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Wood, How To Sand Wood

December 4, 2018Olen Murriel

The How, When, and Why of Wood Sanding

Sanding wood it’s a vital skill for woodworkers to learn if they hope to produce quality wood products with a smooth, appealing finish. In this piece, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the most popular and effective wood sanding techniques out there, all the way from simple hand sanding to a few of the more complex mechanical sanding implements.


Let’s dive right in


Picking Out the Proper Sandpaper

Every job requires the right tools if it’s to turn out well, and this rule definitely applies when it comes to sanding wood. Sanding disks and sandpaper strips come in all sorts of different grits (textures) and formulations, all designed to produce a particular sanding effect or for use with particular sanding methods.

Oscillating Spindle Sanders

When it comes to sanding curved pieces of wood such as those you will get when you use a jigsaw or band on your wood, this is the sander to use This is a specially designed drum sander whose spindle will make an up and down motion while the drum spins away. The effect of this is to put more of the wood in contact with the wood, making the job a lot more efficient, which results in a longer lifespan for your drum while minimizing the appearance of sanding lines on your project.

Random Orbital Sanders

Hand sanding and other techniques might result in the appearance of unwanted scratch marks on your project, and that’s why these sanders have become such essential components of the modern workshop.

Sheet Sanders

While the random orbital sander is looked on with a lot of favor in the woodworking world, the sheet sander is considered its inferior relation. This is because it uses a similar pattern of motion to move the sanding pad, but the similarities end there. The truth is, a sheet sander can handle the average sanding job quite comfortably on its own, making use of regular sanding paper. This is a bit more efficient than the orbital sander which calls for special sanding disks in most cases.

Hand Sanding to Finish Your Project

As your project moves closer and closer to completion, you will be using increasingly finer sandpaper grits to get a smoother, cleaner finish. Now, the very last sanding you should do to put an end to the job should be carried out by hand. As you might expect, hand sanding gives you the very cleanest finish possible, which is the reason it is carried out last. In addition to this, hand sanding allows you far greater control of the process, meaning you can take the opportunity to clean up any problem areas on the project’s surface. It’s a great way to give your project a professional, beautiful finish.

Creating Sandpaper

While the end product might be deceptively simple in appearance, the actual sandpaper making process is a complex, intricate affair. It’s not simply a matter of applying glue to some paper and pouring sand on it as I had imaged it Walking through a sandpaper manufacturing shop will reveal some interesting aspects of the procedure that the average person wouldn’t expect to be a part of the process.

Creating Sanding Belts

Sanding belts have pretty much the same manufacturing procedure to standard sandpaper, but special processes are incorporated into the procedure so that it may successfully withstand the considerable heat and friction generated while it’s being used. Lengthy sandpaper strips are cut into strips that are then glued together and-to-end such that a loop is formed. You can look further into the process and find out just how to make sanding belts.

Getting Rid of Fine Sawdust after a Sanding Job

One of the biggest mistakes you could make as a woodworking beginner is to paint or varnish your project before getting rid of all the sawdust particles left over after sanding. When you do this, the particles will cause an unpleasant roughness in your project’s texture which will be almost impossible to take care of without another lengthy sanding and repainting process. It’s always a good idea to clean up your project just as soon as you’re done with the sanding.

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