I'd avoid tung oil in favour of a commercial blended oil based on
tung. You really need to use thinners and driers in addition to pure
tung - otherwise it's quite awkward to use. The risk with oil,
especially pure tung, is that you put it on too thick and then it
never dries properly. The trick for any oil finish (and indeed most
finishes) is to only ever use thin coats.
If you did apply it too thick and it refuses to dry beyond sticky,
scrub it clean with white spirit on a rag, then re-apply more thinly.
For plain oil finishes on knife handles with "smart" wood finishes,
then I'd use about four or five coats of Liberon's finishing oil,
buffed out heavily between coats with a 3M or Webrax plastic abrasive
pad in the finest grey colour. I don't make an effort to do this, just
leave it on the table and give it a new coat whenever I walk past.
Leave a good few hours between coats in this weather. When it's done,
leave it a few days somewhere warm and then finally buff it and wax it
with a white pad.
For "workshop" tools I use Danish oil instead, which is a mix of oil
and a little varnish. Tougher, but doesn't look as nice as a plain oil.
For knife handles I use linseed oil (either raw or boiled), a mix of
linseed oil and beeswas or plain beeswax. To apply the oil, wipe some
on, let it set for a few minutes then wipe off the excess and allow to
dry. Drying will take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours for boiled (maybe
longer if it is cold or humid) to a week or more for raw. For the mix
of beeswax and oil, I mix about even parts oil, wax and turpentine
(helps disolve the wax) then wipe that on wait a day then polish or
buff. For straight wax, the wax has to be melted on carefully.
SFWIW, totally by accident I created your version of "Special sheep
dip" as follows:
Using a 1 lb coffee can, add 1 cup each of beeswax, BLO and turps.
Place coffee can in a 2 qt saucepan, about 1/2 full of water, which
creates a double boiler of sorts.
Place sauce pan over low heat and allow everything to melt and mix.
When wax has melted and mixed, remove coffee can from water with a
pair of pliers and allow to cool.
If mix is too hard to apply easily, remelt adding more turps.
Cap coffee can with plastic cover to keep on shelf.
I highly recomend http://www.jantzsupply.com/ for *all* your knife making
supplies - wood and mineral scales, blades, rivets/corbys/etc. They have a
good page on knifemaking info. I've built many of their kits (folders),
and used many "bare" blades for projects. You can even call them up and
just chat about knives!
I use thick brazing rod (brass), but anneal it first. You have to be
an insane quantity if it's just for rivetting, but if you're doing
brazing anyway the stuff is cheap and handy.
Otherwise model shops. They're expensive per-pound, but they sell
small quantities in a range of sizes.
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