01-02-2014, 10:12 PM
#1
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
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I received a wonderful brush from my mother-in-law, Martha, for Christmas: the Muhle VIVO black fiber synthetic with a plum wood handle. She is very generous and she kept after me asking if there was any shave-related items I would like, so I gave her a very specific suggestion. Smile

Here are the glamour shots of the brush:

[Image: IMG_4651.JPG]

[Image: IMG_4653.JPG]

The wood has a texture that made me concerned that it was unfinished. When it gets wet (unavoidable, of course), the wood looks darker.

I was concerned about the care and maintenance of this lovely handle, so I wrote to Muhle asking how the wood was finished, and how I should maintain it. I was pleased when I got a prompt, helpful reply from Christian Müller:

Quote:Dear Mr. Allen,

Thank you for the message.

The wood is oil treated and it is recommended to renew this from time to time by using a regular kitchen oil, (olive oil, etc.)

mit freundlichen Grüßen / best regards,
Christian Müller

MÜHLE / Hans-Jürgen Müller GmbH & Co. KG,
Hundshübel, Hauptstrasse 18, 08328 Stützengrün, Germany

I certainly can do that, but I was wondering if anyone here who has experience making and finishing wooden handles could give me advice? Should I just follow Mr. Muller's official recommendation and rub the wood with a food-grade oil? I would feel better if I gave it a finish that was more water proof. Would it be a mistake to rub on tung oil or a tung oil finish like Homer Formby's?

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 01-02-2014, 11:52 PM
#2
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Any light mineral oil applied regularly will keep your handle looking good.
Tung/finishing oils will put a protective top coat on the wood but i would cut them back to keep the wood smooth and tactile.
Bottom line with wood however is that the water will eventually win the battle so you must treat it on a regular basis.
regards, beejay

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 01-03-2014, 02:46 AM
#3
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I would use teak oil from time to time to keep the wood in good condition.

Beeswax is another good option (there's some type of beeswax that is good to use on wood and even on shoes).

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 01-03-2014, 06:00 AM
#4
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Food grade oils such as Olive and Orange work fine for woods.

The principle of the method is letting the oil saturate the wood so that there is "no room" for the water.

Olive oil will work best to maintain the color of the wood.

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 01-03-2014, 06:10 AM
#5
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i would do it simple and follow the direction of mr müller and use an edible oil. i'm sure his advice is good enough Smile

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 01-03-2014, 10:32 AM
#6
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I use an occasional coat of mineral oil from the drug store on brush and straight razor handles made of wood. I get it in the laxative section and it is food grade. Mineral oil is recommended for wood or bamboo kitchen cutting boards, which get cleaned with water every day. I also make sure that I let the handles dry completely between uses.

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 01-03-2014, 10:35 AM
#7
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what kind of mineral oil would that be?

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 01-03-2014, 10:53 AM
#8
  • Doc
  • Member
  • Paris
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Our Wood turner on the french shaving forum use linseed oil.

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 01-03-2014, 11:07 AM
#9
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Wow, Mike, that is a beautiful brush! Good luck with it. Smile

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 01-03-2014, 11:16 AM
#10
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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I'd me more inclined to use food grade mineral oil. Olive oil isn't recommended for cutting boards because it can go rancid. Not that you would eat off the brush but if it turns it might have an odor.

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 01-03-2014, 11:33 AM
#11
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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For any of my non varnished handles or brushes I just use some high grade wood WAX and a couple drops of my favorite sewing machine oil and hand rub the wood...(kind of like a massage)...never had any issue or damage and the wood looks like new...do the same on leather (used to be in the Shoe Repair business)....can do the same on plastic as well (used to be in the Optical business)have fun and rub away your worries....

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 01-03-2014, 12:14 PM
#12
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I personally use mineral oil (food grade) for my wood handles because it will not go rancid, and as a bonus it also protects my straight razor blades. Two for one, really.

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 01-03-2014, 01:40 PM
#13
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I would vote for "food safe" oils you can find in woodworking catalogs. Here's the search from WoodCraft: http://www.woodcraft.com/search2/search....e%20finish.

Not that mineral is bad but I would wonder about the oil drying time and being wet with water over time.

Please let us know how it goes Smile

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 01-03-2014, 01:48 PM
#14
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(01-03-2014, 01:40 PM)KLovgren Wrote: I would vote for "food safe" oils you can find in woodworking catalogs. Here's the search from WoodCraft: http://www.woodcraft.com/search2/search....e%20finish.

Not that mineral is bad but I would wonder about the oil drying time and being wet with water over time.

Please let us know how it goes Smile

That is the place I get mine from. I use the butcher block oil (pure mineral oil) and have not noticed a long drying time. Granted I have very few wood handled brushes, but my cutting boards dry within a normal time.

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 01-03-2014, 01:59 PM
#15
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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In the past I've used shaving oil lightly rubbed in on my wooden handled brushes.

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 01-03-2014, 03:08 PM
#16
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(01-03-2014, 10:35 AM)tonsorius Wrote: what kind of mineral oil would that be?

Just plain mineral oil in the laxative section of the drug store. Inexpensive and food grade.

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 01-06-2014, 04:24 AM
#17
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Beautiful brush, congratulations!

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 02-07-2014, 11:22 AM
#18
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
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Here is a follow up. I appreciate all the thoughtful suggestions from everyone. I followed a recommendation that I received from oscar11. Steve suggested that I use a linseed oil finish called Tru-Oil, normally used in refinishing gun stocks.

I masked off the chrome parts of the handle and covered the knot. I rubbed in a generous first coat of the oil and allowed it to soak in well. Then I wiped off as much as I could. Dried for 48 hours, then a very light sanding with 1000 grit paper, wiped down, then another application of the oil. Let it dry for 24 hours. Then another sanding and another coat of the oil.

When the third cost was dry, I was very pleased with the soft luster and smooth subtle texture of the wood, not slick and shiny as a poly varnish would have been. I called it done!

Here are the after pictures:
[Image: IMG_20140206_214654_1.jpg]
[Image: IMG_20140206_214750_2.jpg]

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 02-07-2014, 01:03 PM
#19
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looks really good. thanks a bunch for sharing Smile

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 02-08-2014, 04:25 AM
#20
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Looks very nice Mike.

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