The pick up and inspection:
While it was obvious the hibachi had never been used, there was a fair amount of surface rust on the cooking grid, cookbox and hardware that held everything together. The wood base was dusty and faded.
Further inspection and breaking down:
The thing rod that holds the wood handles to the cooking grid had the most surface rust but all the nuts came free after hitting them with the wire brush and steel wool. Same for the nuts that held the wood base to the cook box.
The tools used were steel wool, wire brush, abrasive sponge and a rag.
Started out hitting any and all surface rust with the small wire brush and then finish and get into the tight areas with the steel wool. The wood base which was dull and dusty had a nice wood grain that was exposed after cleaning with the extra fine steel wool. I was most anxious at this point to get a couple of coats of Tung Oil on it to see it come back to life. All the hardware benefited from the steel wool cleaning as well.
The surface rust on the cookbox made it look dull and after asking for advice on the excellent Facebook group “Cast Iron and Hibachi World” member Mike Clemons suggested washing with a scrub pad and Blue dishwashing detergent.
The base and handles get Tung oil:
The handles had what looked to be stain on them and the base looked untreated.
After scuffing off the dust with the steel wool and wiping off with a damp rag I applied a coating of Tung oil liberally with a rag to all the wood. after about five hours I applied a second coat which really brought out the grain. I plan to do at least two more coats or keep applying until the wood won’t take any more oil.
Lastly a light coat of vegetable oil
Before and after pics:
Bare Untreated Handles
Here are some photos before and after with a couple of coats of Tung Oil over the course of two days. It couldn’t be easier to apply
These Weber Handles that had never been treated got a two part process. Two coats of Miniwax Golden Pecan stain and then three coats of Spar Varnish. Light scuffing with some extra fine steel wool and wiping with damp rag between coats over a couple of days time.
Two coats of Miniwax Golden Pecan stain
Three coats of Miniwax Helmsman Spar varnish.
After a couple of coats of Spar varnish they really pop with that wet look.
Overall I like the look slightly of the Spar urethane but the ease of application on the untreated handles with Tung Oil is pretty tough to resist.
I have an old wooden work bench that I covered with spar varnish and it’s holding up really well on my deck outdoors but it’s only been four months in direct sunlight. we will report back at the end of the season.
Another reason for going with the Tung oil being that the spar varnish in the sun outdoors over time will likely crack and need to be sanded to reapply whereas the Tung oil just need a rag to wipe them down with more Tung oil when they lose a little luster.
I think if I was going to have a show kettle or piece for indoors I’d go with the Spar Varnish going forward but for ease of application the Tung oil can’t be beat.