PDA

View Full Version : [NEED] Knife Handle Sealant



dbmiller5
07-19-2012, 12:11 AM
Hey guys,

I made a little handle for one of my knifes. Since the handle is ebony cocobolo I figured tung oil as the sealant would suffice... I was wrong. Within a week of use the handle was bare. Can you suggest a good sealant? I was thinking about wax, but I dont know which one to get.

Handle:
http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac345/mllrkllr88/IMG_5926.jpg

HHH Knives
07-19-2012, 12:17 AM
I like Ren. Wax. heres a link. http://usaknifemaker.com/lube-wax-lock-polish-c-100/wax-lube-oil-maint-c-100-24/renaissance-wax-7-oz-can.html

Nice looking handle as well, great job!

dbmiller5
07-20-2012, 04:32 AM
Thanks man, its in the mail!

richinva
07-20-2012, 09:16 AM
On most cocobolo I usually apply a couple of wash coats of shellac, after cleaning with acetone. Then I'll apply Ren wax. The wax will wear off eventually, but is easily reapplied. Often you can just use the palm of your hand to "re-oil" it. I've always thought well-used cocobolo didn't need much of anything...........

Marko Tsourkan
07-20-2012, 09:27 AM
Cocobolo is stable to use without any sealant. Renaissance wax is OK, but will get scrubbed off after a few washing. I would just leave the handle as is. It will be years before you would need to replace it (if ever if you dry it after the use and wash).

Shellac is not water-proof. To really seal your handle, you need to use poly and build up a fairly thick film. It will kill the natural feel of the wood though.

M

Seth
07-20-2012, 09:34 AM
Some oily type woods don't really need much. Having said that, I like to use a wiping gloss poly, essentially a thinned varnish, because it penetrates and leaves a natural wood feel but offers some additional protection; topped coated with Renaissance wax. I don't think shellac will help much except on violins.

richinva
07-20-2012, 01:20 PM
The shellac is not intended to be waterproof. It's purpose is to prevent/slow the natural oil from coming back to the surface. The poly will eventually wear off from water and wear. Violins only? You're joking, right?
:

Seth
07-20-2012, 01:39 PM
...just an obscure reference to the french polish technique used on some string instruments. Shellac has its uses but I have a preference for a finish taught by an old fashion woodworker; multiple layers of varnish, thinned and sometimes with a few drops of linseed oil. It penetrates and hardens at and below the surface to avoid a heavy laquer type feel. I personally have not used shellac in years.

richinva
07-20-2012, 03:25 PM
[QUOTE=Seth;128163.....I personally have not used shellac in years.[/QUOTE]
That's too bad.
Another advantage to shellac is that it seems to set more of the true color as opposed to the darkening effect that oil on raw wood gives.

Seth
07-20-2012, 04:05 PM
I agree about the darkening. I tend not to use oil anymore either; just the thinned version of a clear varnish. The thing I remember about shellac and the french polish thing is that the shellac can dry so fast that when it is applied with a ball of fabric it dries by the time you come to the next circular motion. (I know we are OT here.) This would create hundreds of layers of suminigashi finish that would give a depth to the finish. With some woods like ebony, I don't use any finish, or maybe a bit of wax. I don't have my knives under a constant stream of water like the fish guys do, so this works.

Shellac....hmmm. You are causing me to think about this.

Lawrence
07-20-2012, 04:26 PM
Clean it after use and use a little mineral oil on the handle..

Marko Tsourkan
07-20-2012, 04:51 PM
I used shellac and thin poly (not varnish) finishing sayas. Poly provides durability and can make surface waterproof, but one has to apply a fairly thick film.

Shellac is often used as a sealant in between coats. For instance, you can apply oil to highlight grain, seal it with shellac and then finish with poly. It can also be used as a sealant to highlight grain. By itself, shellac is relatively poor finish,y if an item comes in contact with water and other liquids. You see it on violins, furniture, but you know you should not put a glass of water on a French polished table, without a coaster.

I use shellac when a natural look is important, several application will build up a very thin barely visible film, but regardless how many coats, shellac finish won't prevent wood from moving or water penetrating the grain.

I am minimalist in these things - if a wood is an oily wood, it is most likely stable and can withstand exposure to water. All natural oily woods will darken over time, unless completely sealed from elements (poly is your friend, all other finishes can make it water repellant at best).

