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Old 07-13-2004, 06:37 AM   #1
katsuchiyo
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Sticky Weapons

Hello,
After applying tung oil mixed even parts with boiled linseed oil to my jo and bokken (and wiping off most of the excess) I allowed them to dry for 24 hours. Since this was my initial oiling I followed a recommendation to treat them again in the same way. Now, over 24 hours past the second treatment they are still a bit sticky. The stickiness goes beyond what I would see as helpful for gripping.
Is this because the oil is still soaking in, or perhaps because I had used to much and not buffed frequently enough? If that is the case, is there any safe way to correct the situation?

Thank you,

Curtis
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Old 07-13-2004, 07:57 AM   #2
Greg Jennings
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Location: Springboro, OH
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Re: Sticky Weapons

Is the finish dry or still tacky? If it is still tacky, let it continue to dry. A dry environment will help.

If the finish is fully dry but is just sticky, that's more or less the nature of the finish. You can lightly sand with very fine steel to get a smoother feel.

I, personally, don't like smooth finish on my weapons. I want them, particularly the jo, to slide through my hands. I very lightly oil them with furniture oil, thoroughly wipe off the excess and let them dry.

If they become stickly, I lightly sand them with a super-fine sanding sponge.

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:07 AM   #3
Yozzer
Dojo: Chester (Ryusuikan)
Location: Chester, England, UK
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Re: Sticky Weapons

I think the problem may be with the linseed oil.

I have always used raw linseed oil and never had any problems. I was warned many years ago when I first got my weapons that boiled linseed oil would leave the surface of the weapon sticky.
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:28 AM   #4
katsuchiyo
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Re: Sticky Weapons

I believe that the oils are dry now, but still gummy (too gummy to easily slide through the hands). I also sent an email to the man who made the bokken and jo and he recommends using mineral spirits to clean off the build up, letting that dry, and then applying a light coat of teak oil. Then rub off the excess, let them dry overnight, and buff it out on the next day.
He also mentioned that teak oil is better for dense woods, and that un-thinned tung oil is too viscous (I assume that prevents it from soaking into the wood's pores), which probably created my problem.
I will move my weapons to a very dry area and give them a few more days just in case. If they remain sticky I will try the method above. I want t avoid sanding them because the wood grain looks very nice and I would hate to sand too deeply and go past my finish.
I will let everyone know how it goes in case others experience a similar situation. Just for information the wood is appalachian hickory and was crafted by Kingisher Woodworks.

Thank you for the advice,

Curtis
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:51 AM   #5
Jeff Tibbetts
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Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Re: Sticky Weapons

I always use this combination on my weapons with no ill effect. I sand the weapons first with the finest grade sandpaper and then apply one coat by hand rubbing it in for about 15 minutes. After that I let them sit somewhere for just about ten minutes or so and then I wipe off all the excess. When I got my weapons for the first time I put about three of these coats on and let it dry overnight, buffing it down in the mornings over three days but now to renew it I just do one coat. The first morning after a treatment it will still be sticky but if you wipe it down good the night before and once more when it's dry it's fine. The only thing that I think would make it much stickier is if you didn't rub the oil in as you apply, so it's all on the surface, or if you put way too much on. I usually coat my fingers in it and just put enough on that it slides in my hands easily while I'm applying it.

Let me know how it works out, I'm curious why it works differently for you than it does for me. Incidentally I just treated my weapons two days ago with Tung oil only because I couldn't get the damn cap off of the Linseed oil and I haven't used my weapons yet. I'll check it out and let you know if that feels any better or different.

Hope this helps...

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 07-14-2004, 08:14 AM   #6
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
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Re: Sticky Weapons

Okay, I used my weapons yesterday and I thought that they felt a little tackier than they would if I had used my oil mix, but they weren't so bad. Now I noticed that you said your weapons were Kingfisher weapons, which means they would be open grained, correct? That may make a difference, but I would think that it would mean the oil should absorb more easily. I would certainly not sand it and ruin the texture on those, but that's just me. Please let us know what ends up working for you because now I'm curious.

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:16 AM   #7
katsuchiyo
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Re: Sticky Weapons

Well, I let my weapons dry for one more week. After this time they are far less gummy then when I made my original post. They are still slightly more sticky then I would prefer, but instead of stripping them I am going to train with them and see if my hands where down the surface a bit. I expected that the oils would dry within 24 hours, but perhaps the humidity where I live slowed this process.
As a side note regarding the mention of boiled versus raw linseed oil, I am not sure what the difference is except that boiled linseed oil supposeduly dries more quickly then the raw form. I read somewhere that this is due to an added chemical, but I am uncertain if that is true or which chemical that may be.
Thank you for all of the advice.

Curtis Saal
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Old 07-19-2004, 09:14 AM   #8
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
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Re: Sticky Weapons

Quote:
Curtis Saal wrote:
I read somewhere that this is due to an added chemical, but I am uncertain if that is true or which chemical that may be.
Yeah. I remember seeing on the can that it did have chemical additives to shorten drying time... it doesn't say what they are, though. I did see that it had a warning on there to use raw if it's for children or animal toys and there is also a cancer warning. This may be enough reason to use the raw oil and let it dry longer. Anyone else know anything about this?

