Definitely sand off any varnish....it'll tend to be harder on your hands and lead to blistering. I'd treat it with BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil)...it's what I use to revitalize my wooden tool handles. It'll even bring back some lusteer to garden tools that my son left outside.
Personally, I'd be leary of using food oils (almond, sesame, vegetable) as these may actually go randcid...although I don;t know much about the almod oil application...jsut wouldn;t want your bokken to start smelling funky, y'know? At the very least, try mineral poil application. Daily for a week, weekly for a month, and monthly ofr 3 months should just about do it. Rub a generoud amount in and wait for the wood to soak it up, then do it again, and yet again (the first few times).
Last edited by Erik Young : 04-11-2003 at 08:43 AM.