Thuya burl finish with paste wax.

Ty Adams

KNIFE MAKER
I'm going to be using thuya burl for the first time. Does anyone have any input on a good finish? I read that it doesn't like oil. I am going to try some Johnson's paste on a 1000 grit finish.
 

IanBryant

Well-Known Member
I use minwax paste wax on thuya and get decent results. I've never accomplished a "glossy" finish like that but it still finishes nicely. I just so happen to have some thuya on my belt...
8aba43d6f25c11ccddcc1d8a0b4e11aa.jpg


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Ty Adams

KNIFE MAKER
I use minwax paste wax on thuya and get decent results. I've never accomplished a "glossy" finish like that but it still finishes nicely. I just so happen to have some thuya on my belt...
8aba43d6f25c11ccddcc1d8a0b4e11aa.jpg


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Thanks for the input. Your handle layout looks good. What is the black material?
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Thuya is one of those woods that contain a LOT of resin. It's a very poor candidate for stabilizing, and even when you work your behind off to get a high gloss finish on it.....it's gona the next day. Maybe somebody else knows something about it that I don't.....but I quit using it some time ago because of all the various "issues" it presents.
 

Ty Adams

KNIFE MAKER
What other issues does the wood have Ed? When I bought it I knew that stabilizing it was not an option. But there was not anything else that I read that had me concerned.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
It has so much resin in it that if it goes from one climate to another, the resin will "leech" out and in some cases I've seen it form beads on the surface.....trying to wipe those beads off is akin to trying to wipe off half dried Elmer's glue. It's also soft enough that it's easy to scuff, scrap, or otherwise damage. Thinking back to when I was using it, I had several knives returned to repair Thuya handles..... mostly gouges in the handles. In a couple of cases they were so bad that I had to change out the handle material. While it does look nice, to me it's just one of those "pain in the butt" handle materials. :)
 

Ty Adams

KNIFE MAKER
Thanks Ed. Looks like some testing needs to be done. The knife it's going on was a new design. Maybe I'll give it to a friend and have them use and abuse it before it goes on something for sale.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
I'm with Ed - I've had to replace a couple (or 3) knives because the Thuya handles when bad - and they sure don't hold that "good look" they have when freshly finished. No more Thuya for me.
 
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