I am a looking for a quick and easy finish that my students can use for alder.
Richard Jones: Try Danish oil or teak oil used just as directed on the can, but be careful to dispose of used rags carefully to prevent fire.
Michael Dresdner: I’d add wipe-on polyurethane or another oil varnish, either liquid or gel version, to the above suggestions.
Carol Reed: Oil is my favorite beginner finish. Sand in coats through 600-grit and you will have a surface smooth as baby’s bottom. Apply some wax for a little protection.