I wouldn't recommend sanding gel stain between coats. You are laying pigment on the surface and if you sand it the amount of pigment would vary from place to place and make the color uneven. The way I would use it is to brush coat after coat until you get the desired color and then put a coat of a clear coating such as a polyurethane over the top. Then sand that between coats until it gets to the desired smoothness. I'm afraid this may account for the variation in the color on the table. It's hard to say without being there.I am waiting 24 hrs. It is cold in the garage. 55deg maybe. Am I not waiting long enough?
I sanded inbetween last coat and it seems the same darkness again. The grains are not all one direction so wiping lightly against the grain is hard without messing up the grain next to it. So I have to wipe it with medium pressure and then lightly buff the left over out.
That is a pic of table before staining