Polishing Pakkawood Handles

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dv/dt
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Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by dv/dt » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:44 pm

I have some knives with pakkawood handles and it looks like the handles are fading. Instead of glossy black, the handles look grey. Has anyone else seen this? Is there an easy was to polish the handles to restore the finish?

salemj
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by salemj » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:25 pm

This may seem really stupid, but have you tried oil? I have noticed a similar thing happen to handles, and I know a little oil can really enrich the color instantly, but I have no idea if this provides a long-term fix. Don't forget that plastic is a petroleum product and can dry out...
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

Kalaeb
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Kalaeb » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:15 pm

Pakka wood, although not a natural product, still contains wood that may react to high heat, dishwashers etc...I don't know that high grit sanding would do anything to restore color, or even buffing. I would go with Salem's rec and hit it with a few coats of oil. Try some Tru-Oil.

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Jeff B
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Jeff B » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:51 pm

If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

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Thezep
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Thezep » Thu May 18, 2017 11:09 pm

Is it the laminated type pakkawood? If it is you can just sand it and polish it, draw some marks with a marker with a color that will stand out, start with say...800 grit, get rid of the marker marks. Repeat with 1500 grit and then 2000 grit. Buff it out with some polish of your choice (I like mothers and MAAS the best, because they don't smell like butt hole) or you can use some micron graded polishing cloth. If it is not the sealed laminate type don't do this.

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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Willison_Knives » Sun May 21, 2017 8:50 am

Thezep wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 11:09 pm
Is it the laminated type pakkawood? If it is you can just sand it and polish it, draw some marks with a marker with a color that will stand out, start with say...800 grit, get rid of the marker marks. Repeat with 1500 grit and then 2000 grit. Buff it out with some polish of your choice (I like mothers and MAAS the best, because they don't smell like butt hole) or you can use some micron graded polishing cloth. If it is not the sealed laminate type don't do this.
wow! you take your handle that high in grit?? I feel like that would slip out of the hand lol. I don't go past 400 grit personally
Dakota J. Willison
Willison Knives

milkbaby
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by milkbaby » Sun May 21, 2017 10:55 am

dv/dt did you try anything yet? If not, maybe try sanding a little inconspicuous spot like the underside and see if the color comes back. If not then try the oil suggestion (Birchwood Casey Tru oil is technically an oil and resin finish, you could try Watco or Minwax brands of teak oil, tung oil, or Danish oil finishes too). Pakkawood IIRC is a wood and resin/plastic composite that is often colored, so it could be the dye is fading at the surface from light or oxidation.

Dakota, for my western handles, I go up to 3000 grit because it shows off the grain and chatoyancy. You get a really cool shimmering 3D look, but it does make the wood feel more like plastic. The wax will give it some grippy feeling back. I haven't used any resin or plastic type handle material yet, but for the ones I have saved up, I'll probably break down and buy micromesh to sand even higher.

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Thezep
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Thezep » Mon May 22, 2017 6:09 am

Willison_Knives wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 8:50 am
Thezep wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 11:09 pm
Is it the laminated type pakkawood? If it is you can just sand it and polish it, draw some marks with a marker with a color that will stand out, start with say...800 grit, get rid of the marker marks. Repeat with 1500 grit and then 2000 grit. Buff it out with some polish of your choice (I like mothers and MAAS the best, because they don't smell like butt hole) or you can use some micron graded polishing cloth. If it is not the sealed laminate type don't do this.
wow! you take your handle that high in grit?? I feel like that would slip out of the hand lol. I don't go past 400 grit personally
Sometimes, not always. It really depends on what material I'm using and what look I'm going for. It's always better to sand higher then bring a finish back with some mirka mirlon pads, you tend to get a more even finish.

Willison_Knives
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Willison_Knives » Mon May 22, 2017 9:08 am

milkbaby wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 10:55 am
dv/dt did you try anything yet? If not, maybe try sanding a little inconspicuous spot like the underside and see if the color comes back. If not then try the oil suggestion (Birchwood Casey Tru oil is technically an oil and resin finish, you could try Watco or Minwax brands of teak oil, tung oil, or Danish oil finishes too). Pakkawood IIRC is a wood and resin/plastic composite that is often colored, so it could be the dye is fading at the surface from light or oxidation.

Dakota, for my western handles, I go up to 3000 grit because it shows off the grain and chatoyancy. You get a really cool shimmering 3D look, but it does make the wood feel more like plastic. The wax will give it some grippy feeling back. I haven't used any resin or plastic type handle material yet, but for the ones I have saved up, I'll probably break down and buy micromesh to sand even higher.
Thezep wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 6:09 am
Willison_Knives wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 8:50 am
Thezep wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 11:09 pm
Is it the laminated type pakkawood? If it is you can just sand it and polish it, draw some marks with a marker with a color that will stand out, start with say...800 grit, get rid of the marker marks. Repeat with 1500 grit and then 2000 grit. Buff it out with some polish of your choice (I like mothers and MAAS the best, because they don't smell like butt hole) or you can use some micron graded polishing cloth. If it is not the sealed laminate type don't do this.
wow! you take your handle that high in grit?? I feel like that would slip out of the hand lol. I don't go past 400 grit personally
Sometimes, not always. It really depends on what material I'm using and what look I'm going for. It's always better to sand higher then bring a finish back with some mirka mirlon pads, you tend to get a more even finish.
WOW, you guys make me seem lazy. I do all my finish sanding by hand. I usually go to about 120 then coat for a couple hours, then sand up to 240 and leave the wood/oil slurry on. after a couple more hours ill repeat oil then wait then 400grit( actually i have gone to 600) then leave slurry then once more. it shows the grain pretty well while leaving alot of grip and texture to the handle. i also seal at the end with beeswax. I didn't do this for my last handle as the brass would end up in the wood grain.
Dakota J. Willison
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Lepus
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Lepus » Mon May 22, 2017 10:04 am

