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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berks Co., Pennsylvania
I've built a half a dozen or eight, and living a short distance from Dixon's, I'm usually found during kit-building time haunting their shop for answers and supplies.
I lean toward the Laurel Mountain stains, and find them to be top quality. I sand to 400 grit, raising the wood fibers several times by dampening the wood. Following the staining when it reaches the color I desire, I'll apply a few coats of LM finish, sanding with 600 grit, until it suits me.
I'm sure others can offer equally or better wood finishing techniques; however, you are the one toting it for the next many, many years, so you are the final judge.
Good luck with your build. It is a tedious process, but it is truly a hoot to build one!
5C, 2G, 3D, 5B Life NRA, Life PFSC