Scale Care

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JulesVane
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Scale Care

Postby JulesVane » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:38 am

Hi Bill (and all)...Just wondering what are the best methods of long term scale care for 1: Abalone/Pearl 2: Various types of Horn 3: Various types of Woods?
Also: I see many listings of antique/vintage knives that describe "bug bites" in the scales. Are these actually bugs? Are there ways to prevent this?
Thanks to all in advance for your methods of long term care.
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Corvus
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Re: Scale Care

Postby Corvus » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:08 am

JulesVane wrote:Hi Bill (and all)...Just wondering what are the best methods of long term scale care for 1: Abalone/Pearl 2: Various types of Horn 3: Various types of Woods?


Abalone/Pearl doesn't need any care, AFAIK. A drop of mineral oil rubbed into horn has always worked for me. There're lotsa care products for wood. I use a little light lemon oil, followed by a small amount of Renaissance wax.

Also: I see many listings of antique/vintage knives that describe "bug bites" in the scales. Are these actually bugs? Are there ways to prevent this?
Thanks to all in advance for your methods of long term care.


Yeah, they're holes bored into the horn by small beetles. I don't know how to prevent it, but I've only encountered it in antiques like the "bug bite" in the tortoise shell on this little Miller Bros Wharncliffe.

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JulesVane
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Re: Scale Care

Postby JulesVane » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:15 am

Thanks for the care tips Corvus! Small beetles, huh? Geez, that's amazing. Wonder where the heck they come from! The Horn must attract them somehow(?). Fascinating!
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john
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Re: Scale Care

Postby john » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:45 pm

Ask 100 people and you’ll get more info than you can use.
MOP care - I’ve read a very thin coat of olive oil, wipe on wipe off. Wood care - use any high quality wood polish bees wax is awesome. Horn care - neutral shoe polish apply, let dry, buff.
How often? That’s up to your knife’s scale material.
John
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JulesVane
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Re: Scale Care

Postby JulesVane » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:56 pm

Thank you John!
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Bill DeShivs
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Re: Scale Care

Postby Bill DeShivs » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:19 pm

From someone who repairs handles every day:
Wax. Car wax, paste wax, neutral shoe polish, Renaissance Wax (if you like to waste money.)
Oils do more harm than good. Pearl needs nothing, but a good coat of wax sure won't hurt.
"Bug bites" are caused by the larvae (worms) of the common carpet beetle. Same bug that eats little holes in your cotton clothes. Moths are not the culprit. Frequent inspection is the best preventative, though if you are having a problem a good insecticide on a tab of cloth near your knives would probably stop the infestation.
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JulesVane
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Re: Scale Care

Postby JulesVane » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:33 pm

Thank you Bill!
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Corvus
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Re: Scale Care

Postby Corvus » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:38 pm

"Oils do more harm than good."

I have to respectfully disagree when it comes to wood. As a fellow bassist, you've never rubbed a few drops of light wood oil into your fingerboards? Classical and modern stringed instrument builders universally recommend that bare wood fingerboards should occasionally be lightly oiled, and they use many of the same hardwoods found on Italian autos.

Too much oil can certainly be messy and harmful, as can the wrong type, e.g., mineral oil can cause wood to swell, etc., but dry hardwood can warp or crack over time unless it's been finished with oil or a sealant. I've certainly seen my share of old knives with cracked, warped or chipped hardwood scales, especially around the pins.

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Bill DeShivs
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Re: Scale Care

Postby Bill DeShivs » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:31 pm

Most oils soften wood. I have used lemon oil and Pledge to clean fingerboards, but a good coat of paste wax works better.
Wax seals wood.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Factory authorized repairs for:
Latama, Mauro Mario, LePre, Colonial, Kabar, Flylock, Schrade Cut Co., Presto, Press Button, Hubertus, Grafrath, Kuno Ritter knives.

Corvus
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Re: Scale Care

Postby Corvus » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:11 am

I agree that lightly moisturizing a dry and potentially brittle piece of hardwood with an occasional drop of the appropriate oil can be equated with softening its surface slightly, but IMO, that's not a bad thing. Oil and wax are usually used together to restore fine hardwood instruments and furniture, etc. The oil lightly moisturizes the surface and the wax seals it. The keywords being 'lightly' and 'occasionally.' YMMV, of course.

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Re: Scale Care

Postby john » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:10 pm

Oil and wax work great together. I’ve use oil based stains followed by bees wax.
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