Thread: Oiling a jo
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:35 AM   #22
pezalinski's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Harvard (IL)
Location: harvard, IL
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 159
Lightbulb Re: Oiling a jo

Linda Morimoto wrote:
Hi, I have a question for Peter Zalinski...

when you pour the oil into the capped PVC pipe does that mean you use about 1-2 gallons of oil to float the jo? I assume you stand it up vertically to soak for the few days, is this correct? I'm tempted to try your method, although my own habit of periodically oiling with boiled linseed oil until slick and letting it dry over a period of a few days (to allow the oil to soak in) seems to have worked for me so far.

On a further note, our dojo uses walnut oil, but I can't say I see any benefit to it as the bokken have been beaten into smithereens over a period of less than three years (when they were placed new on the racks). They are not Japanese white oak, however, I believe they are American white oak, with a wide grain.
Well, since the pipe I use is only slightly bigger than my Jo/bokken are in diameter, I can float it with less than a 16-oz bottle of Lemon Oil. (I took my jo and bokken to Home Depot and found the smallest diameter pipe that they'd both fit into... Yep, that got a few odd looks from the employees.) Then I cap the other end (avoid spills & dust), and stand it in the corner for a few days. I've also removed and rotated the jo, submerging it the other way, for a few additional days -- but I don't think it really affected anything. Nicely enough, it's a very lightweight oil, so it penetrates well, and does not require a long drying time -- I usually wipe it off with a rag, and then run it through my hands until it is dry.

I do this about once or twice per year, to all my weapons, all Japanese white oak. I have 2 sets of weapons, and treat both sets the same (newer bokken has tsuba, newer jo is slightly thicker and an inch or so longer). They get banged on, but not banged up, in practice -- we do frequent weapons classes, with lots of wood-to-wood contact. My wood never splinters, it's not tacky, not slippery, and not warping.

One word of advice : PVC caps do not "seal" without assistance -- epoxy the permanent cap on, or you'll find your jo-oiler standing in a small puddle of lemon oil the next day
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