John K Jordan
I turn a lot of Eastern Red Cedar and the finish I use "depends" - on what I'm going to do with the piece and what I want it to look like.
One of my favorites is straight beeswax, rubbed into the surface or melted in with gentle heat from a heat gun - the two methods give entirely different looks. I have also uses "danish" oil, shellac-based friction polish, and spray lacquer.
Beeswax, melted with heat gun:
Same way, melted:
Beeswax, applied with cloth while lathe is spinning (my first real bowl, long time ago):
Beeswax, rubbed in by hand:
Spray lacquer, 6 coats, lightly buffed with 0000 steel wool between some coats:
Watco "danish" oil, about 10 coats, some wet sanding with 600 grit:
Cedar, "danish" oil, ebony, no finish.
Beeswax, hand rubbed (multi-axis wands):
Mylands friction polish on longest cedar wand (in center)