I've been researching woods to make my first jo, and the more research I do the more confused I become. So many recommendations!
Many of the woods I've seen highly recommended just aren't available to me here in Australia. When it comes to hardwood dowel, the hardware/timber places around here all have Kwila/Mervan and Tasmanian Oak and that's about it.
Never seen Kwila/Mervan recommended by anyone, but I've seen recommendations for Tasmanian Oak by a couple of aikidoka in various forums.
So I've decided to ignore all the exotic stuff and take a gamble on the Tassie Oak. I'm planning to make a couple: 1x25mm and 1x30mm. I'm a big strong lad and I don't know which will suit me best, so making two isn't a big effort.
But being wood-ignorant, I have a question about finishing...
Stain, varnish or some sort of oil? Or some combination? Or something else entirely?
Obviously the Jo needs to slide easily but not be slippery.
Anyone out there expert in this sort of thing?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Hi Cedric. I have been using Tassie oak for years for Jo and Bo. I've found it very sufficient (not good for bragging or posing though
) Nice range of cheap ones and thicknesses at Bunnings, select the right piece, look for a straight grain and check for flaws or knots that will split across the length and not down it. Give it a good sand and rub in pure wood oil, (no additives) like Sifa furniture oil (hardware or Bunnings), If it dries out (of oil) it will start to split, even without use. Do maintenance (which we should all do anyway) after a heavy contact session, go over it, sand it and oil again. This gives me a good grip and movement through the hand. Eventuall it may not last as long as other expensive woods, then you will be up for another $12 at Bunnings, if you can handle that
. Last teacher told me Sensai Sugarno used p-nut oil. I tried it and it seems just as good and cheaper. Dont varnish it for the reasons above. Have fun!
I do not reccomend linseed oil.