Handling wooden handles

Questions on polishing, restoration, conservation + manufacturing techniques

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Jag
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Handling wooden handles

Postby Jag » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:04 pm

Some of my older silver case pieces have wooden handles on them. There's lots of good advice in this forum for cleaning and protecting silver, but what about the wood handles they are attached to? Some of my wood handles are looking rather dried out or have spots of whitish (mould?) So what's the best way to clean and protect the wood handles? Murphy's oil-soap? Lemon oil? Mineral oil? Bees wax? Does anyone have any good advice?

Hose_dk
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby Hose_dk » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:26 am

I use butter - dont know whether it is the best, but it works.

JLDoggett
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby JLDoggett » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:53 am

I use mineral oil on older pieces (pre-1900) and butcher's wax on newer pieces. I also never immerse them when cleaning.

amena
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby amena » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:40 am

White spots are often due to the glossy film that is detached from the underlying wood. In this case it is not enough oil, butter or other fat product, you must first remove the film detached. You can do this with products suitable for stripping. The treatment, however, must be adapted to the type of wood. Ebony and walnut, for example, need to be treated differently.
A picture would help
Regards
Amena

Jag
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby Jag » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:18 am

Here's some sample pictures. First pic has some sort of varnish on it, so condition isn't bad, and I don't think I need to strip it. But the next two are from a pre-1900 Gorham coffee/tea set that seem to have no finish on the finials and handles, and need more care. How about cleaning with oil-soap, and then rubbing in olive oil? (Butter scares me - I guess because I've smelled rotten butter). What do you think?

Image
Image
Image

oel
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby oel » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:36 pm

Hi Jag,

Just use a little drop of raw linseed oil.

Best.

Oel.

amena
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby amena » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:11 am

It is not clear, from the photos, whether the gray matter it is detached paint or some other material deposited. However the wooden parts of the Gorham set need to be cleaned. You have to rub gently with very fine steel wool until all the gray matter is removed, then use a fat matter for finishing. The furniture wax is the best and most lasting.
Best regards.
Amena

Jag
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby Jag » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:22 pm

Thank you all for the advice. I don't have furniture polish but do have linseed oil, and that worked quite well. I polished the set while I was at it (and therefore feel very virtuous).

Here's an "after" view of one of the pieces:

Image

bluidbear3
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby bluidbear3 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:06 pm

Dear Jag, I just found and joined this site tonight. I was looking for a way to remove lacquer. In searching around the site found this post from you and am impressed with how well your wood handles turned out. What a lovely Tea set when you finished. I will be polishing up all of our display silver soon as we are having our wedding with many out of town and foreign guests coming for the festivities, so of course the silver has to look good,
Keep on polishing,
Michael

Vayne
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby Vayne » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:03 pm

Nice job cleaning it up, it looks a whole lot better! I find that a lot of older wooden pieces just look dirty. We have an old boat that looks this way, but hopefully when we've reworked it will look fantastic.

silverhammer
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Re: Handling wooden handles

Postby silverhammer » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:10 am

The technique I use is: I clean the piece with hand sanitizer. If this doesn't work, I use 0000 steel wool (nothing harsher), then apply Renaissance wax, let sit for 10 minutes, then buff with a cotton ball or paper towel. Do not use oils because they will attract dirt and may change color over time.


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