Oxalic acid mixed with hot water to lighten wood (Be sure of the area you wish lightened before applying)
If a piece has prongs that make it difficult to work the reverse side, set the piece in a box of sand. The work will be much easier.
Don’t scrape Manzanita burls as they are too pithy, instead just use a wire brush, then sand and burnish them to a fine finish.
Blue fortified plastic Ikea bags, (99cents) are great for driftwood collecting.
To make a base (rock or wood) sit flat on a surface, ring the bottom with epoxy putty. Be sure to score that base before applying the putty. Set it on waxed paper to dry. It can be painted and / or sanded when dry.
WD40 can be used on pitch. Apply to the surface and set aside for awhile, then brush with a wire brush. The pitch will be in a powdery form. If it turns the wood dark, more work on that area is needed.
Cotton soaked in alcohol and left overnight on pitch pockets will reduce that pitch to a crystalline state and it can be easily scraped off. (The cotton will be hard.)
Shoe dye makes a great blackening for bases. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and work with care, as that dye is permanent.
Our beeswax and turpentine mixture can be used on rock bases to give a slight sheen.
A good finish for bases is JW’s Right step water-base clear satin varnish (for arts and crafts)
A good place to look for pendant pieces is among the chunky wood chips found in walkways.