Thanks Dave! The pictures look OK but trust me that in person the handles look so much better and the feel is smooth as silk. It's been awhile since I've been this happy with the results I'm getting so having you comment really makes my day.
What I'm doing is finishing the handles to a high gloss by hand and then applying a blend of polymerizing oils in several layers to get the look I'm after. This has taken me about 6 months worth of rehandle work to figure out and I'm just starting to get something I feel is good. I'm after a waterproof, durable, permanent finish.
There are some woods that this won't work on (like ironwood) so for that I use a non-drying oil satin finish instead. I may also chose not to go with the high shine on some other woods too (like thuya burl) and I'll either do the satin ironwood thing or a combo of the two. It comes down to sometimes some woods look better satin low gloss where others look good high gloss.