Other folk have done superb jobs of showing how to make a shave, The shave here is just an example on a couple of finishing methods. Mostly using CA glue. CA is used by pen makers and few of them have any complaints.
Here is a set of quick instructions for one of the easiest finishes you can do. This stuff lasts. Included are a couple of neat tricks for finishing.
You need three things:
Paper napkins: I like Scott brand cause it does not shed a lot of fluff.
Super Glue: The cheap stuff works fine! Called CA by most folk that use it.
High Linoleic Acid safflower oil: This is a superb drying oil and is used in quality oil paints. It does not tend to mildew or yellow. It does dry slowly, but since mineral oil never dries then that is not an issue. If the nutritional label has Polyunsaturated fat as a much higher number (11 to 2 or so) than Monounsaturated fat then it is the right stuff. The other safflower oil (High Oleic Acid) will have the opposite ratio.
BLO handles easier than Safflower Oil, but it yellows, mildews and contains heavy metal drying agents. So I use Safflower Oil.
Here is the Scratch Shave that I am making as a simple experiment, before I make the scratch gauge that I need.
Just to show the basic mechanics, here it is with the mouth open.
Here it is with the mouth block in place:
Here is my method of resharpening my turning tools while using the lathe! The big dirty green wooden wheel on the lathe is ash with Lee Valley green honing compound.
Another picture of it, I can use the edge to hone the inside of a chisel, or the grove, face or side for most other parts. As It gets mangled, I just clean up the surface. Eventually it will get to small and I will make another wheel.
Here is another neat trick, if you use sandpaper from a roll, it works even better. You put a finger on the sandpaper over a spot that needs sanding, Then you press with the finger and pull the sandpaper. Most the sanding is done right on that spot. In this case I am using 80 grit paper to ruin the finish. More on that later.
Once again here is the stuff I use to make the finish. I have added the oil to the paper napkin. This makes it shine and keeps the napkin flexible for a while.
It will take most of one thing of CA to make this tool.
Another nice lathe trick is to burnish the wood with clean wood shavings. Note that my hand is around back of the work as I move the shavings across the spinning wood. This heats up and polishes the wood nicely. Remember to keep you hands away from danger as you work.
Here it is close up and burnished:
On the left the tool is unburnished, on the right it is burnished.
Here a couple of drops of CA are about to be rubbed into the spinning wood. Slowest setting cause you do not what to scatter drops of CA all over the place !
Here it is with the left side burnished and the right side treated with CA.
You can also rub it in without a spinning target. Here is the cap before:
Here is the cap after. This is a thick wet coating. I don't usually go this thick, but mesquite is weird, CA stays wet on it for a while, and soaks up CA. You can coat and coat mesquite and it will still remain a flat finish after it drys.
Here it is finished.
Here is a close up. Notice the scratches left by the 80 grit paper. This is to show that CA is not great for hiding flaws. Instead it tends to protect and highlight flaws for a long time.