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Thread: Sanding is ┐easy?

  1. #1
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    Sanding is ┐easy?

    Hi there, I'm on the process of finishing a coffee table ( i'll post it soon) and I realised that sanding is a process that is often taken for granted and it needs a good deal of experience. It struck me how much redundant sanding I was doing because of not paying (maybe) enough attention to it or not planning (from planify) it properly in advance.

    It seems quite straight forward to put a sheet on your orbital sander, or a disc on your drill or a belt on your belt sander swicht it on and there it goes.
    Change from coarser grain to finer grain until you get the finish you wanted.
    The same is valid if you are sanding by hand.

    But... what about those spiral scratches that keep on appearing? what about those criscrossed lines that are so hard to get rid off?.
    Are there any tricks to optimize the time devoted to sanding?
    Of course there are defenders and detractors but there are pieces and woods that can't be planned nor scraped and that definitely need sanding.

    I'd like to see some comments and experiences about sanding because for sure there are better techniques than mine.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  2. #2
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    tony, sanding is one of the most time consuming processes of building with wood.....if you`re going for the "hand worked" look you can skip sanding altogether and go from a handplane to card scraper..if you are going to sand then there`s no substitute for running through the grits, you`ll need to remove stray abrasive particles from the previous grit or you`ll get tell tail scratches. a high quality random orbit sander will ease some of the drudgery `cause the scratch pattern isn`t uniform so it`s harder for the eye to detect the odd scratch.....if you`re staining then rubbing by hand with the grain using 150 grit is the final step i use...
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Hi Tod.

    Thanks for your input and quick answer but what about wawy/curvy shapes on end grain or oblicuous grain, planning and scraping works fine for flat surfaces or big radius curves (from my small experience) but I don't get good results on more complex curves. Lack of proper tools? Lack of experience, most problaby .
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  4. #4
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    what are you sanding toni? i regularly sand inside radiuses as tight as 10" with a 5" r/o sander and get good results......on such things as cabriloe legs i like using nicholson rasps followed by handsanding...
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    Hola Tony!
    You can also make a sanding block to get into curves or fancy edge treatments. Take the waste piece from cutting the curve and smooth it out, then wrap sandpaper around it.

    It helps to approach sanding methodically. I always take a slow cross-grain path back and forth across the piece, then do the same thing long grain. Put a light at an angle to look for remaining flaws.

    The work will go much faster if you have a vacuum attached to the sander, so that you are sanding wood, and not dust (donde hay pelo,,,no?).

    If you have any doubts, wipe some paint thinner on the surface and any flaws will show right away.
    Don't believe everything you think!

  6. #6
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    Tod hit on a big improvement in my technique; clean your surface between grits. I have gotten rather meticulous about this and have reduced my 'go-backs' to remove scratches caused by 'stuff' left behind from previous grits.

    I've found after giving my sanding protocol a little more attention for a short period, I've developed habits that I don't even think about and get through this finishing process much quicker and with more enjoyment.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    I never really got into sanding my woodworking projects that well until I started my latest job. Being a Machinist that builds parts for yachts, I often spend a day building a part, and the rest the week polishing it up to a mirror like shine.

    The fastest and easiest way to get that level of shine is to hand sand the part believe it or not. Now after spending 30 plus hours sanding a tenacious metal part, sanding a wooden object is childs play. Now I rarely touch my power sanders and sand everything by hand. Its seems strange because my shop time is limited now, yet because it is such a joy for me to be in my shop, the prize is being in the shop, not what I accomplish. My projects are looking better and better because of it too.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    what are you sanding toni? i regularly sand inside radiuses as tight as 10" with a 5" r/o sander and get good results.........
    Hi Tod.

    Sorry for my late answer, I've been away and couldn't hook onto the net.

    I'm sanding a coffe table that I'm finishing which has a wawy shape that goes perpendicular to the grain, I'll post a pic tomorrow to make it clear.
    That wawy shape/channel has a radius of about 3", the problem is that it is quite easy to sand cross grain,I've been quite succesfull by using a PVC pipe with a band of sand paper stuck with double sided tape, but that left scratches perpendicular to the grain, and getting rid of those when the length of the shape is only about 7" (150mm) makes it a pain because the strokes are very short.

    As I said I'll post a pic tomorrow and you'll see it more clearly.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse Cloud View Post
    Hola Tony!
    If you have any doubts, wipe some paint thinner on the surface and any flaws will show right away.
    Hi Jesse.

    I didn't know you spoke spanish

    Many thanks for your tip, in fact one of my problems was that I noticed the flaws just right after giving the piece the first coat of tung oil.
    I've never thought I could use paint thinner to reveal flaws that are not obvious.

    As we say here " A la cama no te irßs sin saber una cosa mßs" which translates to something like "You won't go to bed without knowing a new thing" problably there is a similar saying in U.S.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  10. #10
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    Hi there.

    As promised, this are some pics of the part that I'm sanding.
    The wood is Iroko, which now I know has been a bad choice due to its rowed grain and not uniform colour. (See pic). I doubt I'll use this wood again for this sort of job I choose it because it was affordable and I wasn't sure about spoiling the piece, now I realise I could have been less conservative and more confident about myself.

    However it has allowed me to learn a great deal of things while making it.

    This is the wawy shape I'm sanding, I hope it shows well enough on the picture.

    On the side view you can see the three parts that I had to glue to make the shape and how the bottom one is lighter in colour, I'll dye it so it blends with the others.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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