Howdy, all. Me again. A question about final sanding this time. I
sand my projects (well, the surfaces that are likely to be touched) to
400 grit before I stain/poly them. Is this overkill? Will the poly
fill in a rougher surface and still have the same smoothness? Will
sanding the wood to 200+, then smoothing the poly with 300/400 produce
the same result?
Many finish product manufacturers only specify sanding up to 240 grit, with
some even saying you only need to go up to 180. I suggest that you would
only need to go to 240 and maybe less if you use a grain sealer to level off
the surface. You don't want it glass-smooth or what will the finish stick
Hate to buck the conventional wisdom here, but I think you are spot on.
I usually sand to the same level. I can clearly feel the difference
after finishing. I have not had any problems with finish "sticking" to
finely sanded wood. I usually work in oak and walnut. It may make no
difference in a project that is never touched, but I feel it is
essential to sand to 400 grit if anyone is going to handle the wood. It
just feels better.
Brian Phillips wrote:
Any Sanding past 180 to 200 on raw wood is a waste of time and sandpaper,
there is no benifit to the final finish whatsoever
it does not harm anything at all either.
It is the finish and what you do to it that gives that final feel, now here
you can sand down to your hearts content
I don't agree. the wood looks better. if the wood has figure it really looks
better. depending on the sandpaper some if it burnishes the wood better and that
looks nicer. if you use a oil and a wax it even makes a bigger difference.
now if you plane the wood it will look even better. but sanding to a finer
grit will get it close to the look of hand planing.
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| >Any Sanding past 180 to 200 on raw wood is a waste of time and sandpaper,
| >there is no benifit to the final finish whatsoever
| >it does not harm anything at all either.
| I don't agree.
Neither do I. I've been told many things by many people, mostly what has
already been said here.
There is no rule. You should use your best judgment, bolstered by
experience, based on the species and condition of the wood, the intended
finish, and the intended use.
For polyurethane, lacquer, or other relatively thick finishes there's not
much of a difference if you sand past 220. By the time you have your final
finish, the texture of the underlying wood is largely covered by the finish
anyway. For oils, waxes, and other thin finishes, the texture of the wood
becomes more important to the final smoothness.
In general, the harder and more closed-grained the wood, the more benefit
you get from sanding to higher grits. I don't sand soft woods beyond 220.
But I sand hard maples and other woods to 400 or 600 for pieces I know will
be picked up and handled. Woodworkers whose hardwood work I admire sand up
to 800 or sometimes four-digit grits.
While a lot depends upon the type of wood and the choice of finish, I
routinely take those projects that are going to have a hand rubbed oil
finish to 320 grit. Having stopped at 180 on some projects, and gone to 320
on others, I suspect from my experience doing this that anyone who says
there is no difference is probably not speaking from a great deal of
Personal Choice, I would never use poly on wood It was a junk finish when it
was invented and still is now,
Serves absolutely no purpose to good woodworking.
How many on the group are always writing in about the problems they
encounter with Poly,
How many I ask have not had to sand it or used steel wool to smooth it out,
so what was the sense of of sanding past 200 for
Also remember Wood is wood , it is not a stable substance, It moves it,
always moves everything in the worls affects its movements.
every type of liquid will raise its grain no matter how fine it was sanded,
I know this is going to inflame a lot of you, Not my intention,
everyone will do things the way they feel the best,
I said the fine sanding would not harn anything but it does affect the
amount of stain the wood will naturally absorb
I ask this of this entire group that from what I have read here a lot of use
use hand scrapers & hand planes,
How do you sand ?????with a ROS ?????? Be honest
One of the worst inventions ever made to sand wood with, Convenient Yes,
Less laborious yes.
The absolute best way to sand wood is by hand, with the grain of course.
Yes I use ROS, But do on certain pcs resort to total hand sanding,
And truth be known very rarely over 150 on raw wood and I will stand my work
up with anyones.
Now where the hell did I put the damn flame jacket.<G>
On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 12:37:10 -0700, "George M. Kazaka"
I've had excellent results with wiped on poly, cut 50/50 with mineral
spirits. I usually prefer shellac or an oil/varnish mix, but I use
the wiping poly when I need a really tough finish. I know it's not
easily repairable, but it usually holds up better in the first place.
I have some pieces that knowledgeable folks have not been able to
guess it's a poly finish.
| I've had excellent results with wiped on poly, cut 50/50 with mineral
Me too. I use Old Dad's wipe-on polyurethane, thinned just a bit.
| I usually prefer shellac or an oil/varnish mix
I'm still working getting good results with shellac, but I also use
varnishes when I'm in the mood. I've never tried an oil/varnish mix, but
now I'm intrigued. I've used Resistovar with good results, but you can only
get it in bulk so unless you're a professional it's best to go in with like
ten people on an order.
The local unfinished furniture guys recommend putting on Old Dad's with a
foam brush, but I've never had pleasing results with anything I've put on
with a foam brush. Foam brushes, I'm convinced, are tools of the devil.
But I get good results wiping it on with cotton rags.
The people who try to wave me off of polyurethane have typically been the
advocates of rubbing out film finishes, and poly doesn't rub as well as a
varnish. I think a lot of backlash against polyurethane comes from the
truly atrocious formulations commonly available that muck up everything they
touch. I tried a lot of formulas before I settled on Old Dad's, and I'm
sure there are even better formulas out there.
On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 07:33:06 -0700, "George M. Kazaka"
I always have gone to 180, with 220 on end grain, with pretty good
results. I'm in the middle of a local Woodcraft finishing class
taught by a 20+ year RPM employee (Think Behlens and Zinsser, among
He recommends stopping at 120, except for end grain or oil finishes.
The hands on part of the class has me agreeing with him.
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