I posted a photo on the Facebook project page of three options for the quarter sawn oak finish for the arcades and accidentals. The top left is with no finish, the top right is with Tru-Oil only and the bottom is Tru-Oil over the gel stain I mentioned in my last post. I put it up for a vote and, as you can imagine, absolutely no consensus whatsoever was reached.
The Seasoned Builders made the valid and helpful point that the roughness of the wood grain will be a distraction to players and that it should be smoothed over using an acrylic varnish (I can't seem to find this on the Interwebs - I'm hoping it's a polyurethane of some sort). Regardless, I think this is a great idea that I will be pursuing. But, first, I went ahead and put a coat of Tru-Oil on all of the accidentals.
They really do look great, yet the nagging issue of tactile roughness remains.
I am, though, going to apply a couple of coats of Tru-Oil to the arcades and call them good. I started this process by setting up a sanding stick and sanding all of the glue and other detritus from them.
Once I completed the sanding of every arcade - 51 in all - I started the process of applying the Tru-Oil using Q-Tips. This is a somewhat tedious process, yet it's necessary to protect them over the long term.
Tonight, I go on the hunt for "acrylic varnish." Wish me luck.
Until next time...