I have completed my experiments. As dadiOH predicted, there was no
difference between the sample I did with a grain filler mixed with stain
followed by light sanding/more stain and the sample where I applied shellac
over the grain filler/stain mix followed by sanding of the shellac/more
stain. Thanks to all of you I think I have a good workable system for
finishing oak though I did learn one other useful thing with these
experiments and all of your help. When I did a sample where the oak veneer
on the plywood had the strong V pattern you get from plain sawn boards
(versus the veneer from quarter sawn boads), the open grain in the V was too
dark. If I get this kind of oak plywood in the future, I will mix less stain
in with my grain filler to minimize the dark color in those large pores.
Then when I sand and apply more stain, I will get a more even coloring of
the wood. .
Or, you could put on a coat of shellac first of all, sand it off leaving it
in the pores so they won't absorb as much then add your filler and "normal"
stain. No, I don't own a shellac factory :)
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