Re: [MedievalSawdust] Best oils for wooden tool handles
I've used both Tung and BLO and while either would work for tool handles, I would give the nod to BLO for this particular use. Tung is more waterproof, which actually can be a disadvantage as it traps water behind the finish; anything left outside in the rain is almost certain to get some moisture penetration. BLO is quite permeable to water vapor, so it "breathes" more than Tung. It's barely a finish at all really. The other good thing about it is you can re-apply whenever you want.
Wood choice is critical here. Light-colored woods like Ash, which is porous and contains a fair amount of sugar, will develop mold spots pretty quickly under almost any finish if left out in the rain. Darker woods contain more tannins, which inhibit mold and fungus.
Sharon Gordon wrote:
What are the best oils to protect wooden tool handles including tools that will be used outside and some of which may be rained on at times?