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wood finishing

Mason Simonet

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hey guys,

i need some advice with finishing my knife handles. my current process is sanding with 400 grit paper then soaking it up with mineral oil, some handles have turned out nice some have not, it really depends on the wood I'm using. so i gathered up some info from the internet and found that i should sand with 600 grit then soak in water and rub down with steel wool to remove all those little (hairs) repeat this 3 times, then oil with boiled linseed oil and finally buff. does this sound like a good process? anything i should add? i do not want to do any wax  or any coating. and id like to skip the buffing process, i don't really like that shine. Thanks

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That is the process I have used for years. Works with woods that are not oild intensive. Like rosewood.

”Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor!”


George Brackett

American Bladesmith's Society,

Apprentice Member

Hialeah, Florida

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On removing the whiskers, you don't need to soak in water, just wipe some on and dry it with a torch or heat gun.  That will raise the grain quickly and well. And you don't buff boiled linseed oil, you just rub it hard.  It will build up a nice low sheen. Or don't rub and it will be a flatter finish. 

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thanks for the info! good to know about the linseed oil. could i possibly sand with linseed oil to fill the voids?  I like to use the same oil for all my applications.

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I've used that method (sanding with linseed oil) on bog oak and walnut with good results, though I've since stopped using linseed oil on black walnut as it darkens the wood too much.  Every species of wood seems to need a slightly different finishing method for best results, finding the right one for each is either a pain or an adventure, depending on your outlook on life...

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George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."

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