I came across this photo in a box last night that does prove I used a lathe once (it was really just that one time Larry ).
Our next door neighbors gave me the piano, which was in pieces and had an alligatored black paint over the maple body. I spent the summer I turned 15 scraping it down and stripping what didn't flake off. The carvings were the hardest to clean up, took me 3 weeks to pick them clean with the tip of a pocket knife. To finish them I simply layed them flat and heavily brushed the same stain into them and let them cure without wiping any away. I don't remember the finish used over that.
The bench I built from soft maple that dad had available in the shop. He stopped in from time to time to offer suggestions (and to make sure I was cleaning up the shop), but he let me build the whole thing on my own. It was actually one of my favorite projects I've done. For the flutes on the turned legs I spent days making up a jig for the router that I could index the legs every 1/8th turn and the base for the router was at the same angle to keep the flutes consistent. The legs were all mortised as well as the stretchers. The lid lifts and has storage for sheet music.
A couple of years after HS I had a guy come by to appraise it. He charged me $50 and left me with an appraisal that says the piano is worth $100 with a note stating "this is not an offer". I still laugh about that one.
My sister ended up taking the piano when my parents sold their house. She's offered it back to me, but I have yet to take her up on it, but both of her kids grew up using it and both are in college now. The bench has held up fine all these years.