My sister in North Dakota asked me if I could make something “different” and “unique” for her to give to someone for a wedding present and this is what I came up with. It is made out of Rocky Mountain Red Juniper, stands about 12 inches high and is about 1 1/2 inches thick. The upright slab was flattened on both sides using my “mini-me” router planer (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/24355). The holes were drilled using a 1 7/8 inch forstner bit (I’ll be using a 1 7/8 inch hole saw from now on because going at the grain like I did with the forstner bit caused a lot of burning and smoke – I’ve since done one with a hole saw and found it works much better). The holes were drilled this diameter to accommodate Spice Island spice jars. I finished this piece with one coat of Minwax hand rubbed gloss polyurethane followed by one coat of water based gloss poly followed by four more coats of the Minwax gloss poly. This process was more of an experiment than anything. I was looking for something to seal the open grain in the piece, and, rather than using glue size (which I haven’t had very good results with), I decided to try the water based poly which seemed to work really well. I’m not sure about the long term results of applying a water based poly over an oil based poly followed by oil based over water based, though. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. The piece is intended to be more to look at than it is functional as it will only hold four spice jars. The finishing process I used really made the red pop which is what I wanted. I think I’m going to use this same process on future projects like this, as well.