Alternative to oil wanted!

  • Hey Guest, For sale we have Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteel PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information or use the Pay Now button in the sidebar

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
Go to the chemists aka the drug store. There is a pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil.
There's a statement on the label of the bottle that I bought for wood finishing which
says that it's a "mild laxative."
Nonetheless, mineral oil and beeswax goop would be just fine on birch.
I'd still heat it to get a penetrating finish, particularly if it will be wet in service.


Nov 29, 2014
Hamster, listen mate and listen carefully....

The operative words I read on your original post were "Mother In Law" and "Peace Offering".

As such, there is only one coating / finish to consider and that's thick eggshell foam as she will likely be walloping you with the thing come Boxing Day, anyway!!

Seriously though, my personal preference would have to be something which will not only resist the acids within fruit, but also be easy to clean any stick juices which may leak and "dry out" on the surface. Knowing how much I like shiny and glossy finishes when it comes to a nice piece of wood, I would likely opt for a clear yachting varnish, with several coats and a base layer or two to start with. But that's just me and what I like. If the M.I.L. likes whatever else, then try and run with that. Especially if trying to seek peace talks with the enemy ;)
Last edited:


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 15, 2010
The most natural finish possible will come from a water based matt varnish, preferably a dead flat type. Practically invisible.

If you want to see what an oil based varnish will look like re. it's darkening, you can wipe white spirit over the bowl with a rag. Don't worry, it won't harm it. This will darken it but will evaporate again completely.

Personally, I'd use what I generally use on my clients kitchen woodwork professionally and that's food safe and alcohol resisting Liberon finishing oil. Brushed on, then ragged off, or a Polyvine flat varnish, de-nibbed between coats and brushed on for as close to invisible as possible.

FWIW, all tung oils aren't equal. I find Rustins tung oil v good-its a reasonably natural finish with a high amount tung oil. Some of the other brands are just thinned varnish as regulations stipulate it doesn't have to contain much tung oil at all.

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels for sale.

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.