Another kindergarten question: Sanding "modern" plywood

[posting from google groups today]
You kind folks have endured my novice meanderings so far. Here's another.
I have recently discovered that the veneer thickness on plywood these days is somewhere between the Planck distance and a human hair's breadth. So, how do you sand it?
I was taught to move up through at least 3 grits, both in school and by my Dad. But in both cases there was only solid wood involved, and back then even the ply had thicker veneer. So what grit should I start with now? I'm using some 1/4" Birch ply for some panel doors. Do I skip the coarser stuff entirely? I'd be machine sanding it with an old 1/3 sheet orbital sander.
[As an aside, I did buy a cabinet scraper. I don't think I've gotten the hang of either honing it or using it yet. Even if it is an appropriate tool for ply (and I'm guessing it isn't), in my hands the results probably wouldn't be pretty.]
Greg Guarino
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On 11/20/2011 10:18 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

somewhere between the Planck distance and a human hair's breadth. So, how do you sand it?

Dad. But in both cases there was only solid wood involved, and back then even the ply had thicker veneer. So what grit should I start with now? I'm using some 1/4" Birch ply for some panel doors. Do I skip the coarser stuff entirely? I'd be machine sanding it with an old 1/3 sheet orbital sander.

of either honing it or using it yet. Even if it is an appropriate tool for ply (and I'm guessing it isn't), in my hands the results probably wouldn't be pretty.]

I never sand cabinet quality plywood with any thing more coarse than 180 grit. You go through several grits so that you can quickly remove bad areas. You should NOT have any bad areas on this type plywood.
The milti grits route is more suited for solid wood.
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I was guessing the answer would be something like that. Thanks.
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It is already flat and sanded well so doesn't "need" tp be sanded. I just hit it with the same final paper using the same method (power or hand) I am using on the stick wood in the project so any stain I use will come out similar. So for me that is usually 220. If you don't do a fresh sanding on the ply it will take the stain very differently than the stick wood you just sanded. Probably won't ever be a perfect match anyway but similar sanding does help.
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Lay on your first couple coats of finish before sanding, 220 or 320 wet with mineral spirits.
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