Last night I finally applied the stain to the bench. Once the wet wood had dried over night I lightly sanded the top to lower the grain. I left eye base with its raised grain as the base wood test pieces did not take stain as well as the top. The end grain of the top was sanded down smooth.
All in all it looks pretty good. This morning I noticed a few darker areas on the base that will need some smoothing and the grain needs some more highlighting. I’m going to add a pigment wash to the test piece tonight and see how that looks.