I was sitting out in the garage a few days ago working on this quaich and I knew right then and there that I was going to leave a tooled finish on it. Why? Well I have been trying to work up the courage to do so (I'm a bit of a perfectionist) and well it was time. Also this one is going to be mine. I'm going to take a sip of whiskey from it on special occasions and maybe throw it in my pack to go camping in the spring and share a few sips with some of the guys I go camping with. It's not fancy, it isn't super smooth and defect free, it is finished the best I could get it with my knives. Sharper knives would help maybe. I need to do some work on that skill for sure, but I'm actually happy. It reminds me of the mountains in Pennsylvania where it came from. That's where I come from too, and I'm not super smooth and defect free either. We make a fine pair.
Now let me be the first to tell you that a tooled finish is not the "easy" way out. It takes longer, in my opinion, to do a tooled finish. At least it took me longer. I can also tell you that just like in the light of day, sanding mistakes become visible, so do issues with a tooled finish. I don't recommend working a tooled finish without an adequate light source, with the sun being the best to choose from. I kept finding tiny things that I wanted to fix, and I could have been working on this project for another week and still not found them all. Expect more tooled finishes in the future.
It is finished with a hefty coat of beeswax and flax oil mixed together to form a paste. I slathered it on really thick and then let it sit for a bit, I then buffed the wax into a nice shine with a clean cloth. It smells great, like honey. It also brought out the colors of the sap and heart wood.
How do you know if a quaich is going to work? Well you poor in a shot of some whiskey and check for leaks. My cherry quaich passed with flying colors. I'm not a big drinker by far. But there is something special about drinking out of a wooden vessel that I could really get used to.
Project three is next and let me just say that I wouldn't expect to see anything finished tomorrow night. An update though for sure. Until then, happy carving!