Or an oil-varnish mix - I've had good results on tool handles with both of Danish Oil and Liberon's "Finishing Oil".Cheshirechappie":3j9jpxae said:If memory serves, the original manufacturer's finish was something called 'Lacquer', which might be shellac based, or some sort of varnish.
For what it's worth, I finished the last saw handle I made with three coats of Danish oil, allowed to cure for a week and then buffed with a soft cloth. The result still has a nice 'wood' feel, and a subtle sheen. I've tried polyurethane varnish in the past, and it feels like a sort of plastic coat on the wood - not as pleasant at all. Unless you want absolute authenticity, I'd definitely go for an oil-based finish.