View Full Version : tung oil finish?

12-06-2008, 12:17 AM
Can I use tung oil to finish a veg oil tanned sheath? I am trying to get a similar finish to the handle material. The handles are made from a very light maple and the tung oil gave it a very nice reddish tan color. What will I need to use to seal the leather?

12-06-2008, 08:04 AM
If your leather hasn't been dyed, you can use Feibings British Tan to get a nice reddish finish. To seal the leather, a product like TanKote, BagKote from Feibings will do better than tung oil. If you want a shiney finish, try Satin Sheen, also from Feibings. These products can be found through Tandy's Leather Factory on line or at local locations.

12-07-2008, 05:57 PM
Thanks for the info. I have been hesitant to order dye because I was not sure what color it would turn out. The pics online are not very informative. The leather has not been finished yet, it is still natural.

12-08-2008, 05:54 AM
RLo is on about the leather finish. You can try the tung but it probably won't give you the results you want. The Fbg's British Tan may be a bit too red on leather to match tung oiled maple. Just used some the other night on some burl maple and it's pretty darn red, but it doesn't match the color it puts on leather, difference in materials.

What ever you use, test it first on scrap leather.

Your best bet it to find a leather craftsman near you and try a couple of different dyes on a test piece. WHere you located?

Wade Holloway
12-09-2008, 05:30 AM
Someone who repairs boots and shoes may have some if it is just for one. Just a thought.

12-09-2008, 06:52 AM
I don't know if you have tried this one. If I want to leave the natural finish on the leather. I use neatsfoot oil with parifin wax. Take a mason jar fill 1/2 to 3/4 with neatsfoot. Then shread up the parifin into neatsfoot. (About a 1/4 to 1/2 block) Then heat it up in mason jar untill the parifin is somwhat transparent. Dip the sheath in. When it dries it will look kind of white from the parifin. Then take the wife's blow dryer and melt in the parifin. Set aside let cool. May need to use the blow dryer once more.
I put a lid on the jar and store in the shop until the next time. Then just heat it up again.

MLazyB Custom Knives

Sandy Morrissey
12-10-2008, 07:22 AM
Home recipes for leather finishing are rarely worth the time or the effort involved. The professionally produced products are far superior and much easier to use.

Different materials, even leathers, do not always dye the same shade, and testing on scrap materials is advised.

12-15-2008, 12:59 PM
Crex, I am located in Thomasville, GA. I have followed some of the Georgia guild forums and would love to find some guys in my area that share this interest, however, most of the Georgia guys seem to be from Atlanta north, while I am only 15 miles from the Florida border. Thanks for everyones input though. I will check the local shoe repair for leather dyes.

12-15-2008, 03:37 PM
Dive Dive.. there are a couple of knifemakers in Tallahassee and someone named Glen ? (I don't remember his last name) over in Bainbridge. Knowledge is knowledge regardless of where it lives. Find these folks, introduce yourself and maybe someone will invite you over for a visit. Heck, they may even do a little leather work. There may be some knifemakers in Columbus that do a little leatherwork also. Find the Sheath Making forums in the various knife making websites and post a thread asking if there is anyone with leather experience close to Thomasville or SW GA/SE AL & North Florida. Just never know who shares the same interest.

12-16-2008, 05:46 AM
I'd be willing to bet that there is some form of knifemaker in just about every town anywhere. Most are just to busy to be socialble. There are probably 2 or 3 in Thomasville also several that show up at the Blade Show from the Albany area. I think we have a few Guild members over that direction. Joe Sangster is sort of out that way (speak up if I'm wrong Joe). You kind of have to "hunt dead" as they say in the rabbit business, work the thick brush and you'll probably kick one out.

We have tried actively to get makers and enthusiest from all corners of the state involved with the Guild. For some reason SW and NW are somewhat hard to get in touch with other than at the shows. We'd be glad to setup a meeting in those areas if we can get enough commitment to help locate a suitable place. Just some good cover with electricity is all that is needed - pole barn, church or park pavillion, etc.

Just a note: We actually have more members south of Atlanta than we do north of Atlanta.
We are just more spread out on the south side.

I know it's a pretty good drive from Thomasville to Statesboro, but if you don't mind the drive, our winter Guild meeting is worth the trip, especailly if you can make Friday and Saturday. You won't believe the talent that shows up at these meetings.
Love to have you visit us and check us out.

12-16-2008, 12:14 PM
Thanks Crex, I might have to see if I can make that. Statesboro is somewhere around 4 hours from here I think. You know there is a joke about Statesboro here in south GA. You can't get there from here. You have to go someplace else first! I can probably sell my wife on a trip as her Alma Mater is there. Thanks to everyone for their help with this. I will definitely look into the knife makers in my area as I am ready to move into blade building instead of mounting bolsters and handles on pre-made knives.

12-26-2008, 08:55 PM
DD - there will be several wives at the meeting, mine included, especially for the Friday evening Social hour. It's a very relaxed atmosphere and the Twins (and the rest of us guild members) work very hard to make everyone welcome and comfortable. I hope you both will join us for a good time.