While I'm waiting for submissions to start rolling in (my eyes are constantly on the e-horizon, like a deluded ex-lover waiting for his amour to come back to him) I thought I would ask a great farm innovator if I could showcase a couple of his creations on The Ruminant. Herrick Kimball is an American farmer-genius with numerous ideas for smarter farming. He said yes. Thanks Herrick.
This post, I want to share Herrick's friend's recipe for a really effective rub for the wooden handles of all your tools, which he considers superior to boiled linseed oil. This is an abridged version of Herrick's description, so click here if you want more information. Herrick uses this rub on all his wood handles, and says it even does the job on preserving his leather boots. The rub's ingredients: boiled linseed oil, turpentine, and wax. You're going to heat these up, so plan on doing this outside. Turpentine and Linseed oil are flammable. And for goodness' sake, be careful.
No, I haven't decided to switch over to showcasing a really nutritious hobo dinner. Herrick has combined the three ingredients in roughly equal parts. He says beeswax is ideal, but also expensive. Regular candlewax or paraffin are fine. Into a tin can they go. Lock in the vicegrips, and then heat with a propane blow torch. Aim to make about a pint--it will go a long way.
It should take roughly five minutes to heat up the can enough to completely melt down the wax. The mixture should be rolling. Fish out the candle wick if there is one. You can keep your rub in the can, or transfer to a glass jar, like Herrick does. He starts by pouring just a bit into the jar to let the glass heat up a bit slower (to avoid cracking). Then he adds the remainder.
The rub will solidify. For use, I'll give the call to Herrick: "Dip a cloth into the paste and rub it liberally on your tool handles (before you do that, though, you might want to take a minute to smooth and clean the handle with a piece of 100-grit sandpaper). The wax will fill and seal small cracks in the wood. Leave the rub on the handle for a few minutes, then buff it with another cloth. It’ll rub down to a smooth, waxy sheen that is durable and feels particularly good in the hand.
Thanks to Herrick (and to his unnamed friend, who shared the recipe).
Another of Herrick's innovations in a coming post.