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Ho Wood Handles

Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:22 pm

Hello all. I have recently purchased a Tanaka Sekiso petty (150) and did a hot vinegar etch on it the other day to help protect the blade from rusting. I was pleasantly pleased with my results on the knife, however I am noticing the handle of my blade has a small ring formed around the ferrule from absorbing some of the vinegar and has a residual smell as well. Also where the tang enters the handle is some rusting from the residuals as well. I have a read that you can protect Ho Wood by treating them with mineral/bees wax. Anyone have any advice for this? Thank you for your time and input.

Re: Ho Wood Handles

Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:46 pm

Never tried vinegar.....so I'm kind of guessing here.

Vinegar probably etched off the polish/out layer on the buffalo horn ferrule. You can try mineral oil, or a furniture polish wax from the hardware store first to see if it will bring back the shine.

If not, you're going to have to repolish the ferrule with something abrasive. A buffing wheel attachment to a drill like:

https://www.google.com/shopping/product ... IwBEPMCMAk

Should do the trick.

If you can get to the rust spots, remove them with some high grit sand paper.....try 600 grit if you can find it. If that doesn't remove it, go down in grit (coarser) until it does.

Before you etch the blade, you should seal the gap between ferrule and tang if you plan to dip the blade that far.

Re: Ho Wood Handles

Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:08 pm

Thanks for the input Adam. I never fully submerged the entire knife in vinegar. Just the blade. However the top of the ferrule was exposed to the solution (fumes, steam) thus making it's way into the wood. I will make sure to tape the ferrule and top of tang on my next dip! I did end up getting some 320 grit sandpaper and mineral oil to try and treat the wood. I was going to just sand the handle to smooth, then brush on the the mineral oil in stages to make sure not to saturate it all at once. Does this sound correct?

Re: Ho Wood Handles

Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:32 pm

Yeah, that'll work. 320 grit will give a decent surface for mineral oil but might leave some visible scratches in the horn.

Re: Ho Wood Handles

Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:15 pm

I used the mineral oil multiple times on my ho wood handle and it seems to work well. Applying the oil in multiple layers worked for me. Once the wood soaked up the oil I applied another layer, i did this process until the wood stoped soaking it in. Then I wrapped it in paper towels to soak up any extra oil that was left on the handle. To maintain the handle from getting stained you should apply more oil once every 6 months, or ( more often ) deppending on how much you use the knife.

Re: Ho Wood Handles

Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:44 am

I also heard that a product called Feed-N-Wax works very well with ho wood.

Re: Ho Wood Handles

Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:57 am

I use mineral oil on my cutting board, but I guess you could use the same process on any wood. Here is how I conditioned my board after I received it:

Apply Mineral Oil (all sides, not just the top):
1 time per day for the first week
1 time per week for the first month
after that once a month or as needed

This method works great and my board looks great even after many years of use.
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