I'm sure with experience I'll eventually be able to see a sanded board and be able to "see" what it will look like with different finishes. But at the moment, even having a small test board with different finishes on it, I'm always surprised at what pops out as I apply shellac or teak oil or BLO or Tung Oil. Sometimes it's a very pleasant surprise. And sometimes it's not.
With these quarter sawn oak drawer faces, the thinner/tung oil popped the grain nicely, but I was a little surprised at how much darker the oak got. Still have a couple of more coats to apply
Here''s a detail of the oiled oak drawers. The spalted maple strechers and stiles (? the up and down parts) shouldn't darken up much and I'm hoping the drawer dividers, which are also oak, will darken, but not as much as the drawer faces.
Now the rear drawer faces just got a little darker and the grain didn't pop much. The cherry in the middle two sets of drawers is a little curly and appear to change as you move left right. I thought the top drawers were also cherry but it turns out they're a light, straight grained oak. What the hell, it's the back of the bench.