This is the jewel box back in the shop awaiting a finish. I dusted it off and scraped the old stain off the top two handles and applied one coat of clear shellac.
First coat of shellac. It took a few minutes to prepare the box and a couple of minutes to apply the shellac and then I left it for an hour to fully dry and harden.
I have brushes 100% dedicated to shellac. The brushes are cleaned with alcohol and are never used for oil or water based finishes. My habit it to wrap green tape around the handles of the shellac brushes so they are cleanly identified.
Once that first coat was dry I rubbed the box down with 320 paper, just to knock off any bumps or fuzzy bits. Then I vacuum and or wipe the project down with a clean lint free cloth. I shy away from the standard 'tack' cloth because they are oily or waxy.
This is finished box in my shop the next morning. I put on a second coat of shellac last evening, again giving it one hour (approx) to dry. Shellac will dry in just a few minutes but I like to give it some extra time to harden, especially when the piece has nice wood.
Once the second coat of shellac has dried I lightly sanded it with steel wood. After sanding I again carefully to remove and dust. Next I sprayed the box with aerosol varnish, just a light coat.
I left the varnish to dry overnight. Again I do not rush the process once I get to this stage. However with shellac as the foundation of the process it takes hours, not days. (when the humidity is low).
Here is the box, completely finished and sitting on my dresser. The last thing I did was apply a thin coat of paste wax and used a buffing wheel to get a soft glow and a finish that is soft to the touch.
This box is made from elm and oak with the small trim made from a piece ??? cherry?? flooring. I don't often make a piece for which this amount of effort is investing in the finishing process, but when I do I find it very satisfying.