are they already sanded? the end grain usually get sanded one grit farther than the face. which helps the stain to balance out. if you used shellac on the end grain i think that would seal it to much. they recommend seal coat on blotchy prone woods to help eliminate it. i have stainf oak cabinetys with walnut stain and had good results and bryan cowing on here has a bed project that he stained dark just recently for some more insight on what can be done. we have a real good refinisher on here in dave hawksford, drop him a line for more info..good luck
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