After a three hour exposure to the ammonia fumes, the wood had darkened significantly – just what I wanted. After letting everything air out overnight, I put a light coat of 1 1/2 lb. cut garnet shellac on everything. This was my first experience mixing my own shellac from the dry flakes and alcohol. Garnet shellac is not available pre-mixed, so my only option to get that color was to mix my own. It was actually easy once I got the proportions correct.
After applying shellac, I lightly sanded and began with the clear finish coats. I am using General Finishes Oil and Urethane Semi-gloss, as I have on most of the pieces I have made recently. I have been pleased with the application process and the final result is a deep, durable finish. Here are a couple of progress pictures with two coats of finish applied.