Interestingly, after application of two coats of shellac sealer, then sanding them down, and then a coat of Original Waterlox, the grain of the cherry box top looks really smooth, flowing and with a nice glow. Like here:
With Waterlox alone, the grain is almost lost, because the cherry, even though not blotchy, appears covered with dark and light speckles obscuring the natural look. Like this:
The birch bottom of the box is blotchy under just Waterlox. Shellac under oil varnish seems to give the finish more attractive and professional look. Should have given the entire box a seal coat of shellac before oil varnish.
-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."