Sanding first Fancy Veneer project

Wreck:
I'm about to start assembling my first project of expensive veneer plywood, which happens to be SWMBO's Christmas present. I don't skydive so I have to get my thrills somehow.
Anyway, what about sanding?
Everything I've built so far has either been inexpensive Borg veneer or wood at least a dozen sanding mistakes thick. At roughtly 4x the price/sheet, plus time to reorder, I'm nervous.
I've been careful and managed to avoid any expensive mistakes *knocks wood* How do I sand this stuff?
I plan to hand sand. Start at 120 or 150? 180? Sand to 220? Don't sand at all?
Thanks
Charles
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You have to be very careful when sanding veneer with any type of power tool. Usually the veneer is only a 32nd thick so you can go through it very easily. When sanding, you are removing the scratches that were made by the previous grit of sandpaper. I would sand by hand, start with 100 or 110 and go to 150. You may want to go to 180 but not 220. This will just start to polish the surface and will make finishing more difficult. Use a padded sanding block when you sand, with a cork bottom or a folded paper towel even between the block and the sandpaper.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

fancy veneer ply is usually sanded at the factory, so you can start pretty fine. the coarsest I'll usually go on it is 120, and not too much of that.
the exception to the rule about not sanding too fine is wet sanding with oil. then you can go as fine as you want. sanding to 600 grit with watco leaves a gorgeous surface.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would do this on the lacquer top coat for to get nice consistent scratches on the sruface to increase sheen, but not on the wood surface itself. If you spray anything on a surface sanded this fine, the finish will simply bead off. It will not adhere.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Unlikely. Many finishes incorporate wetting agents or are otherwise formulated to deal with surface tension issues. I've sprayed shellac, lacquer, varnish, oil-based poly and water-based urethanes on surfaces sanded to 600 grit without any application problems or long-term adhesion problems.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 02 Dec 2004 17:10:03 GMT, "U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles" <"Charles

gently.
start with a grit finer than you think you need. if that doesn't get it, drop back to the coarser grit for just as little as you can to get it sanded.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well... first off, always ask yourself what you are sanding for. It is not necessary to sand just because it's wood. Think about it for a second. You sand to flatten surfaces. You may have to flatten large deviations in the surface and for that you'd use coarser papers to take it down quicker. But... that's the only reason you use coarser papers - to take it down *faster*. After that you're stuck working your way up through lesser grits until you get all of those nasty sanding scratches out. If however, you don't have major deviations you don't use coarser grits - you use much finer grits or even no sandpaper at all. You're only sanding to take out minor imperfections. It's conceivable that you could simply need to clean up a piece and find that steel wool or scotch pads are all you need. Start fine and if it's not enough then move up a bit. Remember, you could do it all with fine papers - even taking out the scratches from 80 grit paper, it just takes longer. So, after all that, the message is look at what you're working with. If it doesn't need a lot of sanding then don't sand the hell out of it. Again - why are you sanding?

Nah - it's only money man.

So - why? What is either magical about 120, or what is wrong with your piece that requires 120? If you can answer those questions, then go ahead and use it... sparingly. If you can't answer those questions, then start at 180. Does it do all you need? Then quit. You should hate sanding anyway, so it should be a good feeling to be able to quit. I think it even says that in the Bible...
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.