This picture shows a great example of how wood can be artificially aged using abrasive blasting. Ratherberacin (thank you!) posted pictures of his to ‘weather’ the wood surfaces on a sauna project. The piece of wood in this picture was abrasive blasted with Fine Crushed Glass Grit to remove the soft grain and leave the tighter, harder grain. After staining the wood will have an aged, weathered look like it had been out in the elements for years.
Here is a link on contractortalk.com. Just scroll down the page a bit to get to ratherberacin’s post.