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Hand sanding that I actually like doing...really

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Review by Tim Dahn posted 07-11-2010 01:23 AM 3661 views 4 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Hand sanding that I actually like doing...really Hand sanding that I actually like doing...really Hand sanding that I actually like doing...really Click the pictures to enlarge them

Bill Bush was at the Chantilly Va. wood show this spring demonstrating his finishing products, so I had a seat, watched and listened as he showed how he finishes his projects. I did not purchase the kit but rather the Bush oil, some PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) sand paper, fiber pads and a DVD. I have since called to order additional sand paper and a couple sanding blocks, so this review is for the sanding products and the technique he uses, and well I use it now too. First the PSA sand paper (carborundum) is quality stuff; the open coat, aluminum oxide grit cuts aggressively, resists clogging and seems to last quite a long time.
But it’s not just the sand paper, the technique is what really made sense to me and there are a couple of key points to make here;
1. The PSA sand paper does not slide around so there is no wasted effort. The foam sanding block cushions just enough to keep from damaging the sand paper under pressure.
2. The addition of a trimmed 2” natural bristle paint brush for cleaning the wood surface helps get the dust out of the way when changing to the next higher grit and cleaning the sand paper also helps it last even longer.
The 80 and 120 grits do most of the work leveling the wood and then usually just a few passes with 180, 220 and 400 before moving on to the ultra fine fiber pad to remove any embedded saw dust and last the non abrasive fiber pad burnishes the surface, at this point you have a completely flat smooth as glass surface. The sanding blocks are a little expensive ($20ea) for me so I just purchased two, for the 80 and 120 grits and made my own from MDF and some foam material I found locally for the 180, 220 and 400 grits.
The finish seems to be a mix of oil and poly and can be mixed with oil base stains. I will post a review of the oil finish after I complete the clock I’m working on but I can tell you after using it on some test pieces, I like it too.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.




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Tim Dahn

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22 comments so far

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patron

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#1 posted 07-11-2010 01:29 AM

where do i send my work ?
how soon can i have it back (LOL) ?

good review , thanks .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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Grumpy

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#2 posted 07-11-2010 03:21 AM

Thanks Timbo

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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jplhomes

12 posts in 1724 days


#3 posted 07-11-2010 09:30 AM

Good review. Do they have a web site or where can you buy the products?

-- John

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degoose

7038 posts in 2045 days


#4 posted 07-11-2010 10:48 AM

Finishing is always the most fun….?

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

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stefang

13304 posts in 2024 days


#5 posted 07-11-2010 12:22 PM

Good review Tim. I do a lot of hand sanding, mainly because it isn’t as difficult as many think. Good technique such as sanding at an angle across the grain form both sides first and then with the grain for each grade helps a lot and keeps things flat. I would be willing to do this on a drum sander if I had one though, lol.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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Jim Bertelson

3676 posts in 1855 days


#6 posted 07-11-2010 02:54 PM

I find I am doing more hand sanding since I made Norton, the fancy sanding block. But I think it is the new Norton 3x sandpapers that make it even easier to hand sand. Have to admit, though, haven’t had to sand anything difficult lately. Then I suspect, it is back to the machines. I will keep this in mind and have favorited it for reference.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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Dusty56

11664 posts in 2378 days


#7 posted 07-11-2010 04:45 PM

I also saw Bills presentation at the W.Springfield,MA show this past January, AND gave him a good amount of my money afterwards .LOL…I had been using the Bush Oil previously with good results , but after learning his sanding techniques , it made an even nicer end result : ) Those sanding blocks are pricey , but certainly very comfortable to use…..Nice review : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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Tim Dahn

1473 posts in 2255 days


#8 posted 07-11-2010 09:00 PM

John The products are available at Curiouswoods and lakeshorehardwoods.

Mike Thanks for the tip, I will give the “sanding at an angle” a try with the 80 grit to see if it is any faster/easier.

Jim The Norton may be the same or similar abrasive with the open coat to allow the grit release the saw dust easier.

Dusty56 The presentation was convincing, in retrospect I should have bought the kit.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

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Dusty56

11664 posts in 2378 days


#9 posted 07-12-2010 03:21 AM

I bought a kit plus some “extras” ” : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Don Alexander's profile

Don Alexander

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#10 posted 07-12-2010 09:29 PM

Woodcraft sells the yellow foamy sanding blocks and I love mine. They are very comfortable and do a great job. They are pricey however, but worth it.

-- Don Alexander, Jacksonville, Florida

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DonFaulk0517

131 posts in 2176 days


#11 posted 07-13-2010 01:51 AM

Good review… I purchased the sandpaper and sanding blocks over a year ago and have used them since. They are great! I was at Lakeshore Hardwoods this weekend (while on vacation in Central NY) and picked up more sandpaper… there are no equals when it comes to these blocks and sandpaper. I have blocks for all grits and it makes sanding easy.

Great review!

Enjoy!

-- DonFaulk0517@gmail.com

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jtash

30 posts in 1773 days


#12 posted 07-14-2010 04:52 AM

The sanding blocks are from 3M and they are called stikit sanding blocks. I think the number is 5442. You can find them on the internet for a lot less then they sell them for at the shows. Just watch out for shipping.
I used the sanding method for one project so far. Actually I hand planed and started with the 220 grit. Using pencil scrible to tell you when to stop sanding and move to the next grit is a huge time saver. The hand sanding to 600 grit followed by the gray and white pads leaves a super smooth surface and the Bush oil is a high quality oil varnis blend. In other words I had good results.

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Ken90712

15102 posts in 1879 days


#13 posted 07-14-2010 02:18 PM

Great review but I still dont like sanding. Cool product though.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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Tim Dahn

1473 posts in 2255 days


#14 posted 07-14-2010 10:19 PM

Don I can’t find these at woodcraft, what do they call them?

jtash I have found the 3M products but I’m not completely convinced they are the same.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

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Dusty56

11664 posts in 2378 days


#15 posted 07-15-2010 12:54 AM

Bill Bush had told us at the show that his sanding blocks were custom made .
I saw that 3M has a “hard” and a “soft” version of these blocks.$18 Hard and $17 Soft

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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