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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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