston is right though, a warm place will help absorbtion, but no two pieces of bone will stain exactly the same.
 

airyq

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Messages
765
Thanks you all for the input.

Am having trouble finding pure mineral oil, the stuff that I can find is baby oil with a fragrance added.

Can mineral oil with a "baby" fragrance be used?

Alternatively, does petroleum jelly (vaseline) work in place of mineral oil?
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
3,164
The darker color you are seeing at the bolsters is the oil soaking in at the ends of the bone scales. It is called cappilary(sp?) action. If you want to see a good demonstartion of this, stand a celery stalk on end in a glass of colored water. You will see how the color rises through the stalk.

Paul
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2003
Messages
180
I never did find pure mineral oil in a pharmacy when I was looking for it. Where I did find it was a hardware store. It should be with the linseed oil, turpentine, tung oil, etc... Hope this helps. Oh, and baby oil does work. The knife will just smell funny for a bit.

Leo
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2001
Messages
18,423
Lion said:
I never did find pure mineral oil in a pharmacy when I was looking for it. Where I did find it was a hardware store. It should be with the linseed oil, turpentine, tung oil, etc... Hope this helps. Oh, and baby oil does work. The knife will just smell funny for a bit.

Leo

I't labeled as a laxative in pharmacies.

I bought mine at a Kroger.

1.98 for a 12 or 16 oz. bottle.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2004
Messages
120
The Last Confederate said:
I't labeled as a laxative in pharmacies.

I bought mine at a Kroger.

1.98 for a 12 or 16 oz. bottle.

The word you are looking for is "castor" oil. The stuff made famous in the Little Rascal's movies. Walgreen's sells it under they're house label.

It's kind of like rubbing alcohols: under any label, its still just rubbing alcohol.

CLARIFICATION: Castor Oil is NOT mineral oil but is usually found right next to it as they are used for the same thing. What I was trying to say was that when you find the castor oil, the mineral oil should be right there with it.

:footinmou
 
Top