In my above video I share how I apply a finish to a new or antique saw handle, including a trick for keeping fingers off of the finish! This will be very useful for people who like to refurbish old saw handles.
What are some of your tricks for applying a finish to a woodworking saw handle? My trick involves having fishing line from the ceiling and looping both ends around a bolt that protrudes through the saw handle hole.
It helps me to keep my hands off the finish as much as possible, and allows the wet handle to air dry without any part resting on a surface. You could also run a slim dowel through the saw handle and place it on top of a box.
What finish do I now use on my handsaw and handplane handles? A few months ago my friend Bill Anderson encouraged me to try Minwax Antique Oil Finish (best price here) followed by a coat of Mylands Traditional Wax Polish (best price here). Bill’s friend Larry Preuss, a planemaker from Michigan, introduced him to this finishing combo. Now I love this high-build finish, because of its ease in application and it’s lovely finish. I’ve even used it as a top coat over milk paint, and it works great.
I just apply 2-3 coats of the Minwax oil, according to the directions on the can. Then when the final coat has dried for 24 hours I apply the furniture wax and again buff it until it has a nice sheen.