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I'm not sure what traits you consider when asking for a "good, strong, finish"....but here's how I would go about it. For scratch resistance, I'd use a varnish, maybe in the case a polyurethane formula since that's it greatest attribute. For a very hard finish, maybe a waterborne....they are very clear so they won't change the appearance of the wood as much as others. Waterbornes can be a little tough to repair, shellac is also very hard, easy to repair. I don't it consider a "strong" finish, but it's very nice. NC lacquer would also be a very hard finish, and quite clear. In a spray can would be fairly easy to apply. The lacquer,shellac, and the waterborne will all be more prone to scratches than a varnish. Not sure any of this is of use, but I do wish you luck ; that's a very nice board.

PS: I left out some of the oil/varnish blend types of finsh, but they may be the best for such a piece. It's not really going to see high wear type of usage, is it?
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