Well I'm finally getting around to making my homemade antler plaques. The sassafras log I cut this from was a dying tree as you can tell from the wood. I thought maybe it might give it a little rustic character but I'm not sure I like it. I have some that are clean the whole way through, this is just the first one I sanded and put a coat of polyurethane on. I love the color of the bark around the edge. Just not sure about the rest.
try to coat it heavily with a laceur(spelling) it will give a darker and more uniform color. also you could add some dye to it to give the center a redish tint as well. (use dye sparingly).