I'd first like to profess my undying thanks to whoever decided to mount the output jack on my cheap fender onto an eigth inch pickguard, so the first time somebody trips over the cord it broke and pulled out all the electronics. I also thank the lord that none of the previously mentioned electronics detatched themselves from thier connections. That being said, I need a new pickguard, and according to all the local music stores, somebody made my bass unique (it was made on a machine, I'm slightly doubtful). They all wanted $90+ to trace a new one that would just end up breaking again. So I decided to build one. I have plentiful amounts of approximately 1/8" to 3/16" Red Oak stock, and a small shop in which to shape it. My only problem is on my preliminary tests, I cant get a stain to sink into it almost at all, and I'd really prefer to have something other than just the natural color and I dont want to lose the grain. I've sanded to open the pores, I've tried conditioning, but I'm still getting a weak color, even using an ebony stain (which I really dont want to use). I'm using a minwax oil based stain, I dont know what I'm doing wrong. Advice if you will.