No, it doesn't have to, but a finish, especially oil, is going to retard
swelling and shrinking from moisture which leads to splitting. Since
there's no disadvantage, why not? By far, the antique tools in my
collection that have an intact finish have faired better.
] On Behalf Of AlbionWood
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 11:39 AM
Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Re: 18th century brace (drill)
Why assume you need any finish on it at all?
If it's made of a suitable hardwood, just start using it. If you don't
like the feel of raw wood, rub some wax in to make it more comfortable.
Not every wooden item must have a "finish" applied to it.
> I haven't got the slightest idea about splitting, sorry, I don't have
> much experience here. I only just completed it and I haven't even
> tested it out yet. I was waiting to put the finish on it first, but I
> have not heard any input from anyone here yet on authentic finishes
> for tools.