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Tool Talk with Bill Rittner


 
  Refinish a Saw Tote by Bill Rittner 1 of 2  

 

The first step is to strip the old finish using your favorite stripper. Then wash the tote and allow it to thoroughly dry.

 

This tote looks a bit tired.

Then sand lightly with #320P or #400P paper. Sanding too much will take off the “age” and that is not my intent.

This is what your tote will look like when stripped and sanded.

The next step is to apply a coat of boiled linseed oil. The wood in this tote is about 80 years old and it is very dry. I want some oil in the surface of the wood to make it less brittle and less likely to crack. The oil also accentuates the color and patina of the vintage wood.

Wet a rag with a little oil and begin to rub it into the wood adding more oil to the rag as needed. Rub the oil hard into the wood. Let the tote set about 15 minutes and wipe off the oil. Continue to rub the wood with a clean rag until the rag takes off almost no oil.

The idea here is to use just enough oil to accomplish your goals. More than this is a waste. You need not saturate the wood and let the oil set, keeping the surface wet for 15 to 20 minutes as some suggest. This just makes a mess and accomplishes nothing more than a light coat does. I have been doing this for many years and have used the saturation method many times. My method works just as well and is quicker and cleaner.

WARNING LINSEED OIL SOAKED RAGS CAN SPONTANEOUSLY IGNITE! TAKE THE RAGS OUTSIDE. LAY THEM OUT IN A SINGLE LAYER UNTIL THOROUGHLY DRY BEFORE THROWING THEM IN THE TRASH.

Let this oil coat dry for at least 5 to 7 days before the next step.

The tote after the oil is dry.


 
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