These woodworking tips are about using steel wool. As a beginner, woodworking can be a large undertaking. These tips are designed to give you some quick information and help you on your way. This one is all about steel wool, and why woodworkers use it.
Woodworking Tips on Steel Wool For Beginners
When you buy steel wool for your shop, it comes in a couple different levels of roughness. The finest wool you can buy is the “0000” type, with the “000” and “00” being rougher.
I recommend that you only buy the 0000 type, because that is really all you will need in the beginning. You can find steel wool in hardware stores and in furniture finishing stores as well.
To use steel wool, sand the surface down to around 320-400 grit with papers, and wipe off the excess sawdust. Then, wipe the steel wool pad on the surface just like sanding.
The very fine wire mesh will lightly abrade the surface, leaving a very smooth surface. If you spend some time with the steel wool, you can almost polish a piece of wood.
For another fun thing to do with steel wool, check out my Steel Wool and Vinegar Stain!
Steel Wool For Wood Finishing and Leveling
Another thing that you will use steel wool for is when you are finishing. It can be beneficial to sand in between coats to keep the surface even. Most of the time, a light wooling is all that you need.
Flatten out one of your wool pads and place a flat block on top of it. Then, rub the wood surface after the finish has dried, following the grain lines. Wipe back and forth a few times, and this will even out the surface.
Wipe off the residue and broken wool fibers. Then, you are ready for another coat of finish. The steel wool also leaves microscopic scratches that helps the finish adhere better too. The new finish seeps into these scratches and dries, forming a mechanical bond between the layers.
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