After getting the signatures burned into the cradle it was time for stain.
I did some extensive research on-line (here and on other woodworking websites) about staining maple and I found out how difficult it is. I opted to use General Finishes Java Gel stain. This stuff is like pudding!
Below is a picture of it after I applied it but before I wiped it off.
Here are the results of applying two coats of the stain.
After letting the stain set for 48 hours I applied the first coat of finish. Again I am using General Finishes Satin Gel wipe on poly. I chose this for it’s ease of use.