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Wood Handle Finishing Advice

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by ToddR, May 16, 2017.

  1. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Hi all. I've made about a dozen knives now. All with wood handles because, well, i think wood looks better. I esp. love a handle that looks a little worn and weathered. I have a bunch of old cut offs and reject project pieces from a wood show and I'll be using them for awhile. ( i bought a beer case full of pieces for $20)

    My question is about finishing. I've tried danish oil and, while it looks great, it doesn't seem to last long. It seems to just soak in every coat i put on. It looks great for a bit then I sand with a scouring pad to make it smooth and then apply again. It just seems to keep taking the oil. Then i read about and tried using the buffer with a buffing compound. This looks really great. A nice dull shine and it almost seals the wood like a waxy paste. But it too seems to not last very long.

    What's a long lasting finish for a wood handle that isn't overly fussy to apply or to maintain. Knife handles seem to be harder to finish than furniture.
  2. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    I like a good soak in linseed oil -- but you have to be mindful that it may darken the colour some. I've also used paste wax. I've had good results with Meguiar's car wax as well as a commercial mold release wax. Any surface treatment will wear over time, but those two seem to hold up quite well.
  3. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I still use Tru-oil for straight wood handles and start applying at 400 grit then reapply each grit from 600 to 2000 and then a coat before waxing and buffing.
    Eric B likes this.
  4. Shadnuke

    Shadnuke Disabled dreamer...

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    You could always do a cyanoacrylate finish. Look on YouTube and you'll see how the guys do CA finishes when making pens on the lathe. It gives it a really high gloss finish that looks amazing!

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