Step 3: Finishing

At this point I have about ten minutes of actual elapsed time invested. Wood was scrap and the glue is minimal. Finishing is where the time is spent. I am not a perfectionist, but these steps can only be done once. Take your time and do it right! I sanded each of the cut edges. I used a belt sander sitting upside down, like a bench sander. Each edge was relieved to give it a rounded edge.  Any stray splinters were sanded and/or removed. Final sanding is by hand. Make sure everything is smooth to the touch. A little extra time here is warranted. It will save your lines (ropes) later. I got a gallon of wood sealer at Habitat for Humanity years ago for $3. I use it liberally before painting or varnishing. It is thin and really soaks into the wood. This will make parts like these last much longer. (The picture is before sanding). I have applied one coat now. A light sanding and another coat before spar varnish is applied.
<p>Perfect idea. I need to make some cleats for my daughter's pirate ship playhouse, and this looks like a simple, effective way to do it. </p><p>I have a lot of longish pieces of hardwood that would work perfect for this. </p><p>Thanks</p>

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