How to look after your timber product
The wood in your newly turned item has taken many decades to grow and mature. With special care it can be enjoyed for decades to come! Nothing lasts forever though, but wood is tough stuff. Proper wood care will keep things looking good indefinitely, and they can improve with age. Wooden kitchenware has been used for centuries, and people value antique bowls and wood items for their aged appearance.
Something to note, is that wood is never fully cured, only stabilised to the environment it's in. For e.g. if you live in a humid area, the timber will only lose moisture relative to that environment. If you move to a drier area, you may notice that some of your wood items dry out, and possibly crack, esp. if the move is sudden. So it's wise to remember that moving to another area where the humidity is different, to allow your wood items to acclimate by keeping them in a dry, cool spot for a few weeks, to allow the wood to take on, or lose moisture slowly, reducing the chances of your wonderful pieces from moving too much and possibly developing cracks and changing shape.
Your newly turned product may have been finished with a number of different finishes, depending on it's intended use.
OB Shine Juice (mainly Shellac and Boiled Linseed Oil), for items that may be handled, but mainly used as a talking piece.
Shellac, for items that are mainly for display, and that hardly get handled. Shellac, while it has a wonderfully smooth finish, can be fragile and easily damaged, especially if alcohol based liquids are spilled or used on the item. We use a modified French Polish technique, where we use Sheep Wool rather than cotton for the Pad. The Lanolin in the Sheep Wool helps with lubrication along with the Boiled Linseed Oil which also helps with the lustre, bringing out the Chattoyance in the grain of most items.
Shellac with a Spray-on Clear Lacquer top coat, is usually used for items that will be handled a lot, and may come in contact with food. The Shellac process we use is explained above. The lacquer is used to provide as much as Lacquer can, a water proof finish. We most commonly use this type of finish on the Timber Pens and other items that would be handled often.
To wash your wood item, simply clean it with mild dish washing soap and and warm water. Rinse and dry immediately. Never submerge your wooden item in water.
Do not put your wood item in the dishwasher.
Do not put it in the microwave or oven.
Do no refrigerate.
Do not leave in direct sunlight, as this can cause the timber to change colour over time due to the UV in sunlight.
Forcefully stacking wooden items and in particular bowls could result in them cracking, warping or chipping.
Take care with over-ripened fruit as it will create permanent stains over time. I find using a paper towel or wax paper can help as a barrier, and prevent staining.
Clean your item when your finished using it for food, leaving it without cleaning it will more than likely damage the finish, and possibly the timber the finish is protecting.