I finally ended up with 6 coats of Arm-R-Seal Poly in semi-gloss, giving it a light sanding after the last 3 coats with a 320 pad. I liked the look, but wanted just a bit more gloss, so I gave it two quick coats of spray lacquer in gloss. Now it’s looks good and the finish is glass smooth mostly. The really nice finish actually highlights some of the small imperfections in the turning, but you have to be looking up close to see them.
I tried taking some pics using different lights around the house and didn’t care for the look. So I rigged up some DIY softboxes that worked ok. I still have some glare, but the diffuse light really brings up the color quite a bit. Here is some more info on the DIY softbox lights.
One of the things I really love that doesn’t come through in the pictures is the iridescent nature of the finish. If you rotate and tilt the piece in your hands under the light, the colors shift and the rays in the wood get lighter and darker. It’s a striking effect and one I didn’t expect.
Anyway, here are some pics and I’ll post a project and a blog about the DIY softboxes as well.
-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......