Sanding Cherry in preparation for BLO.

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Forum topic by ScottKaye posted 09-04-2015 12:19 AM 980 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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648 posts in 1977 days

09-04-2015 12:19 AM

I’m really digging all the Cherry projects that use Boiled Linseed Oil. That process gives such a warm glowing aspect to the wood. My question is this, how far is far enough when it comes to sanding? I stopped at 150 grit but its not quite silky smooth. To tell you the truth, I haven’t cleaned the sanding dust off yet so maybe that’s what I’m feeling. I know if you go too far in the grits, the product you are trying to apply (in this case BLO) has a harder time soaking into the wood fibers since you’ve probably closed up the pores. So is 150 a good place to stop?


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

5 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3072 posts in 2281 days

#1 posted 09-04-2015 12:27 AM

Hey, Scott, I normally sand white oak to 220G, but it is an open grain whereas cherry is a closed (tight) grained wood so 150G should be perfectly acceptable. However, you should try your intended finishing schedule on scrap to ensure that it produces the look you want. Also, cherry can be blotchy. Some people like that, others don’t. Please show pix of the completed project.

-- Art

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4765 posts in 2376 days

#2 posted 09-04-2015 12:55 AM

I sand cherry to 220 grit.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ScottKaye's profile


648 posts in 1977 days

#3 posted 09-04-2015 01:01 AM

Hi Art!
Thanks for the quick reply. I thought the same thing about blotching on cherry with BLO. I was assured that If I did use a blotch control, I would defeat the purpose of the BLO as it wouldn’t just sit on top of the wood and not be able to penetrate in. BLO shouldn’t blotch like a stain will. At least from what I’ve read. Here’s the link to my previous question

As soon as its done, I’ll do a write up and show some pictures of the “Hanging Mini Entertainment Center” I pulled out all the stops on this project! Tapered Sliding dovetails (4 of them), blind splined mitered corners, dovetailed drawers (never built them before) Hopefully it all turns out half as good as I envision it in my mind!


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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405 posts in 3046 days

#4 posted 09-04-2015 01:02 AM

I also sand cherry to 220 grit for a BLO finish

-- Greg, Severn MD

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183 posts in 1234 days

#5 posted 09-04-2015 02:06 AM

I’d definitely try this out on a piece of scrap.

I’d probably go to 180 with it before oiling. Put on a couple coats of oil, then scuff sand (lightly) with 220, another coat of oil, then go to 400 and wet sand in a couple more coats. Depending on your project and the figure in the wood, I may keep going up to 800 or 1000 like this.

I absolutely love the old school hand rubbed oil finishes, both BLO and tung. Take a look at Holland & Holland gun stocks. These are BLO painstakingly worked like this with some rotten stone worked into the process. An absolutely gorgeous finish but very time intensive.

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