Back in 2003, I picked up a book from the Moose Jaw Public Library on letter carving by Chris Pye. There were all sorts of good instructions and starter projects in it, but naturally I skipped all those and went right to the most difficult of all: letter carving around a circle. It took me hours and hours to figure out how to space and size the letters correctly. And then, naturally again (if you know me), I chose one of the hardest woods to carve it in – Black Cherry.
But while I choose to do difficult projects in challenging woods, I do believe in finding the easiest wood finishes to use and maintain. My all time favourite wood finish is carried by Lee Valley Tools, and it’s called Tried and True Original Wood Finish. That project I completed in 2003 was a bread plate, and after 9 years, the finish needed a little refreshing. Here it is with a new coat just brushed on and waiting to soak in.
I like this finish because it is completely natural – just linseed oil and bees wax – no petroleum distillates, no harmful vapours. It’s food safe, and wipes clean with a damp cloth. It has a soft, antique glow when it’s dry, and buffs up beautifully. What do you think of it? Leave a comment below.
And, in closing, here is a picture of a slightly easier letter carving job I have on the go right now. I’m into high production mode with this job!