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Question about sanding end grain

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Forum topic by Bill Hall posted 2432 days ago 4515 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bill Hall

166 posts in 2451 days


2432 days ago

I’m building a mantel clock and I routed the base with a round-over bit. My question is about sanding the end grain. Which way should I sand? I want to make sure I get a consistent finish across all four sides of the base. Should I be sanding along the long edge or top to bottom over the round-over where the grain appears to run in a curve?

-- http://www.tenoclockwoodworks.com


7 replies so far

View thewoodwhisperer's profile

thewoodwhisperer

601 posts in 2769 days


#1 posted 2432 days ago

Hey Bill. I would venture to say it doesn’t really matter. If you can actually see your sanding marks on the endgrain, you need to sand more anyway. In general, I said the end grain 1 or 2 grits higher than the face grain in an effort to even out the color after you hit it with finish. As a result, the end grain has such a fine scratch pattern, direction becomes irrelevant. Hope that helps.

Marc

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2759 days


#2 posted 2432 days ago

In Bob Flexner’s finishing book, he makes mention of end-grain and how to make it even. He said it is simply a matter of making sure you sand the end-grain to the same level you sand the face grain. Only thing is, it just takes a bit more sanding to get it to that level.

Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid end-grain in my box construction, so I haven’t thought about it since I read that in Bob’s book. But I WAS thinking about it as I sanded the end-grain on my latest project (the cross). Come to think of it, I never stopped to look at the end-grain after I applied the finish to see if it worked or not. I’ll check that out tonight and see what the results were and post pictures if it did.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View Bill Hall's profile

Bill Hall

166 posts in 2451 days


#3 posted 2432 days ago

Thanks guys. That info really helps. I think I hate end-grain. :)

I’ll have to get that Bob Flexner book. Marc, I’ve been listening to the Wood Talk Online podcasts in order and just finished #12. You or Matt mentioned Bob Flexner and with RHM mentioning it as well, I think I need to add it to my Christmas list. Your videos and podcasts have been a major part of my learning in preparation for building this birthday present for my Father. Thanks for all the hard work you and Matt put into the podcasts.

-- http://www.tenoclockwoodworks.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2746 days


#4 posted 2432 days ago

Microplane has something that is supposed to work well with end grain… I can’t remember the details.
It was in the interview that I did with them.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Operaman's profile

Operaman

132 posts in 2431 days


#5 posted 2430 days ago

Instead of sanding, have you considered using a low angle block plane? With a freshly honed blade and tight mouth, I have great results getting end grain to finish as well as long or face grain. If sanding is your only method, you might consider using a shellac wash which partially fills the end grain, giving more consistent finishing results.

-- Cheers!

View Bill Hall's profile

Bill Hall

166 posts in 2451 days


#6 posted 2430 days ago

It’s the end grain on the round-over that’s giving me the problem. I can’t really use a plane for than, can I?

-- http://www.tenoclockwoodworks.com

View thewoodwhisperer's profile

thewoodwhisperer

601 posts in 2769 days


#7 posted 2430 days ago

Thanks Bill. Im glad you are finding the information useful. Good luck with this project!

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com

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