Experimenting with a process can be so much fun. Thinking that pine cones might look really nice for Christmas decorations if they were varnished, some kind of a "drying" jig had to be made. We've also been varnishing aspen leaves to use as appliques on some of the pieces we're making and then coating with epoxy resin.
The picture below is of the jig with pine cones dipped in spar varnish drying.
Deck screws drilled into the bottom of each pine cone provide a very nice handle of sorts for both dipping and hanging from the jig. Bungee cords and clothespins complete the process.
The next photo is of both pine cones and aspen leaves drying at the same time. After the first try it became pretty clear the pine cones didn't require hanging like the leaves, but they did require some kind of pan to dry in. That's where the disposable paint roller pan came in. It actually serves a dual purpose for drips from the hanging leaves and a catch pan for excess varnish coming off the pine cones. Both the leaves and pine cones were finished using a water based polyurethane this time. The hope is this varnish will work as well as the spar because it isn't nearly as toxic (especially the smell).
The final photo below is of the finished pine cones that were done in spar varnish. The results are very satisfactory, but, again, the hope is that the water based works just as well. Will let everyone know when they've thoroughly cured.