What type of finish should I put on my handmade mallet to increase its resilience?

Howdy all,
I just finished my first attempt at a wooden mallet (round head) to occasionally use around my shop. Its nothing fancy, mainly for utility - I'm thinking I'll use it mostly for assembly and some light work with my wooden handled bench chisels when needed.
I suppose I could just leave it unfinished, but I remember reading somewhere about a mallet maker who dipped their mallets for upwards of a month in Linseed oil to penetrate the wood and ad some heft. I'm contemplating doing this, but I'm looking for a few other opinions.
I'm not overly interested in how it ultimately looks, rather I'd like something that might increase the mallets resistance to drying out over time and help it hold up to use.
I could just rub the linseed oil in as that's what I'm use to on the handles of my other tools, but I'm wondering if soaking it for an extended period of time would penetrate a bit deeper.
Also, can anyone suggest other options to Linseed oil that would give a "harder" finish to the wood? Would tung oil or polyurethane better increase its resilience to impacts (can you recommend a brand name I can ask for) or are they pretty much all the same?
-thanks in advance
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I would use tung oil Randy http://nokeswoodworks.com
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Sun, Mar 30, 2008, 4:00pm snipped-for-privacy@Nospam.net (NOSPAM) doth posteth: <snip> I suppose I could just leave it unfinished, but I rememberreading somewhere about a mallet maker who dipped their mallets for upwards of a month in Linseed oil to penetrate the wood and ad some heft. I'm contemplating doing this, but I'm looking for a few other opinions. <snip>
Just wandered by and saw this. Don't believe everything you read. I've got about seven turned mallets, probably about 10 years old. One or two had an oil finish applied, but no difference in any of them, except for the pine one the dog used for a chew toy, and I still use that one two. I beat on anything that neads beating on with 'em, carving chisels, wrenches, pry bars, etc., You want more heft, you make different sizes, and different woods. Mine are pine, dogwood, and I believe hickory, holly, maybe oak. They range from about a 3 inch head to about 10 inches, and from maybe half a pound, to several pounds. Just make 'em, and use 'em. If they split or get torn up, make another. It's that simple..
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Heft comes with size, of course, though leverage from a long handle might be plenty for crude work. If you're going to soak, give it a couple months in warm 50% PEG. Not only will it gain water weight, it'll give some crush and cushion when striking. I appreciate the benefits when I'm carving for long periods of time.
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