Wood handle help

Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
62
Hey all you wood finishing pros,

I applied a thin (by finger) coat of Tru-Oil to the handle of a DOTD Chitlange with Satisal wood handle and it has not dried in over 30 hours. It is still tacky to the touch.

This is what I did which worked fine on a Neem handle.

1) I removed the Jeweler's Rouge with soap, water, and a nail brush. I used as little water as possible and worked quickly to keep from raising the wood grain.

2) waited 24 hours to let the handle dry. This was probably the toughest step ;)

3) Sanded lightly with (about 320 grit) foam sanding block and finished with 400 grit sandpaper using just my hand.

4) Applied the Tru-Oil with my finger using a non-latex medical exam glove (Nitrile).

I did not use paint-thinner or mineral spirits to clean the wood after the sanding. I have done this on other handles when I used Minwax Tung Oil Finish (which I now believe contains almost no tung oil - although it is oil based) and it has worked fine.

Do I need to clean with pant-thinner or mineral spirits to remove what ever the kamis soaked into the wood?

Can I clean off the Tru-Oil with mineral spirits and start over?
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
516
I am a rookie at handle wood finish, so feel free to ignore me altogether as there are many "professionals" on this forum:

I usually apply the oil with a cloth (an old Tshirt) and wipe all of the excess immediately with the dry part of cloth. Then, I have sometimes put a fan to blow at the kuk to speed up the drying. I don't think 30 hours is too much, anywhere from 24-48 hours seems reasonable depending on the density of the wood and climatic conditions (mostly humidity). As for removal of the finish, I guess I would use rubbing alcohol (35proof) if I am having trouble, but someone please correct me if there is a downside to that.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
1,416
I actually dip my handle into the oil but then that is me. If you used the method of rouge removal I posted, there rerally was no need to use as little water as possible, the Murphy's protects you from waterlogging the wood and making the grain pop. I can not really tell what happened from what you have said here. Post a picture for me and then ask me your question please. :) Was there more stuff still in the wood that the scrubbing didn't remove? Are you doing a satisal or neem handle here? Neem usually doesn't get rouged so there should have been no need to remove it.

Tru-oil and all oil finishes soak into the wood. Removing them therefore can be problematic. You can certainly try and soak the oils out there with some thinner/spirits but it will make your grain pop this time and sanding will be needed. The kamis don't really soak anything into the wood until recently when they started using stain on the satisal. The rouge is merely worked into the top layers mechanically and should be easily removed with the scrubbing but trying to do it with mineral spirits will only make it worse.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
52
Was it humid when you applied the coat of oil? I applied some to my AK that I gave to my friend, and it took more than a day for it to fully dry because it was humid during the period I was letting it dry.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
62
Broken-Eye - It was not very humid and at the same time I treated a Neem handle with two coats of Tru-Oil that are hard already.

Warty - I get it. You must have pictures (the Khuk has nice fullers by the way). I saw your rouge removal post (thanks - very informative), but I did not have murphys oil soap and I really couldn't wait any longer to get started - you know how it is. I will post some pics and yes I will show some fuller action too.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
1,416
I do know how it is, I often get in a hurry. :)

It isn't so much that I like the pix as I really do want to see what it looks like so I can get a bit better idea of what might be going on. I don't think that trying to use any sort of thinner or spirits is a good idea just yet as these can dissolve the stuff you are wanting to make go away and then cause it to soak in deeper and make it that much harder to get rid of, maybe to the point of needing to rehandle it since the stuff is so deep you simply can't remove it anymore without destroying the handle...

buy some Murphy's while your out next time, it's cheap and it really does make this a lot easier to do. ;)

(looking forward to the fuller pron! :D)
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
1,416
In doing my latest acquisition I noted something about the Murphy's that should be pointed out here. It doesn't just protect the wood from becoming waterlogged. As I was applying it to the handle of my Giant Chitlangi Bowie I noted that as it began to soak in more and more it was also beginning to lift out some f the deeper rouge from the wood. Since it is an oil based product, it will soak down into the wood like the BLO does and I am now thinking it is aiding the removal of the deep rouge as I scrub. Then, as it is displaced out of he wood with water, it brings out the rouges and it goes down the drain with the rest of the lather.

Point here is, if you have a deep rouge issue to resolve, rather than using the thinner which will only make it worse, go and get the Murphy's you lack and try some of it. Perhaps it may well draw out this deep stuff for you as you rescrub the handle.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
62
Warty

I have already gone out and gotten some Murphy's Oil Soap. I tried it on a Gelbu Special and I also noticed that the rouge started to lift up and drip off immediately.

I am pretty sure that my mistake was not using Murphy's to protect the handle from the water before I attempted to remove the rouge. The handle is still drying and hardening very very slowly. My guess is that some water was still in the handle when I applied the Tru Oil. Here are some pics of the handle:

These two are of the handle after letting the Tru Oil set for two days (I already removed the rouge).
IMG_0560.jpg


IMG_0561.jpg


You can see that all the rouge as been removed.

