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Thread: What shrinks?

  1. #11
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    chazmtb's Avatar
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    OT question regarding woods, especially ironwood. Ok this is not meant to be off-colored

    I buff the ironwood handle, and it gets pretty shiny (using a buffing wheel and white compound). After a few uses, it gets to be dull again. Do you guys do anything special to get it to stay shiny like using shelach?

  2. #12

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    My limited expereince with super oily woods like that is that they scoff at many finishes. Oil won't even soak into the wood.
    Quote Originally Posted by chazmtb View Post
    OT question regarding woods, especially ironwood. Ok this is not meant to be off-colored

    I buff the ironwood handle, and it gets pretty shiny (using a buffing wheel and white compound). After a few uses, it gets to be dull again. Do you guys do anything special to get it to stay shiny like using shelach?

  3. #13
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    I understand ink line wood as the one that has black lines from spalting - is that what you mean, Dave? I am surprised that this moves that much even after stabilizing. Of course, technically, everything moves, including metal, but in various degrees which is what can cause the problems. I fully agree with Marko, the longer you can let the wood sit before you use it, the better. I think I read that a piece of wood dries at the rate of 1" every 6 months (with variations, of course). I try to let all my woods sit for at least that time, even if they were dry when I got them. The only exception are some very light spalted woods that dry much faster, I send those for stabilizing after a few weeks of extra drying, but only if I need them soon. Many of the problems arise if the unseasoned/untreated wood goes to a different climate area. I have handles from unstabilized koa that are just fine, but I am sure they will shrink as soon as I send them to Utah...

    As for the finishing: I may be overdoing it a bit, but I also apply 3-4 layers of a tung oil & shellac mix on the oily handles (blackwood, cocobolo) or the dense ones (ebony, ironwood, even lignum vitae). I still believe it brings out the colors a bit better, adds just that little bit more protection, and buffs up to a nicer sheen. But as Bao points out, this does not keep forever, if you want to keep the sheen, you will have to re-buff it. You could use all kinds of things, like a little auto polish on a piece of cotton and rub it on vigorously, that should do it. I prefer it in that more 'natural' way, rather than plastering the handles with some kind of laquer.

    Stefan

  4. #14
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    Interesting. So if I want a western knife rehandled, I should buy the wood, keep it at home for a year, seal it up and send it. The handle then has to be made immediately upon breaking the seal? Sheesh!

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by chazmtb View Post
    OT question regarding woods, especially ironwood. Ok this is not meant to be off-colored

    I buff the ironwood handle, and it gets pretty shiny (using a buffing wheel and white compound). After a few uses, it gets to be dull again. Do you guys do anything special to get it to stay shiny like using shelach?
    I use beeswax and mineral oil (combo) on my unstabilized wood handles when they get that dried out dull finish on them.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    Interesting. So if I want a western knife rehandled, I should buy the wood, keep it at home for a year, seal it up and send it. The handle then has to be made immediately upon breaking the seal? Sheesh!
    Or just use stabilized wood. Shouldn't move that much, if at all.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyChance View Post
    I use beeswax and mineral oil (combo) on my unstabilized wood handles when they get that dried out dull finish on them.
    That's what I have been using, Dave's board gunk. Man that one tub goes a long way. I do buff it once every few months.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by chazmtb View Post
    OT question regarding woods, especially ironwood. Ok this is not meant to be off-colored

    I buff the ironwood handle, and it gets pretty shiny (using a buffing wheel and white compound). After a few uses, it gets to be dull again. Do you guys do anything special to get it to stay shiny like using shelach?
    Outside of buffing by hand or power-buffer, you don't need to do anything to ironwood. Any finely sanded surface will get dull once you get your oily hands on or board oil/was mixture for that matter. Shellac would not do much to a finish on ironwood, except making it worse.

    I would suggest to clean the wood periodically (I use 85% alcohol) and apply a little bit of camellia oil afterward. Seems to work for me.

    M


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  9. #19

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    For woods like walnut and curly maple, I use a London style red alkanet root oil gunstock finish.

  10. #20
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ******* View Post
    For woods like walnut and curly maple, I use a London style red alkanet root oil gunstock finish.
    Does that mean you are using those woods unstabilized for your handles? Not that I would yave any problems with it. I have to try a gun stock finish on walnut, everything I have tried so far makes it look kind of dull, at least the burl pieces I tried.

    Stefan

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