Finish for hand tools?

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Forum topic by KCConst posted 10-14-2014 02:38 PM 831 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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68 posts in 2071 days

10-14-2014 02:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m in the process of making a wood and brass Marking Gauge.
I have some nice local black walnut and it looks good against the polished brass.
What are the typical high end gauges finished with? Is the product suitable to finish over the brass too and if not what should be placed over the brass to keep its high polish look? Part of me says to just leave the oils from my hands take care of it but I know myself better and this will be a grungy dirty mess if I don’t do something.
Thanks for suggestions/experiences


-- "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" Wooden

3 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


5049 posts in 2524 days

#1 posted 10-14-2014 04:12 PM

I generally use an oil varnish blend such as Danish oil or a home made version.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3821 days

#2 posted 10-14-2014 04:44 PM

Lacquer is used on horns.

Brass certainly tarnishes with oxidation and
handling. You can get a buffing wheel and
a bar of rouge for polishing metal. Such
a wheel is useful and I keep one on my
shop grinder most of the time. Mostly
I use it for touching up hand tool edges.
It’s quite handy for carving tools. Once
you get the knack of it a mirror polish
edge can be achieved quickly. One can
go from an x-fine diamond stone to the
buffing wheel and get an edge comparable
to the finest water stone edge. I still
use a water stone for straight cutters
though as it is possible, easy even, to
over polish an edge and round it over.

View KCConst's profile


68 posts in 2071 days

#3 posted 10-15-2014 02:45 AM

Thanks guys. Visited the local woodcrafters and handled a crown marking gauge. It had some sort of hard lacquer finish. Looked at a few other nice tools and I think I’ll give tung oil a try.

-- "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" Wooden

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