You don't mention if it is red or white oak. Both have pores but white oak pores are smaller (but more numerous). If it is red oak I would seal everything and correct the color through dyes or whatever other finish you choose. Sanding enough material to get a fresh layer of red oak to finish is probably not going to happen. If it is white oak you may be able to sand it out to an acceptable level.
An alternative (if you have not already stained with and without sealer on your "keeper") would be to seal the whole thing, sand the whole thing and then finish. A lot of work but at least this way it would all be the same. If you already have a mixed-bag on your "keeper" I would try a gel stain or darker dye that will basically 'paint' the wood and therefor give you a more uniform finish. The natural absorption qualities that make oils look "deep" may have been pretty much compromised a this point.
Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-03-2008 at 03:24 AM.
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