Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cherry Quaich, done. (day2)

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!


  1. Great job! a tooled finish is more satisfying for sure it can make the piece unique,special and great to look at. By this I mean the way the light can capture the facited tooled finish.
    Great stuff I look forward to your next.


    1. Thank you Simon. I have tried a tooled finish before and I get frustrated and just sand it smooth. I'm going to work on a spoon in the coming days and give this tooled finish another try.