Cut’n’Polish is a blend of two waxes with a fine abrasive held in suspension within them.
This is a soft wax designed to stay ‘wet’ slightly longer during application, allowing it to lubricate the abrasive to give a very fine cut to the timber and also to collect any dust generated during use and some subsequent sanding, preventing it from entering the workshop atmosphere.
Friction Polish is a shellac based polish ideal for creating a high gloss finish on or off the lathe. It’s a great decorative finish and is ideal for small items but can be difficult to apply to larger items on the lathe (anything over about 8 inch diameter).
The high amount of shellac in Friction Polish does two main things. Firstly it helps seal bare wood and produces a great shine, which is good. Sadly the price of this commodity shot up a few years ago when the shellac crop failed and it never went back down, meaning that the cost of the polish has also risen sharply.