This is the tenth entry in a nineteen part series that covers the construction of one of my saws from start to finish. For links to the other entries, please see the full chronological index. -Ed.
After drilling the holes for the nuts and bolts, I sand the handle one final time with the finest grit (usually 360 or 400), looking closely for any stray marks that need more attention.
The finish I use for most of my handles is Tru-Oil, a linseed oil based wiping finish sold for finishing gun stocks. It is fairly simple to apply (wipe on with a fingertip and/or rag), dries quickly (an hour or two in most cases), builds fast, and is durable. It certainly is not perfect, but it is as easy and good as anything else I have tried.
Tru-Oil will darken the wood and has a golden tint to it, so if you are looking for a crystal clear finish, look for something else.
Since I am about the last person you want to ask for finishing advice, this will be a short post. The best tip I can give is to use a scrap of saw blade (or the actual blade itself if you want to clean it off later) as a stand for the handles to dry on.
With that, work on the handle has been wrapped up. From here we move on to making the spine and the blade.