After getting back from Hawaii work has been crazy but it did sand down the cutoff test peice to remove the old finish and finished with a hand block at 220. I wetter down 2/3rds and left it to dry.
After drying I lightly sanded the right 3rd, stired it up, and brushed on a coat of stain, making sure to work it into the grain. After wiping away the stain the results were clear. I had read years ago that raising the grain with water caused pigment stains to work better and the results are pretty clear. Time to let it fray and add a seal coat of linseed oil.