Waterproofing Your Snath
As a standard we apply a water based (figure that one) waterproofing sealant to the lower twenty inches of the snath before shipping. It is important to apply a sealant to the snath, at least the lower twenty inches. This keeps moisture from the grass, picked up when mowing, from soaking into the wood. The moisture may cause the snath to deflect and change the angle the blade meets the ground making your mowing difficult. Another, more likely problem is the moisture will cause the snath to swell inside the ring that holds the blade on. There is little room inside the ring to allow the wood to expand. Something has to give and the result will be a cracked snath inside the ring. Regardless of waterproofing, always slack off a bit on the ring‘s set screws after mowing. This will give the wood some room to grow into. You may have to do this while mowing if the grass is very wet.
If you would rather use your own sealant, please let us know when you place your order and we will not apply a sealant at our shop. Use the comment section of our order form for any notes.
If you do not have your own special sealant, we recommend a solution of 50% turpentine and 50% boiled linseed oil (both are available at hardware stores). This is an excellent waterproof. Brush it on the full length of the snath. A single application along the shaft of snath should be sufficient. Allow the sealant to dry then rub the snath down with a rag..
It will take several applications for the sealant to soak deep into the snath’s end grain. If the end grain is not well sealed it will wick moisture into the wood. Apply the sealant to the end grain with a brush. Another method is to stand the snath in a narrow container with 3 or 4 inches of sealant. Leave the snath for an hour or two and the end grain will draw the liquid into the snath. Remove and rub the excess off with a rag. Dispose of oil soaked rags carefully as they are a fire hazard. Follow the directions and cautions on the turpentine and linseed oil cans.
Apply new waterproofing at the end and/or beginning of each mowing season
Do Not apply waterproofing to the handles (grips) on the snath. The applied sealant will wear off onto and into your hands and may cause irritation. Over time, the natural oils from your hands will work into the grips and seal them.
We do not recommend varnishing the snath as it takes several coats to seal the wood properly. The procedure is tedious and unnecessary. It will not do as good a job as the 50/50 turpentine and boiled linseed oil mixture.