M

apicius9
07-20-2012, 05:33 PM
I always liked the idea of using a finish that is as natural as possible, and that lead me to a mix of shellac and tung oil. Basically, the shellac works as an accelerant for the tung oil to dry. The tung oil hardens and it becomes water repellant, not sure I would want to call it water proof enough to let it sit in water for a while, but I hope that nobody does that with their knives anyway... The oil also pops the colors a bit. The tip came from Mike Stewart who uses shellac and linseed oil as his standard finish, but I had the impression that linseed oil darkend the wood more than tungnoil.

As for the cocobolo, I also apply a layer or two of the same finish to it because it brightens the color a bit, but in general I don't think it would need anything. You could just occasionally rub it down with board butter.

My 2cts.

Stefan

Burl Source
07-20-2012, 07:57 PM
I am leaning toward regular applications of the board butter or wax.
The oil in the wood will combine itself with the wax a bit, but the surface wax will wear off from handling so maybe re-apply once or twice a month.
Cocobolo will eventually shed almost any hard surface finish because of the oils in the wood.
If you leave it unfinished it will oxidize and turn dark hiding the grain and colors.

Dream Burls
07-20-2012, 11:15 PM
What am I missing? I thought you guys use stabilized wood for handles. Doesn't that mean you don't have to do anything to them?

SpikeC
07-21-2012, 06:30 PM
Stabilized wood is only for wood that needs stabilizing. Wood like cocbolo or ebony are too dense to use the process.

Dream Burls
07-22-2012, 08:43 AM
Stabilized wood is only for wood that needs stabilizing. Wood like cocbolo or ebony are too dense to use the process.

Understood. But if they are so dense then what are you protecting them from with the various finishes mentioned in this thread?

Marko Tsourkan
07-22-2012, 09:42 AM
Cocobolo will darken when exposed to elements, so I think sealing it with some sort of finish might slow oxidizing down, but won't prevent it entirely ( unless it's a thick poly), and darkening will occur over time.

M

zitangy
07-22-2012, 07:35 PM
It is reported that walnut oil will not change the color and yet makes the grains pop!

I did play with tung oil but with exuberance, the color changed too much on a slab of wood.. called belayong from philippines, a cousin of the Japanese Cherry wood. That was abt a year ago and have not been bck since to finish the job. Major sand papering to be done

http://www.doctorswoodshop.com/Products/WalnutOilCarnaubaWaxShellacWoodturningFinis.aspx


HIghly recommended by a wood turner from Etsy who makes wooded bowls from whom i bought an orange osage also known as bodark bowl.

I will eventually check out this product as it is a combination of walnut and carnuba ( in nano size) for friction polish. Trade discount seems to be available for those in the trade..

Have fun.

rgds
D


I always liked the idea of using a finish that is as natural as possible, and that lead me to a mix of shellac and tung oil. Basically, the shellac works as an accelerant for the tung oil to dry. The tung oil hardens and it becomes water repellant, not sure I would want to call it water proof enough to let it sit in water for a while, but I hope that nobody does that with their knives anyway... The oil also pops the colors a bit. The tip came from Mike Stewart who uses shellac and linseed oil as his standard finish, but I had the impression that linseed oil darkend the wood more than tungnoil.

As for the cocobolo, I also apply a layer or two of the same finish to it because it brightens the color a bit, but in general I don't think it would need anything. You could just occasionally rub it down with board butter.

My 2cts.

Stefan

richinva
07-22-2012, 09:38 PM
I use walnut oil from the grocery store, really the same thing less the carnauba, for most of the utility bowls, spatulas, etc., that I make. It's an easy finish to apply, cures with a bit of UV exposure, but has no sheen at all. To help things sell, I will buff with Ren wax occasionally, but it will require a reapplication..............

I know a lot of folks that use Mahoney Walnut Oil and the DoctorsWoodShop walnut oil, almost all for bowls. I'm also able to apply walnut oil and sand on the lathe, altho' the paper clogs more when you speed things up.

Eamon Burke
07-22-2012, 11:14 PM
I've always been partial to using the same treatment that your cutting boards get for handles and sheaths--it simplifies the accouterments needed to keep up with your kitchen. So mineral oil, with a little beeswax if you want some temporary water repellency.

I just wouldn't want to tell someone they have to go buy Tung Oil, something most folks don't have, just to lube up a handle on one thing in their house.