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Thread: kitchen tool refinishing ?

  1. #1
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    kitchen tool refinishing ?

    Have some old...like 1940's carving knives and serving forks with rosewood handles. They are really dry and in need of some finish. Suggestions?
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  2. #2
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    Sand them up and soak in mineral oil?? I've got some of the same and was going to do this, but have never got around to it. Never really researched to see if that would be good or bad for them, but figured it should work.
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  3. #3
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    Mineral oil would work, but for handles on pieces that will get washed frequently, I think I'd just use BLO, with a buffing after a full cure. The BLO won't last forever, but it'll last longer (and protect more) than mineral oil, and still be easy to repair/replenish down the road.
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  4. #4
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    Hmmm...good points. These, like all my good knives never hit the washer. I was on my phone when I did the original post, but the are 40's vintage Kabar's so hot water and soap only!! Thoughts on Formbys tung oil finish?
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  5. #5
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    The Formby's should work, although it might need to be touched up every once in a while. If the handles are rosewood, you might consider just sanding and Beall buffing them with no finish. I've done that with ironwood scales on knives I've put together, and they've held up well. Some of the gloss has gone away, but it's nothing a half minute on the buffer can't fix.
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  6. #6
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    I'd be somewhat concerned that Formby's would just form a surface film and flake off.. I haven't used it for this sort of a thing though so I don't know. If it does it would be easy to fix anyway. Personally I'd lean towards a thinned varnish with a real tung oil base as that would be somewhat more water resistant.. but a dozen or so THIN coats of BLO buffed out or a half dozen coats of a wiping varnish like formby's would be second and third on my list (I admit to having weird finishing biases that aren't all based in reality though so take that into account).

  7. #7
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    Ryan, the thinned varnish with tung oil would be essentially the same as using Formby's Tung Oil Finish (or any other wiping varnish). And any of them will leave a film finish that's subject to flaking off.

    Pure tung oil (by itself) or BLO would get around the film finish concerns. Tung oil would be a bit more water resistant and tougher than BLO, but it'd take a lot longer to cure, too.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Ryan, the thinned varnish with tung oil would be essentially the same as using Formby's Tung Oil Finish (or any other wiping varnish). And any of them will leave a film finish that's subject to flaking off.
    Depends a bit on the "varnish" type, some are more or less film creating than others but the main reason I distinguished it was because the varnish+oil mixes with tung are (imho) somewhat more water resistant than most of the mixes without so are (again just imho) more resilient in this type of use.

  9. #9
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    Re: kitchen tool refinishing ?

    This is a close up...best I can do right now.

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