Sometime ago, I posted some pics. on ABPW of my chess board, which I made
from a kit and on the manual it says "sand and polish to finish" so I
thought right.. how do I do that!
I need some advice on
1. Should I sand by hand or with my ROS
2. What grade paper(s) should I use
1. What form of polish should I use?
When repliying, please state point number / letter so as I know which point
you're referring to!
A. 1) Yes you should sand by hand.
2) Start with 100 and go to 150 or 180max
B. 1) for polish I assume you mean topcoat. It depends on what type of
look you are going for. "Tried and True" make a nice "Original Wood Finish"
formula that is very nice to use. Rub on with a cloth instead of a brush.
I find that this type of application is very nice. You can get this finish
from Lee Valley.
Hand. Hand is always better, if you have the time.
What you need is a sanding block. This is 50p for a cork one, or you
can make your own from scraps of wood or plywood, with the working
surface covered in thick felt, carpet underlay or neoprene foam
(mousemat works). For a chessboard it should be a rectangle the length
of a roll of sandpaper's width, and a width to fit your hand. I have
several of these, in varying sizes. Some are bits of broomhandle
wrapped in foam, for sanding inside curves.
For a rectangular block, use about 1 1/2 wraps of paper. Move the
paper around the block to even the wear out on it and don't wear it
out on the corners.
Use light pressure. If it doesn't cut, try a fresh piece. Pressing
harder won't help.
You should use a range. Start coarse and then work up a grade each
time. Always _completely_ sand with one grade before switching to
another. A "grade" is about a doubling of the grit number. You can
easily buy glasspaper in half-grades, but you don't really need to go
in steps that small. For most work, start with about 80 grit and
finish with 300. If you're putting a film-forming finish (shellac,
varnish) on then you might stop at 240. For plain wax, go finer to
40 grit is useful for sanding things to actually remove wood (if you
don't have a good block plane).
I have a _lot_ of glasspaper in my workshop. It's cheap, it stores
well and I like to have a big range on hand at all times. It's more
effort to think about it than it is to buy, so I just keep the shelf
stocked up - same for many finishing supplies - running out is just a
A good type of glasspaper to get is the yellow rolls of aluminium
oxide "Hiomant" brand from Mirka. They have a wide range of grits and
it's a convenient width to fit a sanding block. Rolls are cheaper, but
you can often buy it a metre at a time so you can have a full range.
Don't use black silicon carbide "wet and dry". It's good stuff, but
expensive. You might use it for sharpening or 1200 grit paintwork
Be wary of real glasspaper. It used to be the only stuff, but these
days it's generally only seen as the very cheapest and nastiest grade.
Often smells of fish glue when damp !
Garnet paper is a very "sharp" paper that you might still find around.
Expensive, and cuts too fast for final finishing.
For a game board, I wouldn't use a varnish or shellac. Boards that are
too shiny aren't so good to play on. I'd suggest wax over oil.
Oil is best bought as a tin of "finishing oil" (try Liberon from
Axminster). This is tung oil, but it's already blended and thinned to
make it easier to apply. Apply it on a kitchen paper towel. Wipe it on
reasonably generously, then wipe it around until it's worked in well.
Check after 20 minutes and if there's any still visible, wipe it up
with dry paper towel. The way to make a mess with oil (about the only
way) is to apply it too thick, then leave it sitting on the surface
for it to go sticky. Correct errors by wiping it off with a bit of
white spirit on paper towel, but do it within an hour or two.
Four or five coats of oil, one a day, should do you.
Wax should be a hard finishing wax, not a soft cleaning or polishing
wax (Liberon's Black Bison in neutral (not clear, which is a bit
yellowish)). Apply it with a stiff brush, work it in evenly, then
leave for 20 minutes. Re-buff it to develop the sheen, but don't apply
any more. A few coats of wax, a few hours apart will be enough.
A good brush is a small stiff-bristled shoe polish brush from a pound
shop. Natural bristle scrubbing brushes can be useful for bigger
pieces. The bristles need to be stiff, or it won't buff properly.
If you choose to only wax the board, you can develop a lovely finish
if you play regularly for a year or two. It's not so resistant to dirt
or spills though. Beforehand you should sand it even more carefully,
and to a finer grade - for plain wax I like to use the abrasive mesh
(scouring pad) pads (Machien Mart). Grey is the finest.
Roses are red, violets are blue,
your computer won't boot,
If the veneers are level , you do not need much sanding. Then you can
sand by hand or use a palm sander. I also make chess boards. I make my
own veneers which are about 3/32" when bandsawn and about 1/16" thick
after sanding. I usually use a card type cabinet scraper to remove any
saw marks, then sand with a random orbit sander. I start with 150 grit
and work up to 220 grit.
I then use a palm sander and sand with 320 paper. I spray 4 or 5 coats
of dewaxed clear shellac.Then I wax and buff.My chess boards are in
game tables, if yours only has a narrow trim around the veneered
substrate,you may want to scrape and hand sand only.I am not familiar
with kits, not sure how thick your veneers are. Be careful you don't
sand thru the veneers, use a sanding block and if you are not sure
what grit to use, then start with 150 grit.
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