Boiled with a bunch of walnuts for dye, then waxed. I keep it pretty simple.
I dyed a dozen new Duke #4s ( great Pa. beaver trap ) in walnuts this year. I gathered up a bunch last fall, put them in a plastic tote. They were black and flakey, ( nuts were in there too) put then in a feed sack and tossed them into the half of a 55 gallon drum I boil in. I let them simmer a while and then soak for a couple days. The traps came out jet black. Itís been 40 years since Iíd used walnuts, I think they worked better than the logwood dye thatís sold.
I did spray the traps with solvent when they came out of the box, then let them out to weather for a month to take a little rust.