My Favourite Finish

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.

Bread Plate with Tried And True Original Wood Finish

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!

Sign Carving

6 thoughts on “My Favourite Finish

  1. The finish looks lovey (as does the bread plate!). Thanks for the recommendation; my elderly father has a couple of free-form bowls he carved that are very dry and this would be perfect.

    1. Hello Jean! This finish would be perfect. You need to follow the directions on the can – it does make a difference to how the finish turns out. The best part is that if they lose a bit of their luster over time a quick 30 second buffing brings the sheen right back! Can you take some pictures of the free-form bowls and post them? I’m very interested in this type of carving.


  2. For my carving I have been using quick dry sanding sealer and the hard
    Wood floor wax. But they have changed the sanding sealer so this no longer works. The finish that you use could I person use the floor wax over top of it. Thanks

    1. Hi Brian, yes, you could use the floor wax over it once it dried; however, I’m not sure why you would because this finish already has bees wax in it. Bill Judt from Saskatoon likes to use a finishing system like yours. You could check with him about what he’s doing now that the sanding sealers have changed formulas.

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