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Wood Handle Care

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by abarnhart, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. abarnhart

    abarnhart

    434
    Apr 3, 2006
    Searched and didn't find...

    Can we get a definitive answer on how to give our beautiful wood handles the care they deserve? Wax? Oil?

    Thinking of this koa/blackwood beauty on the table next to me...

    Thanks!
     
  2. chainring

    chainring Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Weird frozen dialup internet service doubletap
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  3. chainring

    chainring Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Andy recommends and uses mineral oil for the blade and wood handles. Works well and it's food-safe. It is also generally regarded to be a laxative, which I didn't know. Actually went to the lumberyard looking for it as if it were right next to the tung oil, and they sent me to the supermarket. I assumed it was for cooking, so I just hurried in and asked the first clerk, "Where's the mineral oil?!" She kinda looked at me and pointed to the medicine aisle.

    LUBRICANT LAXATIVE!!!!

    it said on the front! I grabbed it and checked the heck out!
     
    Fiddleback likes this.
  4. abarnhart

    abarnhart

    434
    Apr 3, 2006
    Perfect. Thank you!

    I usually shy away from wood handles. But, this one... it's staying. The ergos are phenomenal. I know I'm preaching to the choir.
     
  5. Diomedes Industries

    Diomedes Industries Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    I think, and Andy will need to correct me, that he simply uses a thin coat or two of poly on his wooden handled knives.

    I have used Tung oil, Linseed oil, Mineral oil, and a poly used for hand application. The poly is certainly the strongest. I like linseed too - but it will turn your handles slightly yellow.

    I am sure Andy will post up.

    TF
     
  6. Rotte

    Rotte

    Aug 30, 2008
    Straight linseed oil is my reconditioner of choice...or at least practice. But I've also used a combination of linseed oil, spar varnish, and turpentine.

    I heard of a finish used at Plymouth Plantation for furniture and tools made from a combination of linseed oil, bee's wax, and turpentine. Haven't tried this yet, but I've got the ingredients together.

    The Spar varnish (poly essentially) is used for strength and toughness, the linseed oil for flexibility, and the turpentine to assist with flow and penetration of the first two.

    I vary the ratio of ingredients (I just eyeball 2 parts oil, 1 part spar, 2-3 parts turpentine), but generally like to keep the coats very thin.

    I only wonder if using bee's wax might be a bad idea in bear country--kinda smells like honey. :eek:
     
  7. Tx Bass Tech

    Tx Bass Tech

    235
    Dec 22, 2009
    I've used a tung oil/citrus mixture that I buy from a place near Austin. I like the results I've gotten on Mesquite, Jatoba, and Walnut. I flood the wood and keep it wet for about an hour then I wipe it dry, leave overnight and repeat for 5-7 days. It takes about another week before it feels really dry.
    I know Andy has said that he uses mineral oil on his wood and that is what I use on the knives I got from him. I got these mineral oil wipes with a cutting board I bought last year. About once a month I take one and wipe down the cutting board and all the wooden spoons and wood knife handles. Everything look great.
     
  8. abarnhart

    abarnhart

    434
    Apr 3, 2006
    Now that is an interesting thought! :D Bear encounters are supposed to be at an all-time high this year (bad berry season = more foraging).

    Lots of great info... waiting to hear from the "man"
     
  9. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
    What I do is slather the knife, blade and handle in min oil. Let it sit. Wipe off.

    What I'm trying to a complish with my wood finish is to seal down the grain. Otherwise, when it gets wet it raises making the wood rough feeling. What I'm trying to avoid is a thic buildup of finish. Thick shiney finishes cget ugly quick on tool handles.
     
  10. Diomedes Industries

    Diomedes Industries Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    I stand corrected. Thanks Andy.

    TF
     
  11. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
    Let me clarify. When finishing a knife, I brush on Polyurethane to seal down the grain. To keep it from building up on the surface, and only really seal the poores, I wipe it completely off. I mean all the way dry, I don't leave any on the surface. This seals down the grain, and lets the wood serve as the surface that takes wear.

    For maintainance, I slather with Mineral Oil as above.

    You weren't totaly wrong Tal.
     
  12. chainring

    chainring Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Mmmmm, I didn't know about that part! Sweet, glad abarnhart asked!
     
  13. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
    To learn about raised grain, get a plank of hardwood. Sand it smooth. The wipe it with water. Then feel the rough texture.
     
  14. Diomedes Industries

    Diomedes Industries Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    I am not wiping your wet wood Andy - I don't care what you say.

    TF
     
    Outpost Allison likes this.
  15. JonCanada

    JonCanada

    2
    Oct 5, 2018
  16. LostViking

    LostViking Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    I don't think there is a definitive answer.

    Ovviously Andy like what he uses. And if you use that it will work.
    His knives, his recipe.

    On most other wood handles. I use walnut oil. Followed by either Huberd's Shoe Grease, Obenauf's, or Snow Seal.

    All mostly consisting of Bee's Wax.

    The ritual of fall oiling,
    [​IMG]
     
    David L and schmittie like this.
  17. JonCanada

    JonCanada

    2
    Oct 5, 2018
    LostViking.... Those look beautiful.
     
    LostViking likes this.
  18. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
    Nowadays we finish with Howard's feed-n-wax, which you can find at HD. When we discovered that we stopped using the mineral oil. Though I still keep it around to use on knives.
     
    David L and blue333 like this.
  19. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
    Good read. We clean the handle, then slather with the Howards and let sit overnight, then wipe and buff with a rag. Its food safe, and it doesn't hurt for the howards to get onto the steel either. Wood just loves the stuff, but we do this process to the micartas as well.
     
    David L, Florider 6 and Lady1911 like this.
  20. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    spit works best for me
     

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