• JR Knifemaker
    54
    Evening Team-

    Looking for assistance.

    Up until now I’ve worked mainly with man made handle materials (micarta and G10), but currently have a little bushcrafter with a lovely black palm handle that will imminently hit the finishing stage.

    Here’s my game plan: grind off excess, and hit up the hand sand 120 grit to desired shape, then against 120 grit I’ll sand to 180, then 240, etc. Oiling with Danish oil between each grit. I don’t know where I should take the grits too. 600?

    Any tips? Thanks all

    Jake
  • Zach Byrne
    4
    Might just be preference here, but I only go up to 400 on a regular wood handle for a bushcraft knife. In my experience it gives a nice and smooth feel, but also leaves you with enough grip to keep hold of it no matter what you're doing. Also, I like to really work my outdoor knives, so some scratches are inevitable. If I leave it at 400 then I'm not gonna be paranoid about keeping it all nice and pretty since it isn't that much of a hassle to touch it up.
  • JR Knifemaker
    54
    Thanks Zach. That’s helpful. Are you oiling between each grit?

    I’m not experienced with wood as you can tell....
  • Caleb
    4
    I'm with Zach. Any of the bushcraft style knives I've made I usually stop at 400 with the hand sanding. It's nice to have that polished look you get with more hand sanding, but you really need to have that little extra grip in there that the 400 will leave ya.

    As for finishing wood. I've worked with a bit of non-stabilized wood and here's my process for finishing.

    Hand sand to 400
    Soak in linseed oil over night
    Remove from oil, clean it off with a clean cloth
    Melt some beeswax on it and give it a good buff with a clean cloth

    The beeswax step can be skipped, but in my experience it helps seal it a little more and also gives it a little more grip.
  • JR Knifemaker
    54
    Superb.

    Is linseed a better idea than danish?
  • Caleb
    4
    I don't think one is better then the other, it's just a personal choice. Of course, ask 10 makers what they like and you're going to get 20 answers. I'm sure someone will have a reason why 1 is better then another, I was just taught by one of my mentors and that's what she used.
  • Ross Vosloo
    21
    my routine is rasp to shape, profile with 24 grit, then 150g, then 400g, then hand sand with 600grit. after that i buff the handle, then i finish it with floor polishing wax and finally some teak oil.

    gives a really nice smooth finish and with the woods i use, african teak, african blackwood and muwanga (pericopsis angolensis) it has a beautiful shine too
  • Smith Knifeworks
    45
    I typically do whatever I'm gonna do on the belt grinder up to 180 or so. I'll hand sand to 400, rub good with 0000 steel wool and oil if It's not stabilized. I usually just use mineral oil. It's less of a finish and more of a "wood conditioner" sorta. I've had this handle finish used in a pro kitchen ( on ebony) for a few weeks ( the user estimates it to be equal to ~6 months of home use) and it did ok. It was not oiled by the tester and came back to me a little rough looking, but no structural issues at all. Just needed a re-oil. I've used tung oil and lindseed oil on guitars ( soft woods. no super oily, hard stuff. Pine, spruce and mahogany) in the past. I've always sanded to final grit, (0000)steel wool'd and then finished with oil. The natural oils ( tung and boiled linseed) take quite a while to harden. If you tried to sand in between coats, it would take forever. If you don't wait on the oil to harden, you'll end up with a shitty, sticky sawdust and oil goop mess. If it's a softer wood, it will drink up a lot of oil in the process. It took me the better part of a full week to finish a pine stratocaster body in tung oil. I had a total of probably 20 coats on it. Please be aware. Heed the warnings on these finishing products. Boiled Linseed oil ( and maybe others) make a lot of heat as they catalyze. If you leave a rag laying around with boiled linseed oil on it, it can absolutely auto-ignite and burn your shop down while you're not there. I would always throw the oil-soaked rags on the concrete drive way for a day or two before putting them in the trash can.
  • JR Knifemaker
    54
    Thanks all! This is very helpful.

    @Smith Knifeworks well I did not know that about boiled linseed!!! I’ve used boiled linseed a lot and have simply thrown it in the bin. I won’t from now on!

    Thanks again everyone. Much appreciated.
  • Smith Knifeworks
    45
    Yeah, man. Watch that. We don't need no houses burning down!
  • JR Knifemaker
    54
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9yq6VW-c2Ts

    Well that’s an eye-opener. Might stick to the danish!!!
  • JR Knifemaker
    54
    Would soaking the handle in Danish prior to finishing achieve the same effect? @Caleb
  • Caleb
    4
    I would think so. I mainly soak it overnight in the linseed to get a really good penetration on the non-stabilized wood. I would think doing the same thing with Danish would help with penetration and give it more then just a surface coating.
  • JR Knifemaker
    54
    @Caleb Super. Thanks again.
  • Caleb
    4
    No problem, good luck and let us know how things turn out!
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to the Knife Talk forum!

Sign up to the forum for free to start discussions and get your questions & queries answered and engage with the community.