********* 1/24/13 update *********
After testing and some researching, decided to go a different route on the "finishing". As was pointed out and verified, any wet standing would basically ruin the hammered texture and I want that to still be visible and tactile.
Picked up some rubbing compound and a drill mounted bonnet. Decided to test my assumptions on the top plate as that will be covered by the oak anyways. Came out great after only a few swipes of the drill. You can see the before and after quite clearly. I'm planning on doing the rubbing compound process on the rest of the stand.
Rubbing compound results: http://s145.beta.photobucket.com/use...ing%20compound
I also finished the spent primer collection container. Used an old aluminum water bottle, cut, sanded and drilled the top for the primer tube. Primed, painted and clear coated it. Then I picked up some magnets and mounted them to the bottom so that the bottle will no move around or fall over when the press is finally on wheels and mobile.
Spent primer system: http://s145.beta.photobucket.com/use...rimer%20system