Maple burl top, curly maple back, African mahogany core. I'm not staining anything for any reason. I'm not looking for a "glass smooth" finish: feeling the wood's surface is fine with me. However, I'd really like to not have the mahogany end grain turn extra super dark by soaking up the varnish I'll be using later in the finishing. I know that I can use my finish for a sealer coat, but that could be the problem. I've tried General Seal-a-Cell on test pieces of the wood and have found an article or two which mention that it's relatively easy to build up a film with it, leading me to believe that it'd probably be possible to grain fill, sand down, repeat and then continue on my merry way. Still, I wonder... Is a sealer coat of extra blonde shellac for me? I found another article which listed a process for grain filling with shellac. If anyone is interested: http://www.hardwoodlumberandmore.com/finishing/shellac/grainfillingwithshellac.html Again, I don't necessarily want the ultra-smooth finish, just prevention of those super dark spots where the mahogany soaks varnish up. Suggestions? Comments?