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Posted: 11/3/2015 2:17:43 PM EST
I've heard that you can darken canvas Micarta by oiling it.
Is this true, and what oils are recommended....gun oil, olive oil, synthetic gun oils?????

Any down sides like deterioration of the material?
Link Posted: 11/3/2015 2:29:06 PM EST
Micarta will darken over time from the sweat and oils on your hands. If you want to speed up the process, you can use a variety of oils, but stick with mineral oil and you will be fine.
Link Posted: 11/3/2015 4:12:59 PM EST
Thanks, just what I needed to know.
Link Posted: 11/3/2015 4:37:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2015 4:54:28 PM EST by raf]
Link Posted: 11/3/2015 9:09:27 PM EST
The whole idea of the various Micartas is that you don't have to paint or apply any finish.
For paper, wood, or linen Micarta all you have to do is sand to a fine finish then buff to the desired gloss.

For canvas Micarta the rough surface texture is the big attraction, and painting would defeat the intent.
In my case I'm building a knife with Olive Drab canvas Micarta handles and the natural color once worked is a little lighter then I want.
Apparently if you oil it it will absorb the oil and darken to the correct shade.
I just wasn't sure about which oil was appropriate.

The canvas Micarta is extremely tough, durable, and waterproof, and offers a great grip.
Here's my Boker Applegate knife Bill Harsey design version with Olive Drab canvas Micarta handle:

Link Posted: 11/3/2015 11:30:02 PM EST
I've had a couple of knives with sandblasted micarta handles. It will darken from hand oils and sweat a bit, but will go back to original once you wash it with a bit of soap. It really doesn't soak it up, it's just on the surface and will wash off easily. However, I have used oil to get the darker, even finish. Linseed oil seems to last well, not as easy to wash off either because it will semi harden (that's why it's used on wood).
Link Posted: 11/4/2015 8:26:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2015 8:26:23 AM EST by jrm]
I use wax to darken it up some. Specifically Turtle Wax Ice
Link Posted: 11/4/2015 2:19:09 PM EST
What would RIT dye do to it?
Link Posted: 11/4/2015 7:17:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/4/2015 8:01:17 PM EST
Mineral oil is not a drying oil.

Tung oil, linseed oil, walnut oil, Danish oil, these are drying oils danish oil is a blended drying oil and is offered with stain built in it if you desire.

However, none of any of the oils above penetrate wood more than 1/32" - 1/64". It will probably penetrate micarta even less. From my limited understanding on how micarta is made, it really doesn't lend well to anything penetrating the surface.
Link Posted: 11/4/2015 8:20:43 PM EST
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Originally Posted By mtnbkr5234:
What would RIT dye do to it?
View Quote

Good question.
If you can dye hard plastic with Rit, I wonder what it would do with canvas Micarta, or even linen Micarta.

The canvas Micarta uses canvas sheets so the surface seems to be able to absorb at least some penetrating liquids.
However, my intent is to slightly darken the canvas Micarta, not dye it another color.
Once I finish the project I'm working on I'll try some oil or a coat of Minwax Antique Oil Finish.
That's a clear oil type drying finish.

I'm not going to risk anything on my expensive Boker Applegate-Harsey knife.
Link Posted: 11/5/2015 10:43:32 PM EST
Micarta is a phenolic material designed to be a dielectric. It is not going to absorb much of anything. When you apply the oil you are going to see a bit of a color change but that will disappear as the oil rubs off.
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