Reply To: I'm looking for some stock finishing advise.
Just out of curiosity, if you sand it, how do you plan to handle the checkering on the grip and the side? If you don’t sand those bits and restain the rest, isn’t there a risk of it not matching?
Do you have sanding block for the flat bits? Without them, you could sand it unevenly which would become apparent when you added a high gloss coating later. I’ve screwed up a few sanding jobs like that. They end up looking like there are small dents under certain lighting.
As someone who has accidently destroyed a number of stocks with the best of DIY intentions, my advice would be to do lots of research, take advice from a pro and test everything on another piece of wood first.