Cherry Nantucket Bench Project:
The plan for this bench came from Woodsmith Magazine and I really liked the looks of it. I decided to use cherry instead of the painted look in the magazine - heck I have plenty of cherry! The project was interesting in that I learned a lot about pattern routing and I made my first through tennons. Once I had all the material for the top cut I realized that what I cut was not enough to make the top. I figured it was an ideal time to make a contrasting stripe in the top and I chose walnut.
For a finish I used several coats of Watco Natural Danish Oil with a wax topcoat. I set the bench in the sun for a few days to darken the cherry before finishing. I like the looks of this but it is not really a durable finish for a bench. I will clean the wax off with mineral spirits this summer and recoat with some more Watco. After that cures I will put a couple of coats of gel urethane on it. that should retain the natural look but provide a lot more protection.