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275075 Thomas Hall <l-thall@c...> 2022‑01‑16 Steak Knive Handles
Need Help,

I have a set of steak knives from our weeding in 1966.  They have held up quite
They are just losing their finish.  Any idea of what would be the best way to
preserve them?
The blades read "Flint Stainless (Arrow Shape) Vanadium U.S.A..

Tommy Hall
275076 scritch <capeflattery@c...> 2022‑01‑16 Re: Steak Knive Handles
Wooden handles, I assume.  How about some butcher block finish or conditioner?
Or just mineral oil?  That is also food safe.
275081 scottg <scottg@s...> 2022‑01‑16 Re: Steak Knive Handles
If they are like the Flint steak knives in my rack they are rosewood 
   I polish rosewood on a buffing wheel and its very pretty.

Have to keep them out of water for long, is the drawback. But then 
soaking wood handles is never welcome.

  Best varnish I have found for kitchen use is marine spar varnish.
Oil varnish and let it cure a long time.
It holds up for years before you have to scrape it off and start over.
   yours scott

    Scott Grandstaff
    Box 409 Happy Camp, Ca  96039
275104 Kirk Eppler 2022‑01‑17 Re: Steak Knive Handles
I've melted mineral oil and beeswax together, and used that on bare wood
handles in the kitchen.  Recipe was called Wood Butter or some such.

Won't repair or replace your finish, but will keep the handles going quite
a bit longer, if 55 years isn't long enough

275110 Bridger Berdel <bridgerberdel@g...> 2022‑01‑18 Re: Steak Knive Handles
I've used a couple of versions of a heavy duty wet service handle finish.

The first is simple but potentially hazardous. Get a tall narrow vessel- it
could be a tin can, but the best I had was an empty propane torch cylinder
with the top  sawed off. Fill it to the depth of the length of the handle
with 50/50 linseed oil and your choice of wax. I have used both beeswax and
paraffin wax and slightly prefer the paraffin.  Put this over a heat source
outside far from anything flammable. If it boils over onto a flame it'll
create a big, dirty hard to put out fire. A small electric hotplate seems
prudent here. Bring it to heat until the wax can be melted into the oil and
easily mixed together- not boiling but close. Stand the knife or whatever
in the vessel handle down and observe it until the bubbles stop coming out
of the end grain of the wood. Pull it from the pot and leave it in a cool
place until it hardens.

The second method is less gallootish but worth mentioning. I have both an
air compressor and a vacuum pump. From a section of 3" ABS pipe and a few
fittings I made a vacuum/pressure chamber with a quick disconnect air
fitting on it. The line for the vacuum chamber will squeeze snugly over the
tip of said fitting. So get a large zip lock bag. Tape off any sharp bits
of the knife or whatever and put it in the bag handle down. Wrap the part
of the bag with the handle in it loosely with string or rubber bands to
limit the shape of the bag from spraying out.. Add some of your favorite
varnish to the bag, enough to cover a bit above the wood part. Squeeze out
most of the air and seal the bag. Put it in the chamber handle down and
seal up the chamber. Hook up the vacuum pump and pull a vacuum on it. You
want to hold that vacuum long enough for as much air as possible to pull
out of the pores of the wood. I generally leave it overnight. Then
disconnect the vacuum and connect the pressure. I usually run it up to
about 40 psi and leave it for a few hours. This hopefully drives the
varnish deeper into the wood. When you're done with the atmospheric
manipulation take the knife out of the bag, wipe it down and leave it in a
warm dry place for a day or so, wiping it down from time to time as varnish
seeps out of the pores. I usually do a coat or two of the same varnish
sanding between coats to build finish on the surface.

On Mon, Jan 17, 2022, 4:43 PM Kirk Eppler via groups.io  wrote:
275111 Phil E. <pedgerton66@g...> 2022‑01‑18 Re: Steak Knive Handles
I made a "homemade" food safe finish for cutting boards, wooden spoons,
kuksas, handles, etc. It is beeswax, walnut oil, and vodka melted together.
It worked so well and looked good so now it is my shop finish for tool
handles and other small wood things as well. Best applied during "happy

Phil E.
275112 Tim Pendleton <tpendleton@g...> 2022‑01‑18 Re: Steak Knive Handles
I'll bet that works well with highly figured wood....you know...the stuff
'with a twist".

Running and ducking,


Coaxing some gnarly old spruce 3 x 12s into a new anvil stand in chilly NJ

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