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sanding edges and end grains

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Forum topic by dakremer posted 1569 days ago 3620 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dakremer

2448 posts in 1689 days


1569 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: sanding staining technique

I was curious as to how you guys sand your end-grains and edges on your projects. I recently made a couple of prayer kneelers as gifts, and I rounded over all the edges with my router – i had trouble sanding them down with out deforming the perfectly round edges. Any tricks you guys use? Also wondering what your techniques/steps are for getting the end-grains sanded enough to where they’ll take stain without looking blotchy and DARK.

Thanks guys. You are the best. I really hope someday I can learn enough to where I can give some advice!! :) someday….someday….

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!


11 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15655 posts in 2816 days


#1 posted 1569 days ago

No matter how much you sand, end grain will always be different. I’ve heard of a couple of methods to keep the stain from looking much darker on end grain:

1. Use a lighter color stain on the end grain
2. Apply a sealer to the end grain before staining, so it doesn’t absorb the stain as readily.

Personally, I never worry about this. To my eye, end grain is just supposed to look darker.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2246 days


#2 posted 1569 days ago

quote: end grain is just supposed to look darker.

after all, if you want the entire piece to look evenly colored – not sure Wood is the best material.

I wouldn’t worry about it – we always have a too complicated outlook on our projects, nit picking all the things that we shouldn’t be. ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1884 days


#3 posted 1569 days ago

I typically just hand sand the profiled edges and end grain. The coarser the paper, the more likely you are to mess up the profile.

I’m with Charlie and PurpLev on the darker end grain. I never worry about it. To me, that’s part of the appeal of stained pieces. If I wanted it that consistent, I would paint it. If it’s blotchy, it could be inconsistent sanding—
Or it could just be the nature of the wood you are using. In the case, a sealer might help. You’ll have to experiment with that on some scraps.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1672 days


#4 posted 1569 days ago

I own 8 different types of power sanders. Still, some things have to be sanded by hand. Rounded edges is one of those situations that require careful hand sanding.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Viktor's profile

Viktor

447 posts in 2016 days


#5 posted 1569 days ago

Take a block of wood, rough cut (rout, saw, chisel) a rounded grove in it to match your rounded edge. Wrap sandpaper around the edge of your workpiece (abrasive outside). Rub your sanding block with grove in it against your workpiece. This will shape the sanding block to match your rounded edge exactly. Wrap (or glue) sandpaper around your groved sanding block. Sand away!

View Dez's profile

Dez

1113 posts in 2675 days


#6 posted 1569 days ago

I generally hand sand to at least one grit finer sometimes two grits on end grain depending on the type of wood.

I will sometimes use an orbital on bigger jobs, always working across the edge not along (parallel) it. Especially in the cabinet shop where time is money.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View David "Lucky Dawg" Brown's profile

David "Lucky Dawg" Brown

440 posts in 1590 days


#7 posted 1569 days ago

Laminate!!!! hahahahaha!
you can spend more time working on the ends than on the whole project
I’ve used lighter stains and sealer etc…. now I don’t fret over it so much any more!
ends are ends sand the best you can and move to the next project!

-- dumpster diver delux

View pvwoodcrafts's profile

pvwoodcrafts

222 posts in 2519 days


#8 posted 1569 days ago

I have a small bosch belt sander that I use on the endgrain and occasionally edges. I always sand before I use the router on them then hand sand the routed profile , usually a roundover .I use foam blocks made out of 2 in thick bluefoam insulation. It will take the roundover profile very quickly. If you burnish the endgrain with fine sandpaper, 400 grit , it helps a lot.

-- mike & judy western md. www. pvwoodcrafts.com pvwccf1@verizon.net

View NateX's profile

NateX

88 posts in 1594 days


#9 posted 1569 days ago

I like to use a rubber sanding block with high grit on end grain. The wood whisperer had a good tip for end grain: He said to keep sanding until the dull dusty look goes away. I made some end grain cutting boards and hand sanded them with high grit and a sanding block, they looked very even and matched the sides of the board when all was said and done.

View Dano46's profile

Dano46

73 posts in 1767 days


#10 posted 1568 days ago

I have always used a 280 grit on all end grains. It matches a lot better. It takes a little time, but you don’t have that dark end

-- You can't trust a dog to guard your food.

View hasbeen99's profile

hasbeen99

183 posts in 2137 days


#11 posted 1568 days ago

I just stained a cherry jewelry box for my wife, and I’m happy to say I got some good advice about avoiding blotchy end grain. I only did 2 things:

1) Sanded the end grain with 1 to 2 grades higher sandpaper. In this case, I used 220 on the long grain, and 320 on the end grain.

2) Seal it with Bullseye shellac, thinned 50% with denatured alcohol. Sand again (lightly) with 320 when cured.

The Wood Whisperer also recommends using gel stain instead of regular oil stain on blotchy woods. The gel doesn’t penetrate as deep, resulting in a more even finish.

Good luck!

-- "The only thing that counts is faith, expressing itself in love." --Galatians 5:6

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