I thought I had learned the first time how much I would need to sand this slab, but apparently not. I failed to sand well enough and ended up with blotchy spots.
It might not be that obvious, but here’s an example spot. Note how the darker spots don’t have ‘structure’, they are just places where the wood was rough and grain of the surface absorbed more stain than elsewhere.
I tried spot sanding in hopes I wouldn’t have to redo the entire top.
I wasn’t happy with the results in the end, so I sanded the whole thing down, using the blotch as a guide for how long to sand. I then had to work my way back up through the sandpaper grits to 220.
When I applied finish the second time, I did the same thing I did with the cabinet slab. I applied garnet schellac and orange schellac instead of stain. It produced a good tone that matches the countertop slab. It also brought out some nice figure, the color variations that come and go across the surface looking almost like ripples.
Now I can start applying coats of polyurethane.