When we need a simple and non-toxic finish, we reach for Allback, a combination of organic linseed oil and beeswax that is great for many woodworking projects. It’s great for chairs, small cabinets and turned objects. It’s not so great for stuff that sees heavy abuse (kitchen tables, for example).
The finish has the consistency of peanut butter. Apply it to raw wood with a grey 3M pad and rub it into the wood until only a thin film remains. After about 30 minutes, wipe off the excess with a clean cotton rag. It will have a low sheen but a nice, soft feel.
I usually wait a few days (if I can) and then apply a second coat. It will take a little longer to dry, but it will provide a little more sheen and protection.
Yes, you can apply it over film finishes, but it’s not as nice. A finish that has sealed up the wood (such as varnish, shellac or lacquer) will stop the oil in the Allback from curing quickly. In these cases, a soft wax is better as a topcoat because it doesn’t have any linseed oil.
One of the things I really like about it is how easy it is to renew or repair. If the finish gets scuffed or aged, you can wipe a quick coat of Allback on the piece and it is back to new.
Get a small amount of it to try – that will answer all of your questions about it. Then you can decide if it’s a good finish for your shop. (Also, ignore the odd photo on the ordering page. Really – Allback is great stuff.)
— Christopher Schwarz
Disclaimer: We buy all of our tools. We don’t accept advertising or sponsorships. We are not part of any affiliate program. We don’t make any money if you buy these items. We just like these tools.