Who doesn't like grits?

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Forum topic by TropicalWW posted 04-25-2011 05:17 PM 1296 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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39 posts in 2677 days

04-25-2011 05:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello All!

I’ve enjoyed lurking around for awhile, but now it’s time to ask some questions as I’m new to setting up shop. I’ve done some woodworking in the past, but never in my own shop. I’m finding that there are many things I’ve taken for granted in the past since I’ve always worked in well equipped shops. So, to get started with stupid questions, what grits of sandpaper to all of you keep on hand? Right now, I’m mostly working on shop furniture and outdoor projects, but I’d like to make sure I have what I need on hand for the future, too. So, when thinking about projects you’ve made out of domestic hardwoods, what grits of sandpaper should I stock?

Thanks so much for all your help!


14 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3687 days

#1 posted 04-25-2011 05:21 PM

I have 50, 80, 100, 120, 180, 220, and 320.

I seldom use anything coarser than 80 grit, and for most projects start with 80, then work through the grits up to 180 or 220.


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

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2663 days

#2 posted 04-25-2011 05:28 PM

Good Grief, I thought you were talking GRITS AND GRAVY. Now I’m hungry and have got to go eat.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#3 posted 04-25-2011 05:30 PM

For general cabinetwork I generally don’t go much over 150
grit when using orbital sanders. If you sand well through the
grits, scratches at 150 aren’t very noticeable.

When sanding finishes I use a lot of stearated sandpaper in
220-320 grit range.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3084 days

#4 posted 04-25-2011 05:31 PM

60 80 100 120 140 160 180 220 320 400

I will get couple of 1200 1500 grits also

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#5 posted 04-25-2011 05:49 PM

Most work in hardwoods I’ll scrape, then go through just 3
grits with an orbital: 100, 120, and 150. Then it’s ready for

I was a pro, so I don’t push sanding beyond the point where
the customer can tell the difference. 150 is about it.

When doing fine furniture, guitars and stuff like that, I hand plane,
scrape, and then scrape with razor blades. Fill holes. At that point
usually sanding is only needed in a few problem areas. A once over
with 180 grit with a hand sanding block to make the surface
uniform, and then finish.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2985 days

#6 posted 04-25-2011 06:18 PM

if the wood is planed and your joints are flush, then i see no reason to start below P120 then end with P180
if there are rough spots or uneven joints then i eventually start with P80, but i try to avoid that..

so to keep it cheap you can do pretty much anything with P80-120-180, and it’s always nice to have P60 and P240 for the occasion

View patcollins's profile


1685 posts in 2890 days

#7 posted 04-25-2011 11:03 PM

Heh in my part of maryland Grits are what dirtbags (people) are called.

View TropicalWW's profile


39 posts in 2677 days

#8 posted 04-26-2011 03:40 AM

Thank you all so much for your help!


View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3099 days

#9 posted 04-26-2011 04:51 AM

This is not a simple question. For hand sanding of wood I use 80, 100, 120, 180, 220 and 320. My belt sanders are essentially wood shapers and there I use 50 and 80. For sharpening chisels and irons, using the scary sharp method, I use 600, 1000, 1500 and 2000. For sanding between coats of finish I use 400. When using a random orbital sander (ROS) I usually use 120. 180 and 220. Note – I have a dual mode ROS and 220 on the fine mode compares to higher grits on other ROSs.

Now, to really screw your mind up, if I can, I don’t sand at all. A hand plane and/or a scraper can leave a surface that requires no sanding at all under most circumstances.

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

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2867 days

#10 posted 04-26-2011 05:06 AM

Oh. You aint talking about “Girls Raised In The South”, are ya?
I hoard every different grit sandpaper I can get, within reason. I have, right now, various grits of sandpaper, hand and to fit my various sanders, from 40 grit all the way up to 1000 grit.


View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2647 days

#11 posted 05-29-2011 01:23 PM

I love grits. Butter, salt, crumbled bacon…top 10 favorite.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2947 days

#12 posted 05-29-2011 01:28 PM

Brother had a dog named Grits.(little Jack Russell)

usually 100,120,150,180,220,320. most of the time I stop at 180.

-- Life is good.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7598 posts in 2825 days

#13 posted 05-29-2011 02:07 PM

If you’re just getting started, do yourself a favor and learn to properly sharpen and use a cabinet scraper instead of sanding. It will save your lungs and just feels good!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2718 days

#14 posted 05-29-2011 02:17 PM

I’m a scary sharp guy, so I have it all, 80 to 2000. I find 160, 220, and 320 most useful.
And second Stumpy. I only use sandpaper to sharpen plane irons. But I’ve got a Festool sander, just so I can hang out with the cool kids.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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