Here’s where I really made some mistakes.  But, it still looks OK.

I sanded all the fuzz off my freshly CNCed orrery top and then used my router to round over the edges.

I then put a thin coat of shellac on it all to seal it and hopefully prevent the blotchiness that you often get when you put stain on pine.  The shellac raised up a lot of fuzz so I sanded it all again.  I didn’t do a terribly good job at this since I lose patience with sanding but it’s hard to screw up sanding.  But then it occurred to me that perhaps I should put on another coat of shellac.  This was the bad idea.

After all that, I then put on the stain.  After those two coats of shellac, the wood would barely absorb anything.  Plus, there were parts of the pine that presented a lot more grain than others and I ended up with a bit of blotchiness anyway.  In retrospect this should have been obvious but I wasn’t thinking.  During all this, I was thinking ahead to the final assembly.

Even so, as you can see from the photo of my dry-fit, it doesn’t look bad; at least not to me.  As I’ve said to myself several times:  if this turns out great then I can always get some nice wood and go mill out another one exactly like it now that we’ve created the cut files.

The frame

One mistake that is clearly visible is that we drilled through-holes for the supports rather than pocket holes.  Normally you should not see the support dowels coming out the top like that but it was an oversight.  This will be covered up anyway by the printed scale that shows the months.  What you see there is a couple of plugs I glued in there to make the height work out right.  Again, nothing that can’t be worked around.

I should put some polyurethane on this before I go too much further.