It may be only in hot and humid climates like here in Florida, but wood can dry out easily and if neglected too long, they will crack. (Especially pieces that I use outdoors.) Now this might be a good thing, but not for vintage tools. At least that's my opinion. Here are two tools that could use some TLC.
Although I love their current look, periodically I refresh them. You could use some expensive oil rubs and they work well, but I like to use something that is in everyone's kitchen - vegetable oil! Yes, now don't think I am crazy. It works.
It doesn't matter what kind or what brand. Pour a little in a small dish, moisten your rag in the oil. You don't need much. Apply to the piece. Here is the pulley half oiled.
And here is the level with half of it oiled.
Notice how the oil brings out the wood grain in both pieces. The cherry in the level is really shinning through.
Here is the before and after of the pulley.
Here is the before and after of the level.
This shows both the pulley and the level before and after being oiled.Linking to these parties:
The great part of using vegetable oil is that it doesn't harm the finish. All the nicks and scratches are still there, just the grain seems to pop. They will NOT feel "greasy" The wood soaks up the oil and you would never know you applied vegetable oil
Now I don't advise using vegetable oil on furniture, since you may have critters like ants that would enjoy the oil. Mostly I use it on old tools. Even ones that have wooden handles, like garden tools. I just preserves the wood.
Hope you enjoyed this wood preserving tip!