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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was able to purchase some Afzelia burl knife scales at a good price. I used them to build a marking knife and awl (unfortunately I didn't complete them in time for the knife swap).

I tried finishing them with BLO. The knife was finished a couple of weeks ago. The awl was finished this past weekend. Unfortunately the finish seems to be getting darker with age. As you can see in the photo, the red colors and lighter colors of the knife have turned a darker brown. The colors are still relatively bright for the awl.

Is this normal? Is it reacting with the wood? Is there a way to brighten it up? Is there a more suitable finish that I should use in the future?

Thanks for your advice.



Knife Cuisine Kitchen knife Food Flesh
 

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I'm unfamiliar with Afzelia, but BLO does typically turn dark woods darker, it's one of my favorite coloring tricks on walnut. I've never seen it turn noticeably darker in a few weeks, but it does darken over time. The BLO will become more amber as it ages, that amber looks darker on dark woods. But I'm wondering if the change your seeing is the natural reaction of the wood to UV (like I said, I'm unfamiliar with it). A lot of woods will react fairly quickly to UV, and that may be the effect you're seeing. Is there a more suitable finish? I likely would have went with a varnish, but you may not consider that more suitable. What might have been better is a gunstock finish like Tru-oil (polymerized linseed oil). When you ask about brightening it up, I'm guessing you mean get the color back...if the wood is reacting to UV, any removal of the surface would bring it back....only to have it all happen again.
 

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The linseed oil didn't really darken the wood, it just enhanced it. Even water will darken the wood. In the future if you would use a water based clear coat it shouldn't bring out the grain as much. Water based finishes normally have a bland look to them and most people like to put linseed oil on first just to make the grain pop so if you would skip the blo it would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks gentlemen for the advice. My wife loves burl. She has asked me to build her a cabinet with drawer fronts made of burl wood. One of the reasons I used it on the knives was to experiment with it before taking on a bigger challenge. I may experiment with some of your suggestions on scrap pieces to see if I can get a more successful finish. Again, your advice is very much appreciated.
 
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