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Martin Tiney

What do you finish wooden scales with?

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I like to use wood for the scales on my knives, generally either English oak, wallnut, or mahogany and finish them with either boiled linseed oil, teak oil or a beeswax / linseed oil polish that I use when refinishing gun stocks, 

 What do you favour for  your wooden knife scales and why do you favour this product? 

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Boiled linseed oil, several thin coats rubbed out each time and fully cured, topped with paste wax for a traditional-looking finish, Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil for a shiny high-gloss finish.  I like the BLO and wax because it's traditional and it's easy to fix if it gets scratched.  I'm not a big fan of high gloss, but Tru-Oil can be rubbed back with steel wool or rottenstone for a lower gloss.  It's more waterproof than the BLO/wax combo, so it goes on things that need that.   

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Besides what Alan said, I recently tried CA glue and it worked very well, especially for porous and/or oily woods. 

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil

I thought it was just solvent, Linseed oil and modified soy oil?

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I like the finish that BLO leaves on natural wood.  I've also had very good luck using multiple light coats of polyurethane, sanding each one back off, until all of the pores are filled.  The last coat gets sanded out to 1000 grit and buffed.  If done right it can leave an incredibly smooth finish on even very porous woods.

Edited by Alex Middleton

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On 2/9/2020 at 6:38 PM, Gerald Boggs said:

I thought it was just solvent, Linseed oil and modified soy oil?

Yes, it's spreadable plastic.  But it works as advertised. 

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I get so mad at the finish industry.  All they do is "re-invent" varnish!  If you ever want to really learn about finishes, pick up the book "Understanding Wood Finishing" by Bob Flexner.  Bob is a lifelong friend of mine and the finishing industry actually comes to him for advice!!!  (As an aside, I might mention one of my Grandfather clocks in on page 237 of that book.) :lol:

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Equal parts Tung oil, refined BLO, vegetable turps and marine grade varnish. brush on, leave 20-30 min and wipe off repeat every few hours depending on density of wood. I use this on rifle stock as well.

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What is your opinion on using Danish Oil as a finishing product?

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I guess Danish oil would be OK, it leaves a durable finish, I only use the mentioned oils /waxes because they are what I use on gunstocks when I refinish them, I've often wondered what a gun makers red oil would be like 

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4 hours ago, Frederick Loretz said:

What is your opinion on using Danish Oil as a finishing product?

 

If you use a Danish oil, you might want to use an exterior oil.

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11 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

But it works as advertised.

Most of them do, it just offends my frugal nature :-)  It's like buying spending $10 for "Food Grade" mineral oil instead of $2 for the same stuff without the words "Food Grade"  Since the $2 bottle is intended for oral consumption, I rather think it's food safe

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43 minutes ago, Ron Benson said:

 

If you use a Danish oil, you might want to use an exterior oil.

Thank you Ron.

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1 hour ago, Martin Tiney said:

I guess Danish oil would be OK, it leaves a durable finish, I only use the mentioned oils /waxes because they are what I use on gunstocks when I refinish them, I've often wondered what a gun makers red oil would be like 

I have done quite a fe rifle stocks with the alkanet infused oil but only to highlight the tones already in the wood. not all walnuts benefit from the highlighting.

This is one of the many I have done that shows the alkanet root highlighting the grain tones210c.pngPhoto1463.jpgPhoto1574.jpg

Edited by Garry Keown

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13 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

I get so mad at the finish industry.  All they do is "re-invent" varnish!  If you ever want to really learn about finishes, pick up the book "Understanding Wood Finishing" by Bob Flexner.  Bob is a lifelong friend of mine and the finishing industry actually comes to him for advice!!!  (As an aside, I might mention one of my Grandfather clocks in on page 237 of that book.) :lol:

 

yes, no matter what finish you put on, it is most probably some form of linseed oil. What is in those products varies, I always recommend tung oil (low gloss) its easy to put on, you don't have to wait a days to reapply, buffs up nicely.

 

Linseed wax is also very nice for open grain woods as it fills in like Allen mentioned.  A sanding sealer before the finish can also help with that.  Sanding sealer does no allow the oil to be absorbed into the wood. 

Edited by Daniel W

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2 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

"Food Grade" mineral oil

 

I get the gallon jug from the feed store for $10.  If it's good enough for a colicky horse, it's good enough. :lol:

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Does Mineral Oil polymerize?

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Only when baked on.  It's more of a metal finish for kitchenware.

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Okay, thanks, Alan.  Then why would you use it on wooden scales?

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I've used tru-oil and BlO for a long time, mostly of rifle stocks. I've recently started making knives, so it just followed me over. I've also used tung oil, which works pretty decent as well.

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51 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I get the gallon jug from the feed store for $10

Good for you, and if someone lives in Canada, they can get raw edible linseed oil from the same store.   Next time go, I'm going to bring back couple of gals.

Edited by Gerald Boggs

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(If I bring back a couple of gals when I come home from the store, I'll be sleeping in the dog house for a couple of months!) roflmao.gif  Of course, I'd not be there alone, I guess.

Edited by Chris Christenberry

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2 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

Then why would you use it on wooden scales?

 

I wouldn't.  Gerald just mentioned it  (but then he's also wanting to pick up Canadian gals ;)), so there you go.  I might use it on a cutting board, but not on wooden scales.  Why a cutting board?  BLO is poisonous, and veggie oils go rancid.  I've used walnut oil, and it never ever dries, just like mineral oil, but it doesn't wash off the surface and stay in the wood like mineral oil.  Plus it is pretty much free of flavor.  The mineral oil, not the walnut oil.  That stuff's nasty after a while...  same with olive oil.  

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

Canadian gals

They looked like gallons. :-),  And they just might be, the Canadians use a lot of US measurements, but probability 3.7 liters

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Just got to ask, other then appearance, whats wrong with keeping it simple.  Almost anything will give a sufficient protection against the elements.

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