View Full Version : Wooden weapons care

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04-03-2002, 01:51 PM
I'm a beginner in Aikido, and have recently started practicing with weapons. One of the senior students recommended referring to the Bu Jin Design web site for instructions on wooden weapons care:
Their recommendation is to sand the weapon with sanding paper and then apply a mixture of boiled linseed oil and tung oil. This procedure should be applied once a month.

The procedure itself is not at all difficult but is somewhat cumbersome, mainly due to the fact that linseed oil is a major fire hazard. I was wondering if there are other, less dangerous coatings that can be applied. Also, is it really necessary to perform this procedure monthly?

Thank you very much in advance,

04-03-2002, 06:23 PM
I've never heard of doing anything like that. No one in our dojo treats or does anything to their jo/ ken. Some people make or buy bags, but there's no real standard.
I'm kinda curious, how much wear and tear do most weapons get in Aikido. After a couple years of kali, I stopped worrying about nice practice weapons because sticks would start to shatter or shred (meaning you had to tape 'em up... alot) fairly soon. Nothing is worse than spending money on a good set of sticks and breaking them the next day.


04-03-2002, 09:14 PM
Here's a great thread on the topic. Quite informative.



Aiki Teacher
04-03-2002, 09:16 PM
This approach takes a while to treat, but the end result is that if you don't treat them they will dry out and have a tendancy to splinter sooner.

04-03-2002, 10:48 PM
I've just done sanding and used lindseed oil (and some orange oil), and also tried a beeswax/lindseed/tung oil combination. The latter made me more nervous since it required heating, over a double boiler (NOT ON DIRECT HEAT OR IN A MICROWAVE) and as has been noted, it is flamable and can be explosive.:eek:

One nice tip my instructor gave me if doing the tung oil/etc mixture, is to heat in in a mason jar in the double boiler (or steamer) rather than DIRECTLY IN the top of the double boiler, then store unused portion in the same jar...

04-05-2002, 06:50 PM
Done - sanded and oiled with linseed and tung oil. Looks great, and (much more importantly) much smoother surface. One question though: is there a way to get rid of that oil odor? It's probably not very nice to come to the dojo with smelly weapons...

04-06-2002, 12:15 PM
When I used the linseed oil alone, my weapons smelled like lindseed for a while (it goes away) and my hands for a bit longer from using the weapons...I added some orange oil as the last 'coat' to cut down on this a bit (now my partner says 'ummmm, oranges' rather than 'ummm, linseed oil').

The beewax/oil combo didn't smell as much as long, probably because the wax sealed it more, but I added a few drops of orange oil to that, too, mostly because I had it out already. I saw an ad for camelia oil in a magazine, and have considered ordering it and trying that, or some jasmine from the aromotherapy shop. Maybe not the best choices for the men out there....:rolleyes:

04-06-2002, 01:28 PM
I add a thin coat of myrrh oil to mine, which is very strong-smelling. I love it, though I've found that not many others can appreciate the strong scent of pure myrrh oil. :p

Bruce Baker
04-09-2002, 04:04 PM
Check the Aikido FAQ.

It is one of the links to this website.

There are articles on how to make weapons and how to care for them.

After four years of use, I just put a clear varnish over mine, and they are quite pretty again. Plus I just made two bokkens from axe handles to get the weighted feeling when practicing sitting between downloads ...

Don't leave your weapons where they will warp and bend from the heat, and on a flat surface would be the best. We had a new guy who had done Aikido four years before who left his bokken in the closet, it was bent hard over to one side ... quite comical for thrusting. I let him use my old bokken until his was replaced.

Go read the FAQ (Kjartgen? My spelling isn't the best.)

04-09-2002, 06:54 PM
I have a question which confounds the issue a bit I have a set of ebony weapons should the care be the same or should I try some thing else any suggestions would be helpful

Sherman Byas
04-15-2002, 07:13 AM
I think the ebony weapons should be keepsakes or demo (non-contact) pieces only. it's likely that they were expensive and in this case good ol' hickoy or shiro kashi is best used when striking is expected. Oiling them every once in while still should be fine.

04-25-2002, 10:56 AM
Hello all,

As you can read in the link provided by Sarah, I am one of the militants for using linseed oil. However, I started recently to get very annoyed by the smell and the yellowing color. So I decided to follow Tony Peters' advice and I purchased today a bottle of mineral oil (actually perfumed baby oil). I used it on my weapons and now they smell great!!! Now I have to see if this will cause any damage to my expensive Japanese white oak weapons. I hope not.