Finishing A Veneered Chess Board

Hi,
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 a) 1. Should I sand by hand or with my ROS 2. What grade paper(s) should I use b) 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!
Thanks,
Sam
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I need some advice on a)1. Should I sand by hand or with my ROS I would use the ROS, start at 100, 150, then 220 grit.
1. What form of polish should I use?
Depends on what effect you want. Do you want a satin (dull) finish, or high gloss? I personally don't like pieces that reflect light like a mirror, so I use a tung oil varnish (which will be labeled as "tung oil" at your local hardware store). It's easy to apply with a rag.
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Yes, start with 100. I'd personnaly consider doing the whole thing by hand if its fairly flat to begin with. If not, then start with 100 on a ROS to flatten it well, then go to hand, aagin with 100 then 150, 220. I assume since its a checker board you have opposing grain directions on the whole thing. If so, it might be best to do circular motion as opposed to with the grain on the hand work.
Keep in mind, the ROS will leave significant little scratches over the whole surface. You really need to sand these out by hand for a fine piece that gets so much up close hand touch like a board or a jeweler box, etc.
If you really want a nice feel you can go to 400 or even higher. I would. You can also dampen the piece pretty good with a sponge after the 150 to raise the grain. After it dries very well, hit it very lightly with the 150 again. Then go with an even lighter touch on the 220, etc. Once you raise and knock down the grain, too much sanding after that takes you down to the next level of fibers and you defeat the purpose.
Finally, apply some Tung Oil mixed with Turpentine (after you test the color). If you go to 400, it won't absord as quickly. You can use a lint free rag or 0000 steel wool. Be carful and use good steel wool because as it starts to degrade you'll get metal fibers that are hard to wipe away. After the oil dries for a few days you can use a good wax (I use Brie Wax). Apply just a little with steel wool in circular motion, let it dry and buff it to a dull sheen, or all the way up to a bright shine if that's what you want. Too much wax will allow it to mark up easily (finger smudges) so just use a bit.
All this being said, test the ENTIRE process on sample of the same wood first.
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