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So how much do i sand this stuff?!

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Forum topic by TheWoodsmith posted 05-31-2010 04:11 PM 1017 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheWoodsmith

108 posts in 2388 days


05-31-2010 04:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing sanding

I’m doing this really cool 3bin hamper unit for a customer that actually looks more like a dresser or something, (pics to follow) The guy at the mill talked me into buyin a bunch of his soft maple, which does look really nice but the question i have is how far do i sand? i did a cedar lined blanket chest with it and i guess i sanded too far because when i hit it with the stain (minwax dark walnut) the material only wicked up stain in certain areas and was really blotchy,so i had to go back over it with minwax polyshades (junk) to even out the color, all in all the blanket chest looks nice, but I dont want to go through those hoops on this hamper so should i sand less? say 100 grit? i topped that chest out with 220, also, is this a common phenomenon? seem’s like i burnished the wood or something. any help would be great fella’s and i should have opened with THIS SITE ROCKS!!! nevertheless, i need some help here, so thanks in advance!

-- I know its around here somewhere...


10 replies so far

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NewPickeringWdWrkr

338 posts in 2481 days


#1 posted 05-31-2010 04:17 PM

sanding to 180 is usually fine. Just sand until you can’t see any scratch marks. I sometimes use some mineral spirits to see if any areas still need attention as the ‘wetting down’ will highlight those areas.

But you may experience blotching no matter how you sand. Although I’m not endorsing his product (I haven’t used it yet), Charles Neil has a great video explaining why wood blotches while promoting his Pre-color conditioner here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfCYMdrP8rM&feature=email (thanks to A1Jim for the link)

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs http://anterosurbanwooddesigns.com

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TheWoodsmith

108 posts in 2388 days


#2 posted 05-31-2010 04:25 PM

Cool, thanks for the quick reply, it was weird though, i mean stain was beading off the wood. but i’ll go a little coarser and less this time. You can make that conditioner in the shop! mix a little varnish, with a little mineral spirits and you are in there! try it out i reduce the varnish like 6 or 8:1 with spirits and it works pretty good. read an article in WOOD about it. THanks again for the quickness!

-- I know its around here somewhere...

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CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3686 days


#3 posted 05-31-2010 04:37 PM

There are three certainties in life: Death, taxes, and staining maple is dicey. :-)

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

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tyskkvinna

1310 posts in 2454 days


#4 posted 05-31-2010 05:24 PM

Yeah, maple is a pain to stain evenly. It is why when I work in maple I almost always just seal it, rather than stain it.

I’ve had decent luck doing a pre-conditioner on maple. Also it seems to work the best for me, if I stick in the lighter stains rather than going for the dark walnut and mahogany colours. Cherry and pecan stain have served me pretty good with maple.

I’ve never burnished wood with 220?! Maybe it was the particular wood? I usually go to 220, just because it’s a size that’s easy to find in a Box Store. I feel 120 doesn’t look smooth enough for my taste.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

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a1Jim

115207 posts in 3045 days


#5 posted 05-31-2010 05:39 PM

If your trying to smooth out your finish 100 grit will just cut through it. Sanding the project with to fine of sand paper makes it all but impossible for the stain to get through. If you want to put a more even coat of finish on apply a 1lb coat of dewaxed shellac let dry and sand to 220 and try some more finish. Finishing is the key to making any project look good. You might invest in one or both of Charles Neils “finishing a-z beyond the books ” or its “all about Color” . If your selling you work it’s an investment you can’t do with out.

http://shop.charlesneilwoodworking.com/Finishing-A-to-Z--Beyond-the-Books-4010-Disc-Set41_p_8.html

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3131 days


#6 posted 05-31-2010 06:59 PM

I got a little ‘education’ about sanding on a recent project I built using #2 pine.

I sanded it to 320-grit, then applied a pre-stain sealer, which is supposed to even out the stain and prevent blotching.

I had a H#!! of a time getting the color and consitency right on the oil-based thin stain. Between the 320-grit sanding and the pre-stain, the wood wouldn’t take the stain. I finally re-sanded with 180-grit, then applied a gel stain. Finally got it looking half-way decent.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Kathy

210 posts in 2390 days


#7 posted 06-01-2010 02:10 PM

Wow! I had no idea. I am certainly learning a lot on this site. I always sand to 220 and have not had issues with staining, but it sounds great to me that I only need to go to 120. No problem leaving out a step!

-- curious woodworker

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3131 days


#8 posted 06-01-2010 02:54 PM

120 may not be enough … 180 is more likely what you need.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3686 days


#9 posted 06-01-2010 03:46 PM

I guess it’s worth mentioning here…. If you only sand to 120, this will help your staining on maple, true enough. But by doing this, you are losing out on one of the nicest features of working with maple in the first place. That is the fact that you can sand it down to 600 or more and get a really beautiful, glass-smooth finish (as long as you’re not staining).

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

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TheWoodsmith

108 posts in 2388 days


#10 posted 06-02-2010 07:34 AM

Good point charlieM, maple does look mighty nice that way, its just that customers always always say they want maple or birch stained dark, and the customer is always right i guess. Unfortunatly for me the customer happens to be taxing my patience! haha. I dont know if this makes a difference in this case but i’m using soft maple.. maybe that is playing into the issues i’m having. If the stain takes well this time i plan on a wipe on poly and wax any issues there?

-- I know its around here somewhere...

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