Wood grain filler question


I'm refinishing a nice oak dining table. The open grain ends of the wood absorbed so much stain that they got too dark and I don't like the look.
I'm not familiar with wood grain filler. Would this fill in those "end" pores and lessen the stain darkening? If I use this stuff at all, should I use it on the whole table? What brands and colors are best? The stain I'm using is red-brown mahogany. I assume I would rub in the grain filler, then stain - correct?
Thanks
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Use 'stain conditioner' on end grain. Its just a thinned down version of the finish or a wash coat of 1lb cut shellac will do the same. The only reson to fill pores on the rest is if you want one of those grand piano mirror smooth finishes or if you want the pores a darker or lighter color to accent the grain pattern. I've done a couple mahogany tables that would get me a job interview with the finishing department of Stienway Piano, but its a lot of work and not the finish for everything. IMO it should be reserved for a very formal look and I don't think oak lends itself to that. You have to be careful, put a mirror finish on a yellow pine harvest table and it looks like someone came along and poured plastic on it. However you can use filler to contrast the grain without going for the mirror finish but its still work. If you must, check out this site and get Jeff's finishing book.
http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/htdocs/Bartleystains.htm#pastewoodfiller

mahogany.
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Try something easier. Sand the end grain 2 steps with a finer grit. If you surface finish with 150 grit, sand the end grain with 220 grit.
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After sanding and before staining put a coat of sealer or shellac on the end grain before staining...
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