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I'm struggling with a carving knife & fork set with Walnut burl for the handles, I've used Linseed oil on the knife, fork was done much later and and got some Tung oil during that time.

 

Tried the polisher, tried 1000 grit sanding paper, and I keep getting a dull finish with (problem) shiny streak and spots in, close as I can describe it looks like it was varnished and most of the varnish wore off.

I did read the instructions on the Tung oil and I was slightly surprised that they advertise a  mat finish, which would be fine if it was consistent.

Last night I tried buffing it with a soft rag, hard and repeatedly, without any improvement

 

Any ideas what's wrong or tips how to fix it?

 

I bought the wood off an American who lived here for a while, imported by him......stunning looking wood but my first time using it and it's biting back....

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Hi Gerhard

The only consistent success I have had with walnut and walnut burl is to stabilize it first...then do the shaping and polishing....

I have also used boiled linseed oil and tung oil with results that wide spread and in some cases completely not what I wanted

 

 

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Try going up to 2000 grit. That might get you where you want to go. (Sorry for the poor quality photo - broke the lens on my phone's camera...

 

 

P_20200724_123140_HDR[1].jpg

Edited by Ron Benson
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I dont have any experience with tung oil, but I've never been really happy with the results I've gotten with BLO on walnut.  I'm probably not patient enough to really do it correctly.

 

The best results I've been able to get with unstabilized walnut is using many (8-10) light coats of polyurethane, sanding each back down to the wood with 600 until the pores fill in.  The last coat I sand to 1000 or so and then buff.

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Walnut being a relatively soft and porous wood, oil finishes take a LOT of thin coats to get anything that looks really good.  If using BLO or tung, do not sand between coats.  If using Tru-Oil or polyurethane, then you do sand.  Oil finishes need to build up before they take anything like a gloss or semigloss appearance.  The streaks you're getting are because parts of the burl are more porous than others.  Just keep applying thin coats, letting it dry well in between, until you get a uniform appearance.  

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

The streaks you're getting are because parts of the burl are more porous than others

Yep, remember that burl is a mixture of hard and soft wood in a confusing tangle. The soft spots will absorb more than the hard spots, so you keep applying your finish till the soft spots are "filled up".

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The best finish I have found for walnut and in fact is my go to finish for all my knife wood handles is sand to 600, buff well and then the four equal part mix of tung oil, blo, veg turps(gum spirits) and spar varnish. Brush on liberally, leave for 20 - 30 minutes and wipe off hard with lint free cloth. Repeat every 2-3 hours till the  finish is singular accross the whole surface. I do rifle stocks this way as well. The turps takes the oil/varnish deep into the wood and sets in the wood rathyer than on the surface

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Garry, am I correct in assuming this procedure is used on un-stabilized wood?

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33 minutes ago, Chris Christenberry said:

Garry, am I correct in assuming this procedure is used on un-stabilized wood?

Yes but even on stabilised wood I give it one coat just because I can get past the need for doing so

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I just sand to 1200, polish and then apply a coat of any hard wax that has carnuba in it.

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Thank you all, glad to find out my only mistake was not asking beforehand.

 

I'll start with sanding them to 2000, see what wax I can get hold of or try the thinned BLO.

 

 

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