We figure each coat takes about 3 hours -- a little over an hour to sand, a few minutes to wipe down & tack cloth and then a little over an hour to varnish. So now we're up to 74 hours total in the caprail project and about $400 in varnish/heat gun/sander/sand paper/badger hair brush and misc supplies. So when someone gives you a quote for what it would cost to do your varnish ... you have some frame of reference to know how much effort it would take should you decide to try it yourself!
Minimum 3 more coats to go ... that's another 9 hours! The toughest part will probably be removing the blue tape! Yikes! I've heard WD40 is good for that! Hope it doesn't eat the varnish! :)