Preparing curly walnut & curly maple for finishing & assembly

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Forum topic by Bret posted 12-09-2009 12:28 AM 1530 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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166 posts in 3461 days

12-09-2009 12:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple walnut sanding finishing

I’m getting ready to assemble a box I’m building from curly maple with curly walnut accents. Before doing so, it occurred to me that I might want to sand the pieces prior to assembly. Here’s what I’m thinking:

1. RO-sand the box pieces with 80, 120, 180 and 220 grit before assembling them.
2. glue the box together
3. RO-sand the finished box with 320 and hand-sand with 400 grit before applying tinted shellac and re-sanding to pop the grain.
4. Finish with a wiping varnish.

Are there reasons to not pre-sand? The corner joints are keyed miters, if that makes a difference…. I’ve also thought of scraping instead of sanding, but since I don’t have a lot of experience with a scraper, I’m going to stick with sanding for now.


-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

2 replies so far

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 3074 days

#1 posted 12-09-2009 12:41 AM

On all of my furniture I sand all of the parts before assembly. It is a lot easer to handle the parts as individuals. Then after assembly I touch up sand the glued up areas. It saves time and frustration. If you have some inside corners you might want to have a damp clean rag and a stainless steal putty knife to rub the excess glue out of the inside corners. Your plan sounds good to me. Go for it!!

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View SNSpencer's profile


133 posts in 3080 days

#2 posted 12-09-2009 12:55 AM

For my boxes here is my process. Keep in mind that I finish the INSIDE of the boxes before assembly. The process is the same for inside and outside of my boxes.

Sand – 100 grit
Coat of Sanding Sealer
Sand – 150 grit
Coat of Sanding Sealer
Sand – 150 grit (again)
Coat of Sanding Sealer
Sand – 220 grit
Then tape off whatever needs to be covered
Multiple light coats of spray lacquer
rub out the finish.

Works pretty well with a very durable and shiny finish. The sanding sealer really helps out even the surface with open grain woods like Walnut and Cherry.

-- Jef Spencer - Refined Pallet -

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