Is Tung Oil too good for a waster?
How to care for your swords.

My Tony Mosen Sword being oiled in the making.
Alt Text--Tony Mosen wooden sword

What are your wooden training swords worth to you? You'd use best tung oil on the dining room table. Do you use that as often as your wooden sword? Tung oil costs more than boiled linseed oil. Either will do. They have different effects on the colour of the wood. They smell differently. Tung oil may be dangerous to people with a nut allergy and linseed oil isn't. It doesn't really matter which you use on your training swords - just use something. Too many expect a wooden sword to endlessly give out without giving it anything back. You wouldn't take your new steel sword out of the box and use it without making sure it was dust free and oiled. So why would you expect a wooden sword to be at its best without a dose of tung oil?

Good care for wooden training swords

Tung Oil.
Alt Text--Tung oil

The best advice I could give you in strengthening your wooden sword is this:

  1. Oil it once a day for the first week.
  2. Oil it once a week for the first month.
  3. Oil it once a month for the first year.
  4. Oil it from time to time for the rest of its life.

How to oil your wooden sword

  1. Soak some oil into a pad of soft cloth.
  2. Rub the oil over every part of the sword including the hilt.
  3. Put it somewhere where you don't mind oil dripping, such as leaning tip down against a tree. Leave it there with the oil soaking in overnight, or for at least half an hour.
  4. Use another cloth to wipe off the extra oil.

Which oils are good for wooden training swords?

Boiled Linseed Oil.
Alt Text--boiled linseed oil
The best ones I have found are tung oil and boiled linseed oil. I have not yet used unboiled linseed but have been informed by a knowledgeable maker of wooden swords that it is far better than boiled linseed because it absorbs into the wood more easily and because it is less likely to have dangerous added chemicals.
  1. Linseed oil, available from the hardware store, is inexpensive. try to find the unboiled variety.
  2. Tung oil is high quality but perhaps not better.
  3. They each change the colour of the wood a little.
  4. Tung oil marks fairly easily but a wipe over restores the look.
  5. Tung oil is made from nuts, so not for those with allergies.

Splinters in wooden training swords

If splinters are a problem:

  1. Tape them over until after the day's training.
  2. Use a sharp pocket knife to shave off the worst of the splinters.
  3. Use sandpaper to smooth the wood down again. Don't be too concerned with a few hollows in the overall shape.
  4. Reoil the sword.
  5. If the sword is cracked rather than just splintered, retire it. A sword that breaks while sparring is a danger to your partner. They have a life and when it's over, get another one. Some people like to cut them down to short sizes for training with inside when it's raining.
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