Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Jacksonville, NC
When first started out soaked bowls in mineral oil, set aside letting excess oil drip off for a week and wiped dry like crazy. Moved on and tried: Behlen oil varnish, Behlen Salad Bowl Finish, Watco Danish Oil another oil varnish mix, Pure Tung oil, Shellac, Polyurethane oil and water based. Have applied furniture wax over some bowls, others did not bother.
Although easy to repair a wax, is a decoration and not a finish. Same can be said for oil finishes. Oil and wax provide little protection for wood, and need re-application.
Comes down to wood species and ultimate use, level of protection, and sheen you want. With exception of mineral oil wanted something that could apply will bowl still on the lathe. Now use a combination of applying finish on lathe and the off lathe.