Two evenings ago I was sharpening some of my shop tools and decided to kill time whittling the penguin on the left. As I was cleaning up my shop I found many little pieces of bass wood laying around, and I didn't have the heart to throw them all away. Eventually the penguin will get finished and painted, eventually. I enjoy wood carving (whittling) it can be done with simple tools at low cost. Since I have limited time and expense invested in a whittling project if it does get finished, I don't care.
On the right is a turned cylinder that I made last evening. The wood is 'firewood'. I think it is soft maple, last spring I brought home some branches I picked up on the side of the road. It is about 2 inches in diameter and was very nice to work on the lathe. I'm going to make a lid for the cylinder, someday. This was a project to kill time and to practice finishing pieces on the lathe. On this piece I sanded to 600 grit and then used steel wool for the final stage.
After I got the cylinder very smooth I put paste wax on it for a final finish. I put the wax on using my polissoir, it does a good job and really works the wax into the wood.
Usually I build with a purpose, but it is freeing and fun just to make saw dust just for the 'heck' of it.