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    Q: Finish for drawers

    I am completing my first chest of drawers and need some opinions on how to finish the drawer boxes. The drawer fronts are red oak and the back and sides are poplar with birch ply bottoms. I hand cut the dovetails and want them to pop. I plan on using golden oak stain followed by poly for the red oak exterior finish. The questions I have is: shellac, bare or poly for the sides, inside,and bottoms?  Do you stain the sides, mask the dovetails off???



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