Wood Scale Finish Options - Oil, Lacquer, Epoxy?

Discussion in 'Restoration & Razor Making How-To's.....' started by toovira, May 24, 2012.

  1. So I have some wooden scales with different types of wood and would like to get some input as to what finish I should put on. I really like (boiled linseed) oil finish as you can refresh easy, but the problem is I don't think the finish will hold up well for getting wet everyday. Plus it takes months to truly dry.

    Another option is clear Lacquer finish. I can coat multiple times and do the final polish on it. I can see this is fine for the most types of wood, but I don't think that this will stabilize more tricky burly woods, such as tightly burled walnut.

    So I guess I can do epoxy or polyester resin finish. This will seal and stabilize the stuff like heavy burl, correct? It's just that these are pretty pricey...I do some composite work with fiberglass and carbon, but never used this on wood. Will this stuff stabilize the burly wood? The problem I see is that this stuff is not easily brushed or sprayed on, even low viscosity.

    I would love to hear feedback on any of these methods that you have done or even suggest other wooden scale finishing methods.
  2. BLO works well.

    you can use minwax fast dry or wipe on polyurethane.

    For burl wood, you can use vulcanized rubber sheets(found at many knife supply shops) to stabilize the scales.

    epoxy is too thick/shiny and unnatural looking IMO and as you said hard to apply.
  3. I'm considering tung oil as an option for my wooden scales, anyone used this?
  4. mdunn

    mdunn Moderator Emeritus

    I oil usin an Aussie product that is a combo of tung beeswax and various other things. Love the oil finish. Much nicer than the plasticy CA finish
  5. Yes. Plus, I've used all the options mentioned so far. Tung oil is, by far, the easiest to use and it dries overnight. I usually put it in my drying oven (about 105 degrees with 17% humidity) and it will dry in a hour or two. I especially like satin Tung oil. It stands up to use and, if it gets knarly, you can usually buff it out or just wipe it a few times. It takes about three or four coats to get that deep finish that is nice. Don't put it on terribly thick - I wipe it on with a rag so it is glistening but not running or showing ripples.

    If your wood needs stabilized, then I have used Minwax preservative and then applied Tung oil. While the instructions say don't apply to sealed wood, it still works fine on the Minwax product - in fact, it seems to work even better. Both of the following handles used that technqiue:

    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  6. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    I like tung oil too

  7. Nice to see I homed in on a good option with the tung oil :001_smile

    Has anyone tried mixing tung oil with alkyd / soya based varnish? I saw a tip on a woodworking forum to use thirds of tung oil, the varnish and naptha for first couple of coats - I'm guessing that helps stabilise / waterproof as well as adding a little more gloss to the finish?
  8. So I take how you apply Tung Oil is not that much different than BLO?
  9. I don't try for gloss although I did a few earlier ones in gloss. The satin looks more natural and wears better. I haven't had a problem with the scales taking the Tung oil. About four coats (or maybe five) and buffing and it looks fine. With gloss, it does take another couple of coats so the harder base may have a purpose... although the Minwax seems to provide that for me.

    Oh... and Kent, that is a sweet 7 day set. Looks almost like 7 Hart razors. Did you do them? My Hart has an oil finish and it also is very nice.
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  10. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    :Lol: no its a budget DIY 7 day set. Meaning they were mostly eBay specials that came to me without scales. I made the scales and box out of African mahogany, which took the tung oil beautifully.

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