If you've ever worked with wood, you might know how satisfying the finishing process can be. Assuming, well, you've worked with actual wood... Pine and cedar is fine for building, but it's not wood, it's kindling. I'm talking about putting that first coat of oil across a crazy chunk of birds eye maple or walnut. Burled or not, it's almost always incredible. As if the wood is dead and lifeless, and you've somehow pulled Lazarus out of a paint can. It's amazing.

The 3-D cutting boards obviously satisfy the most for the instant, but the glow of a dark hardwood could be the end-all, be-all of self gratification in a job well done. If you don't work with wood and would like to try sometime, start with non-woods like pine and poplar. They're not real attractive, but they also aren't $20 per foot.

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