I have at various points taken wood handles up as high as 1500, but in the past six months or so I've been stopping at 400, both for handles I've reconditioned and a new one I managed to squeak out. I really like the results that has given me and I have a hard time recognizing the benefits for going higher.

dv/dt
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by dv/dt » Tue May 23, 2017 7:59 pm

milkbaby wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 10:55 am
dv/dt did you try anything yet? If not, maybe try sanding a little inconspicuous spot like the underside and see if the color comes back. If not then try the oil suggestion (Birchwood Casey Tru oil is technically an oil and resin finish, you could try Watco or Minwax brands of teak oil, tung oil, or Danish oil finishes too). Pakkawood IIRC is a wood and resin/plastic composite that is often colored, so it could be the dye is fading at the surface from light or oxidation.
I tried soaking the handles in mineral oil for a day and there was no significant improvement. Since Pakkawood is a dyed wood/resin composite, I'm guessing that the dye at the surface has faded like you mentioned.

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ken123
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by ken123 » Sun May 28, 2017 3:28 am

I use a mineral oil / beeswax to condition many handles. If I'm buffing a handle (with a buffer) I finish with some white compound.

---
Ken

salemj
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by salemj » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:30 pm

What grit would one use to actually re-shape a pakka handle? I have a TF that (like most) has a Western handle that was not properly shaped at the bolster. There is an extra 1mm or so on each side that needs to be removed, after which I will follow the advice above to bring it all back to a uniform polish. :)

Can I do this by hand? What grits? What type of paper? Or should I use a diamond plate?
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

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Thezep
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Thezep » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:58 am

salemj wrote:
Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:30 pm
What grit would one use to actually re-shape a pakka handle? I have a TF that (like most) has a Western handle that was not properly shaped at the bolster. There is an extra 1mm or so on each side that needs to be removed, after which I will follow the advice above to bring it all back to a uniform polish. :)

Can I do this by hand? What grits? What type of paper? Or should I use a diamond plate?
If it's only 1mm you could probably start with some 60 grit sandpaper with a hard rubber sanding block, but the ideal hand tool for removing the bulk of the material would be a nice sharp rasp or a course bastard file. If you have access to a belt sander that's even better. Aluminum oxide (AO) sandpaper is generally what is used when shaping and sanding handles, because silicone carbide can leave some nasty black stains in wood, especially if it is not sealed with varnish of some kind. 3m pro-grade precision (home depot), gator (ACE hardware) and rhynowet red-line are good choices because they can be used wet or dry and are AO. To what grit you sand just depends on how shiny you want it to be, for a nice satin finish sand 60-120-220-400 using a marker between grits to highlight low points and scratches, then rub it down good with a fine nonwoven abrasive pad like scotchbrite or equivelant, these are usually maroon, this will give it a more even scratch pattern. If you want a glossy finish just sand higher and use polish cream or dremel buffer. Theres a ton of different finishes you can use so it really just comes down to experimenting and figuring out what you like.

Lepus
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Lepus » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:03 am

I'd love some details on your deemed buffing routine, Zep.

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Thezep
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by Thezep » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:40 am

Lepus wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:03 am
I'd love some details on your deemed buffing routine, Zep.
Well, like many things there several methods and mine might not be the best but it works for me. I will do most of the shaping on the grinder and a rasp or file, then I will start hand sanding and final shaping with 220grit with a little home made sanding block that has a piece of rubber cork on one side and a piece of felt on the other side. The felt is good for rounded areas and the cork is good for flat areas.

For a glossy or mirror finish, work your way up in grits doubling it each time, this isn't written in stone though, for example you can usually go from 320-800 or 400-1200 without much issue, especially on softer materials. Once I hit 1500 or 2000 buff it out with a 2000 grit mirka mirlon pad, this will help highlight any latent scratches and give it a nice even finish. For machine buffing I use a compound called "Zam" and then Pink scratchless. For buffing by hand I use mothers or MAAS polish, but just about any automotive or jewelry polish will work I just like these because they don't stink up my apartment. A woodworker i met suggested I try something called "micro-mesh", it is a complete finishing kit, it looks appealing I just havn't had a chance to try it yet.

PaulT
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Re: Polishing Pakkawood Handles

Post by PaulT » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:21 am

For any material that has a resin component such as pakkawood or a stabilised wood, I'd suggest a buffing wheel with some compound to restore a shine. If you don't have a buffing wheel, try novus plastic polish. I've used this pretty successfully on stabilised wood.

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