Finishing small pieces is frustrating. Using your fingers to hold the pieces is messy, and the finish may stick to your work surface.
woodworking technique shop tip

Build a finishing box. From 34 " stock, cut the sides, top, and bottom of a 4 x 10 x 20" box. Clamp the top and bottom pieces together and drill 14 " through holes simultaneously to ensure alignment. Unclamp the assembly, and epoxy 3" lengths of 14 " steel rod with sharpened points into the bottom holes. Enlarge the top holes to permit free up-and-down movement of 8"-long sharpened rods. Now you can coat small pieces without fear of making fingerprints and smudges.
—W. P. Locke, Huntington Beach, Calif.