I thought it might be a good idea to show a before and after finishing of the woods. I currently use maple, white oak and walnut, though I may do the odd special edition if I see a particularly pretty piece of another species one day.
Its quite amazing the transformation of the wood once we apply the finishing oil. The walnut gets very dark, the maple stays quite light and the white oak gets all nice and golden. Initially I finished the wood with a spray urethane but I really didn't care for the sensation when taking the cozies on and off..... I also used to glue everything but that's another story.
In the end, after consulting with a highly experience wood turner, I decided to finish the wood with a solvent-free product that I could source here in Canada. The wood stays soft and supple and I don't have to worry about the wood getting blemished in the course of day to day use.