Best clear finish for plane handles and knobs

Have recently gotten three planes, 2 from e-bay and 1 from antique store. I am finding I really enjoy messing with them and keep returning to e-bay. I have bid on and lost most recent auctions. This is quickly getting close to an addiction. Now when I decide to bid on a plane one of the things I am drawn to are the handles and knobs. One of the things I need to get better at is identifying the types of wood used. One of my planes I sanded and re stained the wood with a rose wood stain and finised with a shellac. Another I used a cherry stain and finished with a wipe on satin poly. Haven't tried a laquer yet. So what would you suggest for the best clear finish. Really interested in hearing your thoughts and advice. Thanks.
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Paul O.
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One that takes a long time: The oils from your own hands. Nothing is more pleasing than the patina of use.
Substitute: Oil rubbed, such as Danish oil. Once an hour for a day. Once a day for a week. Once a week for year. Once a year for a lifetime.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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Are you sure about once an hour for a day? I have never heard of putting anything on that often. I have heard that recipe several times but it started with once a day. :~)
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Leon responds:

Never been in the military, eh? Parris Island special in the days of M1s with walnut stocks: Linseed oil (and specifically NOT BLO) each evening as a relaxation, rubbing in just enough to be absorbed in about an hour. But it's once a day for 14 weeks or so. And it is a repeat process because it doesn't resist abrasion or wet at all well, so is ruined the first time you ground the stock in sand (a popular substance at PI), and if the sand happens to be wet, you're in for a world of rubbing.
A real PITA.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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No kidding... I just could not see 24 times the first day. :~)
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Of course you went and dug in in the morning, then backfilled in the afternoon, too.
Think it may have been an exercise in discipline more than a way to a (who wants one in sniper country) shiny stock?

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On 13 Jun 2004 14:24:47 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

Military stock finishing is rubbish. It's not there for the benefit of the weapon, it's there to keep grunts occupied.
Similarly for boots and blanco.
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wrote:

Danish oil. Plane knobs and hammer handles are about the only things I use it for.
Oil isn't hard enough. Plane knobs can see a lot of wear, and it's concentrated in a small spot.
Shellac is too hard. On a hot day and heavy work, it's a bit "sweaty".
You can use pretty much anything though. I'd avoid hard lacquers, because (like the original finish on most middle-aged planes) the lacquers tend to flake off in sharp-edged areas.
--
Smert' spamionam

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Paul O. wrote:

For rosewood, nothing more than cleaning and waxing. Oily wood, comes with its own finish.
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Danger! 'Tis a slippery slope!
When it gets bad, family members rejoice in the fact that they can now safely purchase gifts for you, and will bring home all sorts of interesting old items found in shops around the country side.
Not that many of these have much use left in them, but the memories of old woodworkers are a comforting presence in this new, more Normite age...
And an excuse for another shelf is never a bad thing...
Patriarch, who lost count somewhere past 30...., and is nowhere near the most addicted in his town. One fellow has at least 300. Another, maybe 30 miles away, has more good stuff than will fit in a 1500 sq ft building.
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