Reply To: really colorless wood finish
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Water based finishes can be colorless, but I think they are generally film forming, so they likely will have the same problem as the spray varnish. If you try, please let us know what happens.
Personally, I like the amber and warmth that came into the work in the left hand, oiled photo. You still have contrast and graded darkening, but it looks like the degree of darkening may not be in the order you wanted. Perhaps what is needed is using the results from the oiled finish piece to decide a new order for the wood and build again?
This may actually be a case in which you ought to apply finish to the material before you build. Would that work? So, apply oil to the shavings, then do your weaving. You’ll then know exactly what the final darkness will be. Most likely, the degree of darkening will depend on more than the species. It will also depend upon the grain orientation, for example. So, even if you order the shavings by species based on this sample, you might get slightly different results from the next. Again, this argues for applying oil to the shavings first. You may be able to apply a first coat to determine the colors, do the rest of the work, and then apply a final coat or two to touch up any scuffing.