I decided to finish most of the wood early because I wasn't going to be able to keep working on the project for the next four months, and I didn't want it to get dirty or change shape from water in the air. I just coated it with a few layers of Minwax Polyurethane to make it shiny and bring out the colour of the wood a little bit more.
After the polyurethane is dry, squeeze the 8" belt onto the edge of the drum. I cut the belt in half because it was too wide and covered the first row of holes. If it doesn't hold in place by friction alone, you can use finishing nails to tack it in place.