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A Study In Ironwood for Kitchen Knife Handles

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Bert2368

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Jlc88

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I found it for $24 on amazon by going with the larger size. Thanks. Let’s give it a go....
 

cotedupy

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Here's the most recent ironwood handle finished with 12 coats of wiping varnish mix. I'm starting to get the hang of this. :)










I was just googling shellac and it looks like someone has not only nabbed your picture DM, but also mistaken the finish... (?)

 

Dave Martell

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jacko9

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Dave using waxed shellac flakes dissolved in alcohol to a very thin consistency allows you to wet a cotton cloth and take a quick swipe that has almost the feel of wiping the wood with alcohol. You don't need a lot of shellac on wood to form a barrier to the natural oils in wood. If you want multiple coats it drys in less than a hour and you can build up 5 or 6 costs a day if desired. I use this barrier for all of my exotic woods that I finish with a wiping varnish. The varnish I have found the easiest to use is General Finishes Arm-R-Seal diluted 15% with mineral spirits. I apply this like you would French Polish with a cotton shirt ball and only take a full swipe and move from wet to dry only.
 

Dave Martell

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Dave using waxed shellac flakes dissolved in alcohol to a very thin consistency allows you to wet a cotton cloth and take a quick swipe that has almost the feel of wiping the wood with alcohol. You don't need a lot of shellac on wood to form a barrier to the natural oils in wood. If you want multiple coats it drys in less than a hour and you can build up 5 or 6 costs a day if desired. I use this barrier for all of my exotic woods that I finish with a wiping varnish. The varnish I have found the easiest to use is General Finishes Arm-R-Seal diluted 15% with mineral spirits. I apply this like you would French Polish with a cotton shirt ball and only take a full swipe and move from wet to dry only.
I've actually been thinking about giving shellac one last try (again). Thanks for the tip!
 

jacko9

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That's fantastic!
Seven Years as a dining room table with food and alcohol spills and only a wet cloth clean up with no damage to the top. I'm a true believer in General Finishes Arm-R-Seal as I've used it for every thing from dining tables to desk tops without any complaints and I guarantee my work.
 

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Could be interesting to send jacko9 a AZ ironwood handle and see if it would be as succesfull as that beautiful rosewood.
 

jacko9

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Could be interesting to send jacko9 a AZ ironwood handle and see if it would be as succesfull as that beautiful rosewood.
Actually I have a large stock of exotics in different rosewoods, cocobolo, ebony, etc. As long as you get the initial coating of shellac on to seal in the resins of the hardwood the rest is easy. I would gladly finish any small quantity of woods you send me as long as you understand there is a drying time between coatings and several coatings to get a very good finish. Of course there are no guarantees ;-)
 

Dhoff

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Alas, I wish I owned a knife with az ironwood, it is next on the list, hence the interest in this cool thread.
 

Bert2368

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Actually I have a large stock of exotics in different rosewoods, cocobolo, ebony, etc. As long as you get the initial coating of shellac on to seal in the resins of the hardwood the rest is easy. I would gladly finish any small quantity of woods you send me as long as you understand there is a drying time between coatings and several coatings to get a very good finish. Of course there are no guarantees ;-)



3 different gloss levels are offered here. Which was used on the rosewood table top?
 

jacko9

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3 different gloss levels are offered here. Which was used on the rosewood table top?
Semi-gloss I tried the full gloss finish and it looked too much like a plastic like coating. The Semi-Gloss let's you see the wood structure. Just remember to dilute it 15% with mineral spirits to let it flow evenly.
 

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Hey guys, I just realized that I haven't updated this thread. The only thing I think is worth noting is that I've tried two types of General Finish products, the Seal-A-Cell and the Arm-R-Seal. Unfortunately both failed the ironwood long term tests.

I did find both of these products to be very nice though, sealing the wood well, and leaving a nice finish.
 

jacko9

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Hey guys, I just realized that I haven't updated this thread. The only thing I think is worth noting is that I've tried two types of General Finish products, the Seal-A-Cell and the Arm-R-Seal. Unfortunately both failed the ironwood long term tests.

I did find both of these products to be very nice though, sealing the wood well, and leaving a nice finish.
Hi Dave, Can you tell me a little more about failing the long term tests? I realize that I have only used Arm-R-Seal for table top finishes and they might have a less severe test than your long term tests. I'm just curious and can you tell me how many finish coats you used? Did you use shellac flakes dissolved in alcohol to a thin consistency first? I'm just trying to learn, thanks.
 

Dave Martell

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Hi Dave, Can you tell me a little more about failing the long term tests? I realize that I have only used Arm-R-Seal for table top finishes and they might have a less severe test than your long term tests. I'm just curious and can you tell me how many finish coats you used? Did you use shellac flakes dissolved in alcohol to a thin consistency first? I'm just trying to learn, thanks.

I haven't used shellac at all for ironwood and that's about the only thing I haven't tried. I have a bad relationship with that stuff - it hates me and I hate it back more. Shellac might be the answer though.

For my own testing it's been wash wash wash and let the wood sit in the shop - that's it. What's proven more valuable is the feedback I've got from customers. The thing is that it might just be possible for ironwood to retain it's appearance (or not get so dark anyway) if a knife was to go into a safe and never have it's handle subjected to kitchen, I can't say though, but I can say that kitchen use and ironwood don't work out well in the looks department.
 

jacko9

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I haven't used shellac at all for ironwood and that's about the only thing I haven't tried. I have a bad relationship with that stuff - it hates me and I hate it back more. Shellac might be the answer though.

For my own testing it's been wash wash wash and let the wood sit in the shop - that's it. What's proven more valuable is the feedback I've got from customers. The thing is that it might just be possible for ironwood to retain it's appearance (or not get so dark anyway) if a knife was to go into a safe and never have it's handle subjected to kitchen, I can't say though, but I can say that kitchen use and ironwood don't work out well in the looks department.
Dave, I would never use canned shellac if that was what you used. I always use shellac flaked dissolved in alcohol. I use shellac to act as a barrier to the exotic oils in the woods and then use thinned Arm-R-Seal in multiple coats to seal the wood.
 

Dave Martell

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Dave, I would never use canned shellac if that was what you used. I always use shellac flaked dissolved in alcohol. I use shellac to act as a barrier to the exotic oils in the woods and then use thinned Arm-R-Seal in multiple coats to seal the wood.

You nailed it - I used canned shellac!
 

jacko9

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Dave, Here's a link to the super blonde flakes I use. The bag will last you a long time and in the flake form they will last years. I only mix enough to use on my current project and a small jar will do. I fill it half full with alcohol and add the flakes and mix to get a thin consistency needed to be able to wipe with a cotton cloth. I like to keep the solution mix so thin I can wipe it and it will dry within minutes. You only several thin layers to form a complete film barrier to the wood oils. Brooklyn Tool and Craft - Shellac Super Blonde Flakes 1/2 lb
 
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