On a recent post I complimented Stu for the fine finishes on his recent pens and asked his procedure. I was surprised to learn that he sands to only (about) 400 grit. I start at 220 go to 320 with Klingspore Gold then all the way through the Micro Mesh grits up to their 12000 (4000 conventional). Stu said he didn't see the need for that. Judging by his finishes I can't argue with him. But, today, I'm working on an order of six pens and thought I would test Stu's method. Working on a birdseye maple Euro, I did the first two Klingspore sands, of course also stopping and going with the grain. Then I used my white Brillo-type pad at 400. With that done I took a look at the wood. Looked pretty good and I probably could have stopped. But, for the test, I proceeded through the MM grits. At about 3200 MM the wood definitely took on a sheen and the grain figure popped. When done with the 12000 MM it definitely looked better than at 400. When the pen is finished, I'll post a picture. I'm letting the first finish coat cure overnight. I expect that a counter-argument will be that the finish will act as a sealer and sanding the finish is what will really give the final product it's gloss. Again, can't argue that. But, I believe that the smoothes underlayer possible will still give the best results possible.