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Finishing a Turned Bowl

Treadle lathe bowlWhen it comes to finishing, I am an idiot so I try to keep my finishes idiot proof. This applies doubly to finishing bowls that I have turned.

Step 1:

Open can of Danish Oil

Step 2:

Wipe Danish all over bowl until it stops absorbing the oil.

Step 3:

Sing a few verses of whatever is playing on the stereo (or wipe oil on to other convenient surfaces in the shop)

Step 4:

Repeat until desired shine is achieved

The desired shine is very much a personal preference. If you bowl is more an art piece to stick on a shelf then a high shine and glassy surface is probably your goal. I like to actually use my bowls for things like M&Ms and salads (not at the same time) so I stop shy of this museum quality finish and just shoot for earthy. In this case I ran through 4 iterations of the above schedule and now I will let the bowl fully cure before using it with any food. Usually that is a month or more before I feel I am safe to do that. The key is I want a penetrating finish and this is why I go with oil. The added varnish in Danish Oil adds just a touch of build which I think makes for a prettier result.

How about you?

How do you finish your bowls? Do you eat with them and what is your preferred finish for that purpose? Please share your experience in the comments below.

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