These woodworking tips are all about sanding wood. Sanding is one of the most frustrating aspects of woodworking for beginners. Thankfully, it only takes a little technique and a couple sanding tips to make the process smoother and easier. Here they are.
Sanding Tips for Woodworkers
The absolute best thing you can do when sanding is to select the right grit for the job. If you have very deep scratches and rough areas, you need a more aggressive grit. If you have smoother surface, you can start with a finer grit.
I typically sand from 80 (belt sander) to 100, then 150, then 220 (the last three grits are all by hand). After shaping on the belt sander, my pieces usually have really deep scratches.
When I start sanding by hand, I typically begin with 100 grit to remove them.
After the 100 grit, I switch to 150, and then finally 220 before I apply my finish. The important thing is to sand only as long as you need to remove the scratches from the previous grit.
If you sand for 10 hours with 100 grit sandpaper, you will have a 100 grit surface in the end. Sanding more than you need to does not improve your work. Once the scratches from the previous grit are gone, switch to the next grit.
Don’t Switch Sandpaper Grits Too Fast
Also, be sure not to switch grits too fast. If you start sanding a very rough surface with very fine paper, it can take forever to smooth out the piece. Rougher grits are meant for this.
Use the more coarse papers to power through the rough spots, and then switch to finer papers later in the process.
Lastly, enjoy the sanding process as much as you can. If you practice and learn how/when to switch grits, it will not take nearly as long.
This is your opportunity to really polish your piece, and go that last 10% to perfection. It’s the last 10% that makes the difference.
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