Author Topic: Critique my sanding method!  (Read 2900 times)

Offline AndrewLee

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Critique my sanding method!
« on: June 15, 2016, 03:24:25 pm »
Hey guys,

I'm turning on and off at the moment but I find my sanding and finishing very lackluster. I'm sure I'm doing it wrong but have a look at what I'm doing and advise me on what to change/improve:

I sand at 80, 220,  400 grit - this is due to sheer laziness and lack of grits in between

I rub sanding sealer all over the piece, leave to set for 15mins

I then rub carnauba/ beeswax onto workpiece, turning lathe speed as fast as possible, buffing with lint free cloth until the wax melts into the work piece.

There's a few dings here and there and some sanding marks. The result is passable but definitely way off for a professional finish. A little tackiness too on the work surface

I'm also using pine so maybe that's another factor? I turned a bit of oak the other night with the same methodology and the results weren't perfect but he'll of a lot nicer than with pine.

Offline Hatchcanyon

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Re: Critique my sanding method!
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2016, 03:48:15 pm »
Andrew,

I'm not a turner but my wife does. I know she goes through all grits between 80 and 400  (80/120/180/240/320/400) using water only after the last one to lift fibers before sanding a last time with the finest grit.

Rolf
German with a second home in the American Southwestern Desert - loves Old England too.

Offline RichColvin

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Re: Critique my sanding method!
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 04:07:01 pm »
Andrew,

If you are going to be a wood turner, I strongly recommend joining the AAW (AAW.org).  Members get access to a number of on-line tools, including all their magazine publications.  For example,
  • In "Woodturning FUNdamentals" :
    • January 2016 (vol 5, issue 1) has an article from Jack Morse titled "Art of Sanding".
    • March 2016 (vol 5, issue 2) has an article from Mark Palma titled "Sanding and Scraping".

  • In "American Woodturner" :
    • Spring 2007 (vol 22, issue 1) has an article from Steve Sinner titled "Sanding Shortcuts from the Pros".
There is also a forum on the AAW site (much like this one) that probably has more.

Kind regards,
Rich
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Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening
www.ColvinTools.com

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline Janne

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Re: Critique my sanding method!
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2016, 10:57:27 pm »
Hi.
When I am sanding I use water ( waiting at least 30 minutes) three times with fine grit paper at the end. My father who is a violin maker tought me that method.

Good luck.

Janne
Wet grinding mentor. Drill bits restoring/reshape. Sharp edges in general.

Offline Ken S

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Re: Critique my sanding method!
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2016, 03:26:08 am »
Interesting.

Is that a thirty minute wait after each of the three times?

My daughter is a cellist. When she was growing up I met several violin makers (for repair work). I remember a sign which said: "I have worked on hundreds of Stradivarius violins, all made in the twentieth century!"

Ken

Offline Janne

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Re: Critique my sanding method!
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2016, 09:52:28 am »
Yes. When you have a smooth surface, use some water and let the fibres raise for 30 minutes, then sand. Repeat two times more.
Every wood craftsman has his own method I think.

Janne
Wet grinding mentor. Drill bits restoring/reshape. Sharp edges in general.

Offline RichColvin

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Re: Critique my sanding method!
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2016, 10:57:05 am »
Andrew,

I just caught a comment that you made about lathe speed.   You need to slow down your lathe to half the speed used when turning.  Sandpaper won't work well at high speeds. 

Also, check your sanding pressure.  An easy test is to hold the sand paper with your bare fingers against the spinning wood.  If it is too hot to hold there, you're putting too much pressure (or speed) into the process. 

Final notes :

1. Do not skip grits. Each one removes the marks from the prior one. 

2. Wipe the wood down well between grits so the particles don't carry over from a rougher grit to a finer one.

3. For top quality stuff, consider using super fine sanding media like Micro-Mesh.  This stuff goes up to 12,000 grit. 

4. Sand between coats of finish.   For fine pens, I sand up to 12,000, then finish it.   
    - Sand again, starting at 2,400 grit, going to 12,000, & then apply a second coat of finish.   
    - Sand again, staring at 3,200, going to 12,000, & then apply a third coat of finish. 
    - Sometimes I will go to a fourth or fifth finishing.

5. Consider options for a smooth surface before sanding. 
    - I don't use carbide scrapers on the outside of my turnings.  I prefer the fine finish I get from a skew chisel (for turning wood with grain parallel to the bed).  Pine is very keen for tear outs of the grain.  Scraping will only accentuate that.
    - For wood mounted with the grain perpendicular to the bed ways, I use a bowl gouge.   I will resharpen it before taking that last pass. 
    - I have seen some world-class turners use a cabinet scraper to touch up the wood before sanding.

6.  Consider wet sanding.  Some will use an oil like walnut oil on the wood when sanding.  For woods like walnut and cherry, this works well.  Don't know if it would with pine.

Wood selection is a big factor.   I was working with American cedar quit a bit before I came to realize that this wood is hard for anyone to turn.   It wasn't just me. 

And, trying to make an open vessel in end grain was not fun.  But that is the look I wanted so I adapted.

Good luck and Kind regards,
Rich
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Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening
www.ColvinTools.com

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline Ken S

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Re: Critique my sanding method!
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2016, 03:49:45 pm »
Good comments, Rich.

Ken