I remember my first woodworking experiences and what drew me into the field more and more was the direct experience with the wood itself, the scent, the texture, the beauty inherent in nature, and the pliability. Each project took forethought, vision, planning, careful selection of wood, and ultimately effort. The beauty of woodworking is in that intimate and creative relationship with the raw material itself and then in the creation that ultimately takes shape, it’s almost a form of magic to take a raw piece of lumber or natural branch and turn it into something special.
The final step in any woodworking project is finishing, and this step alone can make or break the most carefully crafted piece. Before finishing any project, it makes good sense to look back and evaluate what effort, care, planning, attention to detail, and creative spark that was invested in the work, and let’s not forget money. In the 21st Century, wood isn’t cheap, and getting that gift of nature from the forest to your workshop was no easy task, it takes tremendous effort on the part of many people. So, whatever we do, we need to honor what we and others have put into it, and what God and nature has put into it as well. This makes selecting the perfect finish for your project all the more important. Your choice of finish will determine whether that gift of nature will become a plasticized monstrosity or a timeless work of art or craftsmanship or even a useful tool with inherent beauty.
Anyone who has worked in the woodworking field, whether it be wood turning, post and beam construction, furniture making, musical instruments, boat building, axe handles, wood floors or picture frames knows that some finishes yellow a project, some cause a cloudy layer, and most finishes create a separation between the user and the wood itself. These finishes were supposedly designed for protection when in fact there were far more nefarious reasons for their manufacture and ultimate popularity - such are the ways of big business and profiteering. Contrarily, the ultimate finish material in the area of beautification is one that:
- Provides clarity
- Enhances depth
- Brings out the natural wood tones, nuances, and grain features
- Offers a direct to wood tactile experience
- Allows for any sheen level
- Does not fade, yellow, cloud, or permit unnatural and unsightly white scratches
- Protects from staining, water-spotting, and other damage from liquids
- Will not peel, chip, flake, pit, or wrinkle
- Will not orange peel, will not panel, and will not show overlaps
So, beautification via finishing is a big subject as it includes not only the immediate result but the long term visual and tactile experience, the ability to maintain the original beauty of your project or even its enhancement over the life of the finished surface. Anyone who has had any length of experience with finished wood projects, from the woodworker to the average consumer or wood product owner knows all too well that no polyurethane, lacquer, acrylic, top-coated aluminum oxide, varnish, or ceramic coated finish, in fact no plasticized finish whatsoever can check all of these boxes. So where does that leave us? Some true oil/wax finishes can meet some of these values, but only Odysseus Cornwall’s Outstanding Oils and Waxes rise to the occasion with a complete system of all natural finishes. These proprietary formulations and production processes yield the ultimate finish for every project from the tiniest craft project to the grandest commercial industrial application. Beautification is unsurpassed as every box is checked and they do so in optimum fashion.
So considering all the time, care, money, heart and soul put into your project - does it make any sense to slather it with plastic coatings that have all of the bulleted negatives? The risk factors involved in using those finishes go far beyond just loss of beauty of your project, but include the ugliness of toxicity and the ultimate decomposition of those finishes on your project. When it comes to plastic coatings like polyurethanes, varnish, acrylics, as well as many other hybrid finishes, the finished project typically never looks as good as its first day and the further out in time a finished project goes the worse and worse it looks. So, what is one to do? Use Odysseus Cornwall’s Outstanding Oils and Waxes because a surface treated with such, will actually improve with age, as this “living finish” continues to look better and better instead of the other way around. The protection afforded is unsurpassed and there’s none of the negative bullet points, only the positive ones!
Every user of this all-natural finishing system can see a tremendous enhancement in appearance of the wood surface, from the incredible clarity and depth to the nuanced colors and grain that is brought to the forefront. A finish that will never peel, flake, chip, scratch, disengage, orange-peel, panel, overlap, turn cloudy or yellow can only be considered the best of the best, better than the rest, and be the ultimate in project beautification. You see, Odie’s products simply don’t fail because they can’t, it’s physically impossible as they become one with the wood and live harmoniously within the surface, not a layer on-top.
Happy finishing, safely, trouble-free, and forever!