Do I sand the wood on the side that it planed? The smooth side? I know, in
this project, to sand the sides where I cut (it is rough), but didn't know
whether or not to not sand the smooth side. Can it get smoother? Thanks.
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Try sanding it and see if you can feel the difference. With 320 grit you
should be able to easily. While with the right tools, skill, and patience
it's possible to plane wood to a smoother surface than you can achieve with
sanding, it doesn't come that way from Home Depot.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Careful here. Softwoods can be challenging to scrape.
I assume (yeah, yeah) since most Borg hardwood nowadays is sanded and
packaged, that this is softwood. In which case, first thing to do is see if
there are shiny scallops on the surface. If so, make an immediate set with
some water to save yourself some work and begin at 100/120 grit. The
scallops are compression fractures caused by fast trips through semi-dull
planers. Pushing the compressed surface up with a little water pressure pays
dividends, even if you're going to finish with a hand plane.
Planed wood will have small imperfections (cupping) due to
the cutters rotating over the wood surface. You need to use
successive grits up to around 180 (some go higher; some stop
at 150) before staining or coating. What are you planning
on finishing the project with?
There's no universal answer here. It should be taken as smooth as you need for
what you're doing with it, which you never said. For instance, depending on
the wood, their plane, and how you intend to finish it, you may end up seeing
a number of ridges from plane marks being brought out by the finish. If not
finishing, sand until it feels/looks good to you. If you do sand, how smooth
you want it also depends on the finishing you intend. With so little of the
problem stated, any response is a shot in the dark.
I'd add that I usually give any surface I buy from the Despot at least a
quick once over w/ at least 220. If it's been sitting on the shelf for a
while, it'll be grimy and fingerprinted, maybe even some Tootsie Roll
residue from that kid you saw running up and down the aisles.
Generally the hardwoods from HD and such doesn't need sanding but it
probably won't hurt to hit it with, say, 180 grit. In any case, once you
have the piece glued up you're probably going to have some sanding to do
As Gerry G noted there is no pat answer and it all depends on what the
surface of the wood is like after you finish milling it. Dampening the
wood, I like to use alcohol or mineral spirits, should darkens the wood
in a way similar to what you would get if you had applied a clear finish
and should show up any flaws that need sanding out.
Rule of thumb for sanding is the first grit to use is one that will
efficiently get rid of all the flaws in the wood. IE, if you have ripple
marks from a planer you'd use something like 89 or 100 grit, not 220
grit. You'd spend a week trying to get deep marks out with the 220 grit.
Every grit after that is ONLY to get the sanding scratches of the
previous grit out. You don't skip grits for the same reason you don't
try to get heavy milling marks out with a fine sandpaper. You're busting
your ass for no good reason and very slow results.
Final grit? When you can't see any more sanding marks. I stop at 180 and
reserve 220 for working on the finish. I know people that stop at 150
grit and some at things like 600 grit or higher. To me anything over 220
grit is a lot of work for very little actual return. Sanding to a high a
grit can also cause you problems if you are planning to stain the piece
and are using a pigment stain..
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