Wood Handle Maitenance?

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Wood Handle Maitenance?

Post by Charged »

I recently picked up two reels with Wood handles.

The reels were fairly dirty, so I gave them a Vinegar/Water bath without realizing they had wood handles. Luckily I did not leave them in super long, but the wood did swell up tight on the spindle, making them difficult to turn. Now that they have been drying for a day, the handles are again loose.

My question, is should this wood be treated with anything to preserve them? Also, do people not lube wood handles, I'm assuming if I oil them, the wood may swell back up. What do you guys do?

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john elder
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Post by john elder »

Usually, these handles have a pretty tough coat of varnish on them, so you're hard-pressed to get anything to penetrate from the outside. If the finish is really worn, you can put on some coats of tung oil or spar varnish to add some protection. The swelling likely occurred by absorption of water from the inside, where there's no finish. That is usually protected by the oil that gets added to make the grasp turn freely. I'd just lube it up and it should be fine.

I've soaked wood handled reels, wood and all, overnight in vinegar/water and never had a problem. Likely, the only time it would be a problem is when you have a working crack in the wood.

Best to you!

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