Handle Finishing

Where did my weekend go?  I had to replace the faucet in the kitchen and a couple of light switches.  Any home project seems to involve a minimum of 3 trips to the hardware store.  Yuk.

I did most of the refinishing on my saw handle, although I still plan to put a few more coats of Shellac on it.  I started out by sanding it smooth, starting with 80 grit on the rasped areas, then 120, 220 and 320.

I wasn’t sure how to proceed, and I probably rushed things a little.  No patience.  Next Day Air is an interminable wait for me.  I had thought about bleaching the handle first to try to average out the colors, but didn’t wan’t to wait for that to work.  So I put a little Georgian Cherry gel stain on the patched areas and let that sit a few minutes.  Then wiped a quick coat over the entire handle.

There was still too much contrast, so I put another coat of stain on the patched areas.

Then I put on one coat of plain boiled linseed oil.  Again, probably too soon.  It removed some of the stain.  I rubbed more on the patches and left it alone for an hour.

Then I started applying coats of Garnet Shellac.  I put a few coats on, let it dry, sand it with a 500 grit norton sponge and some linseed oil for lubricant, then apply a few more.  This is after the first coat.  I will sand and apply more tonight, hopefully that will get me to the glossy finish I want – it’s mostly there already.

I also cleaned the saw plate and sharpened it.  I’m not happy with the job I did filing it.  The files I bought have too much radius on the corners, and I probably should have just re-toothed it from scratch.  I may still do that.  I think it’s around 15ppi, probably too fine for tenons.  It is certainly too fine for my Stanley 42X saw set.  Maybe 10 or 11?

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Handle Finishing

  1. Man! That handle turned out great! At least that’s what I think. BLO sure reddens things up. Can’t wait to see the rest of it.

    • Marilyn, thanks! I really like the color of the handle myself, but it’s nowhere near as cool as the figured apple handle on you miter box saw. It is pretty fun to start with a crusty, dirty, chipped handle and end up with something nice looking. I want to learn more about finishing. I’ve always just used simple finishes like danish oil, maybe with poly or shellac topcoats. This is the first time I’ve used stain, and I really like the warmth and color it added to the handle. I’ve been browsing through Millcreek’s blog, he does some amazing finish repairs.

  2. That horn you made blends in real well. With the exception of the glue line, it looks like the original. Did you use straight BLO or did you thin it with pure gum turpentine?

    • Ralph, just straight BLO. I soaked it in a baggie for an hour, but I wish I’d let the stain dry overnight first. I was in a hurry to see the handle with finish on it. The oil was just to darken things up a bit before I started applying shellac. The other handles I’ve done were just oil or oil/varnish like the “Trued and True” product. I don’t get enough of a gloss finish with those for a saw handle (although I really like the finish itself)

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