I second the Waterlox for the cradle. I made one out of cherry for my
son and at the suggestion of Larry Jaques here on the Rec, I used the
Waterlox to finish. The finish is absolutely beautiful and completely
safe. Below is the information that Larry provided to me about his
technique for applying the fininsh
Quote from Larry Jaques
"An exclusive technique I designed myself using exquisite
motions with half (2nd half) of an old sock. Of course,
Frank Klausz uses those nice lambswool applicators, but
most anything (lintfree) will do. Rub it on thinly and
evenly, let dry, use 400 grit to denib it, wipe clean,
repeat until satisfied. (That's usually 2-3 coats.)
After at least a day (preferably 3) to dry, I use some
Johnson's paste wax on an old superfine Scotchbrite pad
to degloss, then wipe off with the 1st half of an old sock.
Waterlox dries in 20 minutes, but lots of things can make
it take longer, like cool or moist weather.
Repeat after me: Thou Shalt Never Rush a Finish!
This is the first rule in furniture finishing and should
never, under any circumstances (nagging wives included)
be broken. Failure to follow this rule _to_the_letter_
will leave you like over 3/4 of the guys here: hating to
More rules are: 2) Finish in a ventilated but non-dusty
environment. and 3) Use all the light you can while
finishing. It allows you to see any sags and dry spots
so you can touch them up before they become a problem."
This is pretty much the process that I use as well. I have made a few
changes that seems to work for me.
1. Apply coat with a foam brush and let sit a few miniutes.
2. Wipe off excess with clean cloth
3. Let dry ~ 1 hour then repeat
I usually apply at least 3 coats to build the finish.
The other thing I do a little different is that I apply 1 coat of wax
using 0000 steel wool, then a second coat using a soft cloth. I use a
power buffer with a lambs wool bonnet for the final buffing. I like
the Waterlox so much that it is about the only finish that I use
anymore. It really brings out the figure in the wood.