Here are the finished products. I really enjoyed this project. I made a few mistakes but learned a lot doing it. It also doesn't hurt that I'm really pleased with the results.
I don't think I'll be making another handle for anything for a while, at least until my finger prints grow back. I lost them during an estimated 28 hours of sanding.
I went through 80 grit, 150 grit, 220 grit and 400 grit. I then rubbed them down with #000 steel wool.
They then got 8 coats of amber shellac, rubbed out between each coat with 400 grit paper. I left them to dry for 48 hours, gave them a final sanding with 400 grit and then rubbed in 4 coats of Minwax Finishing Wax (I love that stuff) using #0000 steel wool, buffing them out between applications.