Homemade finish for handles?

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Forum topic by toddbg posted 12-31-2014 06:12 PM 1219 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 1814 days

12-31-2014 06:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi Everyone –
I have a few projects I am starting that are going to be various sized handles for tools and pen nib holders.

So far the wood I have is cherry burl (natural) and the other is Elder burl (flame) which was stabilized.

What would be some good finishes to try and do you have a homemade formula for them?
I am looking for something that looks good and feels nice.
Does not need to be a mirror finish or anything like that.

I can get more supplies but what I currently have is:
Mineral spirits
Mineral oil

-- -- Todd, Washington

9 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


5086 posts in 2549 days

#1 posted 12-31-2014 07:11 PM

OB’s shine juice:

1/3 Zinsser Bullseye shellac
1/3 BLO
1/3 DNA

Makes a great friction polish, the idea comes from Captain Eddie, a source of many great turning ideas.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View squazo's profile


111 posts in 1842 days

#2 posted 12-31-2014 07:27 PM

super glue is a super finish also. especially for something that will be handled a lot because it is also super tough.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7037 posts in 2396 days

#3 posted 12-31-2014 07:45 PM

I make my handles out of Dogwood and finish with poly for it’s durability. Poly is thinned about 50/50 with mineral spirits and wiped on.. flows out excellent and no brush strokes left to fight once it cures. Not really a home made finish, but more of a home made ‘wipe-on’ poly :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Planeman40's profile


1306 posts in 2958 days

#4 posted 01-01-2015 12:06 AM

May I ask what is “BLO” and “DNA”?

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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Dave Rutan

1736 posts in 2386 days

#5 posted 01-01-2015 12:08 AM

May I ask what is “BLO” and “DNA”?

- Planeman40

I’m supposing they stand for Boiled Linseed Oil and DeNatured Alcohol.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3845 days

#6 posted 01-01-2015 12:39 AM

If you want a finish that feels like natural, smooth wood
in the hand, raise the grain with water, let it dry and
and sand until the grain doesn’t raise anymore. Then
it will take an oil or wax finish beautifully and it won’t
feel like a film over the wood when you handle the

I am not saying you should do this, just that it’s a nice
option for small item that will be handled often.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2887 days

#7 posted 01-01-2015 01:30 AM

BLO followed by wax makes for a very touchable finish that is super simple to repair if it ever gets dinged.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bondogaposis's profile


5086 posts in 2549 days

#8 posted 01-01-2015 03:06 AM

May I ask what is “BLO” and “DNA”?

Boiled Linseed Oil and Denatured Alcohol.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View OSU55's profile


1958 posts in 2187 days

#9 posted 01-01-2015 03:21 AM

Poly thinned 50% with MS if you want a close to the grain finish just wipe it dry after 5 min or so. You can also build film thickness as much as you want. Poly can look like an oil finish up to a fully filled mirror shine. Just recoat if it gets scratched. Much more durable than oil wax and other stuff.

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