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 11-03-2004, 05:27 PM   #9
vxvx
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Re: Sticky Weapons

I have been using safflower oil for a number of years, now. It's never sticky or smelly and gives a great finish. I think you'll be happy with the results.
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:36 PM   #10
bkedelen
 
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Re: Sticky Weapons

I recommend using a bit of mineral spirits to clean off the excess oil and any varnish coating from the wood (sandpaper will clean it up as well, but sanding closes the wood's pores). The oil's power is to keep the inner wood moist, so having any extra on the outside of the wood does not really help you. Linseed oil never really dries, which is why it is great for preserving wood. Linseed also stinks of rotting deadfall (and turns American hickory and white oak a sickly yellow), so I just use tung oil, trying to avoid the mixtures with a varnish component. I also favor orange oils, but attempt to avoid the ones with a wax component, because wax closes the wood's pores as well. In the future, I recommend cutting your tung/linseed mixture with some mineral spirits (20% to 33% mineral spirits should do it). This will both help the oil absorption by reducing the formula's viscosity, and will help you wipe the outside of the weapon clean of the excess by making the mixture more volatile.
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Old 11-04-2004, 10:43 AM   #11
jonreading
 
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Re: Sticky Weapons

Hey,

Just wanted to weigh-in.

Boiled Linseed oil and Tung oil are great preservative treatments for wood. Linseed oil is a better preservative, but often causes color distortion. Mineral spirits (sometimes called "paint thinner") is a great compound to mix or "cut" the oil into a thinner mixture. Only sand to remove a varnish from the weapon, if you are going to apply a preservative oil.

A coat of oil once a year is plenty to preserve the wood. You should use a thinned mixture for you first few coats (try 50/50). The oil (especially Linseed) will cause the weapon to gain weight.

Lighter oils light (lemon, almond, etc.) are great for cleaning the weapon, but are not good for preserving the wood.
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Old 11-05-2004, 06:08 AM   #12
Steve Kubien
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Disgust Re: Sticky Weapons

I would avoid mixing tung and linseed oil. They do the same thing (essentially) so why mix them? Somebody mentioned that raw linseed oil dries harder than boiled. That has not been my experience. I have used gallons of boiled linseed oil (BLO) in my woodworking and only a little of the raw. I do not allow raw in my shop anymore because it is such a PITA. I would stick with boiled.

Try some mineral spirits to get rid of the tackiness you are seeing now. Use steel wool to apply it and wipe with the grain. You may have to do this ove the course of several days (maybe a few weeks) to rid yourself of the excess oil. It sounds like you put your coats on too thick. I always put on very thin coats and I STILL wipe the piece down after 5-10 minutes. I will look as though there is nothing on it. That's what you want. Many thin layers or coats are far better to a few thick ones.

If this weapon is not useable as it is and remains so after a few weeks, you may want to consider picking up another until all of the oil has leached out. I once made a small display box out of cedar and I put too much oil on it. Took about 6 months to be useful.

Good luck,
Steve Kubien
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:09 PM   #13
Michael Young
 
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Re: Sticky Weapons

I know this thread is a little old, but I wanted to see if anyone else uses wax on their weapons. I use a furniture paste wax on all of my weapons and have for years. I have a white oak bokken that is about 8 years old that is still holding up well (I have had to sand some pretty big dents and dings out of it from heavy use). I sand the factory varnish off of the weapons I buy and then apply at least 2 coats of wax, and then buff. I find the feel is great, not too sticky or too slick, and it has a beautiful sheen to it. I will usually have to apply another coat or two once a year (particularly on the handle of my bokken, as the wax wears off over time).

Mike
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Old 12-21-2004, 10:05 PM   #14
emi_moes
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Re: Sticky Weapons

so why is it the factory varnish doesn't work so great on weapons?

~Emi, Domo arigato gozaimashita
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Old 12-23-2004, 02:04 AM   #15
Bronson
 
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Re: Sticky Weapons

Quote:
Emilia Moes wrote:
so why is it the factory varnish doesn't work so great on weapons?
For me it just doesn't feel as nice as the bare wood. As somebody in our dojo said recently about his new Kingfisher bokken: "When you grab it it feels like it grabs you back."

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 12-23-2004, 08:37 AM   #16
pezalinski
 
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Re: Sticky Weapons

The purpose of oiling the wood isn't to protect the finish as much as it is to protect the character of the wood itself -- springiness, resilence, resistance to cracking, etc. And that means that the wood cannot be totally dried out. Most oils, such as tung and linseed, do not penetrate to the core of the weapon... they make a nice surface, but don't contribute overmuch to the strength of the wood (though it does seal the wood from completely drying out).

I've read stories of monks who used to have their wooden weapons soaking in containers of oil, so that they were saturated. I don't know what kind of oils they used; I've found that a lemon oil bath works well -- the wood soaks up an appreciable amount the first time; it isn't tacky or slippery to the touch, afterwards; it smells nice; it's relatively cheap; and it's not hazardous to the health of others.

Anyone else out here using lemon oil?
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Old 12-23-2004, 12:37 PM   #17
Amendes
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Re: Sticky Weapons

Quote:
Peter Zalinski wrote:
The purpose of oiling the wood isn't to protect the finish as much as it is to protect the character of the wood itself -- springiness, resilence, resistance to cracking, etc. And that means that the wood cannot be totally dried out. Most oils, such as tung and linseed, do not penetrate to the core of the weapon... they make a nice surface, but don't contribute overmuch to the strength of the wood (though it does seal the wood from completely drying out).

I've read stories of monks who used to have their wooden weapons soaking in containers of oil, so that they were saturated. I don't know what kind of oils they used; I've found that a lemon oil bath works well -- the wood soaks up an appreciable amount the first time; it isn't tacky or slippery to the touch, afterwards; it smells nice; it's relatively cheap; and it's not hazardous to the health of others.

Anyone else out here using lemon oil?
I will try over the X-mas holidays.

Last edited by Amendes : 12-23-2004 at 12:39 PM.
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