The Monger is calling it a short week and heading to the Gauley River in West Virginia. It’s become an annual pilgrimage to one of the best rivers in the US that only release for a short time in the fall. So knowing my mind would be on all things rocky and wet I’ve pre-blogged and with any luck you’re reading it.
The first time I read about wood bleach it was suggested as a solution for aged dirty wooden folding rulers. I guess I filed that bit of trivia away till I started restoring hand saws and a friend was looking for a solution to some oil stains on a backsaw. I passed along the tip and he had wonderful results.
Since then I’ve used it quite a bit both to lighten weathered, darkened handles and to deal with local stains. The use is quite straight forward but I’ll offer up some suggestions.
Depending on your needs you can mix small batches in a plastic cup or larger ones in a bowl. I use an old plastic tupperware container and brush for application. Again follow directions but I’ve found 2 tablespoons to 8 ounces of hot water works best. Double if you need to submerge the handle and use a rock to hold it down.
Most wood I find reacts in a few seconds. I leave it on for a minute or so, wipe off, reapply if need be. Once happy, rinse with water and let dry. I’ve tried with mixed results to reapply after drying. Some woods will lighten a little more but the first treatment has the biggest effect.
If your issue is a local spot like in my picture, I find it helps to “wet out” the wood with water before applying the bleach. This allows a more even application over dry wood. Once done, wash with water and let dry.
The last and best piece of advice, experiment first!
Saw advocate – at large