The stands are complete! This was a labor of love/hate, but I've learned a ton about finishing along the way. The prime takeaways in case anyone wants to attempt something similar:
- If using polyurethane, use oil-based. Skip water-based entirely. Oil can create a mirror finish, shows less texture, and is soooooo much easier to apply (simply foam brushes). Just buy a stack (or three) of brushes, and toss them after each application. Wasteful, but worth it - and they're next to free anyway.
- Do not apply a coat immediately after sanding. That dust is still in the air! Wait an hour or so (or more).
- Sand with a random orbital (versus hand) between coats, but use high grit sandpaper (I used 600-800). Hand sanding introduces scratches that can get preserved under the next layer of clear coat (no matter how smooth the surface, those lines will be sealed/visible underneath!
- Wait wayyyyy longer than you think before resting on/sanding a newly dry surface. As in, don't flip your piece after a few hours. Wait a day or two. Same applies for sanding!
Took me so many coats/sandings/attempts to get this finish, and only after I switched over to oil.
End grain :)
Left to right: Prototype #1 (rough to test angles), #2 (test cut angles and assembly), and the final pieces (one million steps each)
OneWheels have a home now! The shelves (above) I created to hold/hang gear.