Begin by sanding all surfaces with a paper rated at grit 120 (3/0 to 4/0). During this first sanding, pay particular attention to repaired cracks, working to make them as smooth as you can. Also sand the areas near glued joints, especially if any of the glue oozed out and dried on exposed areas. If you don't remove all of the glue, the excess will become very obvious as soon as you apply the stain. If necessary, use a pocket knife to scrape away any glue you can see and then sand the spot thoroughly, If the stain is to be even on all surfaces, you can't leave any vestiges of glue.
After this sanding has been completed, wipe the piece down with a tack cloth; then run your hands over the surfaces again. You should be able to feel the difference — and you should know where you must apply a little extra pressure.
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