I actually purchased this carousel on craigslist a couple weeks ago, but it was pretty rough. Just finished sanding and refinishing. Although it came out nice, I do regret using a stain with poly sealer built it, because it hides a lot of the grain and gives it a plastic look. If I was to do it again, I would just apply Howard’s Feed and Wax to the bare wood. I’m definitely not going to do it over because all the detail sanding of the pockets and irregular surfaces was painstaking. Also had to open up the top cut outs as they were too narrow for some of my pipes.
Erik, I actually like the matte "Danish" look of your carousel—and the pipes look amazing. It was smart to get a rack with slots for the stems, rather than holes. The holes don't always accommodate wider stems, although you can sometimes separate the stem from the stummel and reconnect the two after the stem is through the hole.
BTW, you better get busy filling those last two slots!