Here are two handles I am just finishing and I hope the Chitlange will turn out as nicely as these:

The Tarwar has 6-7 coats of Minwax Tung Oil Finish which I did not like very much and 3-4 coats of Tru Oil. The handle was buffed with 000 steel wool between each coat. The Minwax really penetrates - I did some deep sanding part way through and never got past the Minwax.
IMG_0578.jpg


The other handle is a Fox's Folley I bought from someone on the exchange. It already had a Tru Oil finish, but I sanded it down and re-did it because it seemed too rough for me and the wood is beautiful.
IMG_0580.jpg



As promised on to the fuller porn. I have found it very difficult to capture the true beauty of a nicely fullered blade. All I had was my iPhone which did not help. I am tempted to rub out the mirror finish since this will show the fullers better. I will try to post the pictures so that you can quickly scroll through them one handed ;)

IMG_0569.jpg


IMG_0571.jpg


IMG_0563.jpg


IMG_0562.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2001
Messages
4,238
I've had this problem before.
If the Tru Oil has been open and used for a long time, the drying time goes way up. There must be some drying agent that evaporates or goes bad. If it worked ok on your neem handle, that's not your problem.

More likely it's the wood itself. Many of the woods used by the Kamis are in the rosewood family. They contain a lot of natural oils, which retard the drying of the linseed oil in the TruOil. I've worked around this in a couple of ways. You can try wiping the tacky finish off with an old t-shirt or something. Really scrub it. If you get the tacky finish off and it looks ok, you can use a GENTLE heat source like putting it in a window in direct sun. I have a desk lamp that I put the handle under, flipping it in the morning and evening. You don't want to get it real hot, just warm. If it dries, follow it up with a very thin coat of TruOil. Use a hair dryer on the second coat to seal the natural wood oil in. You can often recoat as normal after this.

Sometimes if it's too tacky it will pick up lint from the rag. Then you must use a solvent to get it off. I like acetone, as it is so volatile and dries so quickly. It is also extremely flammable and not very good for you. You can sand lightly after this and apply a very thin coat of TruOil and use the hair dryer trick.

With oily woods the trick is to degrease the outer layer of wood, use a very thin coat, and dry it quickly to seal the natural oils in. With other woods, still use a very thin coat, but let it soak into the wood, and dry slowly.

On the red Chandan that the kamis sometime use, (the kind that makes the red or purple dust when you sand it) it is so oily that it doesnt even need finish. I just sand it really fine and then buff it on a muslin wheel that has either no compound on it, or "Scratchless Pink" buffing compound. It comes out so glossy that you'll swear it has finish on it.

Hope this helps.
Steve
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
803
Nice work on the handles Ezaske. They're looking good.

Thanks for the tips and sharing your experience Ferguson.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
228
I've had this problem before...

On the red Chandan that the kamis sometime use, (the kind that makes the red or purple dust when you sand it) it is so oily that it doesnt even need finish. I just sand it really fine and then buff it on a muslin wheel that has either no compound on it, or "Scratchless Pink" buffing compound. It comes out so glossy that you'll swear it has finish on it.

Hope this helps.
Steve

Ah 'red Chandan', now it makes sense. I've got this one handle that is quite dark/purplish in color that would never take Tru-oil or even Watco Teak oil due to the the woods inherent oil. I musta tried eight different times, even using the hair dryer trick, but it still wouldn't dry in some patches. I ended up just buffing it to a satin sheen and finishing it with Scott's Liquid Gold.

Thankyou Steve.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2003
Messages
1,777
Tru-oil is basically a linseed oil This looks good, but requires lots of coats with enough drying time between coats. I have used an oil-varnish mix in the past on wood. This is 1/3 oil, 1/3 turps, and 1/3 good oil varnish. I have even used a spar varnish in this mix. A little turpentine will help with the oil. Generally, I use Tung oil, and use a varnish surface coat by way of a wiping varnish - if I want more resistance to water.
Some tung oils are really tung oil, but Formby's is a wiping varnish that has been thinned.
The important thing is to avoid trying to apply too much linseed oil at one time, or it won't dry. If you use thin coats, that will help. I have cleaned off the buffing compound from Kukri handles with mineral spirits before finishing, and never let any water near wood that I want to finish.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
62
Thanks all for all the information. It kept me from jumping the gun and trying to remove the Tru Oil. I have since buffed out the tackiness with 000 steel wool and am letting it continue to dry/harden. It looks like it will be fine.

Steve - My ASTK has that oily purple wood (red Chandan). I assumed he kamis has soaked it in oil. Knowing that the wood itself is oily probably saved me a headache trying to get it to take the Tru Oil. I do have some Minwax Tung Oil Finish which is very thin and seems to be more of a varnish than oil. I think I will try a very light coat of that.

Oh - and good call on the "oil Tru Oil". I axcidently left the bottle open with the cap off for about 6-8 hours. This might explain some of the slow drying.

Thanks again
 
Native XF ad, Below bottom BC
Top