Like the old turners, I use no sandpaper relying on the sharpness of my tools for a good finish. Bowls made in this way have a distinctive character with the marks of the tools being clearly visible, like hand thrown pottery or blown glass.
Once the turning process is complete, the bowls are left to dry for around 3 – 6 weeks, depending on the weather and the wood. They are then finished with natural vegetable oil which is applied hot so it penetrates and seals the wood.
After using woodware it can be washed in hot water with detergent and, if desired, occasionally re-oiled using a little sunflower or walnut oil.
Some people ask if wood is hygienic. Dr Dean Cliver, Professor of Food Safety at the University of California undertook research comparing bacteria levels on wooden and plastic chopping boards. You can view the full report on food safety and woodwarehere and he concludes:
(ref: disease bacteria) … were not recoverable from wooden surfaces in a short time after they were applied, unless very large numbers were used. Wooden boards that had been used and had many knife cuts acted almost the same as new wood, whereas plastic surfaces that were knife-scarred were impossible to clean and disinfect manually…
What more can I say other than I eat all my meals from wooden bowls and plates … and my children have done so all their lives.