Finishes are applied to wood products to enhance and color the grain and also to protect the wood surface. Plastic products do not have a finish, they are only buffed and polished.
Wax is applied while turning the product at high speed - this friction causes the wax to melt and soak into the grain of the wood. Two grades of wax are applied, a soft wax followed by a hard wax. The wax finish provides the most natual finsih and allows the natural wood to show.  However it is not fully waterproof and with continued use will wear and allow the product to acquire a natural patina.
Shellac liquid is applied while turning the wood at high speed and brought to a smooth finish.
Shellac wax
Shellac wax is appllied by hand and rubbed into the surface. It sets and locks into the wood by polymerisation, and is then polished at high speed to smooth and buff the surface.
Tung Oil
A layer of Tung Oil is applied and allowed to soak into the surface of the wood. It sets overnight as polymerisation of the molecules creates a hardened surface that protects the wood while enhancing the grain pattern. It then is buffed through two stages of abrasive and a carnauba wax finish applied and polished.
Cyanoacrylate polished
Cyanoacrylate (the same chemical as used in instant glue) is applied in layers to create a plasticized coating over the product, this is then treated with several grades of fine abrasive and brought to a polished finish.  This finish provides the most resistance  to wear, and the reaction from the natural acids found in skin, however, it does give a plastic look to the wood.