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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 04-02-2012 09:21 PM 1096 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1754 days


04-02-2012 09:21 PM

I really just need to check out what I’m doing against some of you other experienced woodworkers.

I love white pine, most of the stuff I make is out of that wood. It’s easy to work and shape and with Charles Neil’s pre color conditioner the finishing fear gone.

I realize that different wood requires different sanding methods.

Here’s what I’ve been doing on these Adirondack chairs. After I have my wood cut, I’m going over each piece with a small (Black and Decker Mouse) vibrating sander with 50 grit. I go against the grain to cut down to virgin wood, then I use the same 50 grit to smooth it out sanding with the grain. This puts a good finish on the wood.

After the 50 Grit, I use Skil vibrating sander with a 150 grit to smooth it out even further.

Is there a better way to sand pine?

Now bear in mind this is all before any pre conditioner or stain goes on. I use 280 grit and 600 grit after the pre conditioner and between coats of stain and spar to smooth out the wood fibers that lift due to being wet, not in a sander either, all by hand.

What I’m finding is that pine is such a soft wood that it’s hard to get that polished look out of it. You can make it look and feel ‘soft’ but not real polished.

If you have any photos of pine projects that you’ve gotten a good polished look out of, let me see it and tell me the steps you took to finish it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.


13 replies so far

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#1 posted 04-02-2012 09:55 PM

Russ
I would not start with a 50 grit to start with pine 100 or 120 is fine and then work through the grits 150 and 180 all with the grain then apply CN conditioner and sand to what ever he suggest on the container and add the second coat as prescribed, then apply your finish (Spar varnish ?) after it’s dry then sand to 600grit hundred repeat with a light coat of finish and sand with 1000grit then I would use some super fine rubbing compound with a buffer(if you don’t have a buffer you can use a ROS with a soft cloth like a diaper,after that hand rub some good furniture wax and buff by hand. At this point you should have a very glossy mirror like finish. I would suggest you try it out on a sample board first.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1754 days


#2 posted 04-02-2012 10:01 PM

Jim, how do you apply the rubbing compound to the wood? Can you go over that part in more detail, I’ve never done it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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Gene Howe

8262 posts in 2895 days


#3 posted 04-02-2012 10:27 PM

I use Mother’s Heavy Duty Rubbing compound. 3M, as well as several other folks make and sell it, too.
I just dribble a little on a 18-24” square section (experience will tell you how much to dribble) and use a 5” ROS and soft cloth to buff it. A light touch here!
Jim didn’t mention it, but a haze will form. I just wipe it down with a dry cloth before applying the wax.
IMHO, it’s the next best thing to a French polish.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#4 posted 04-02-2012 10:49 PM

It’s pretty much like Gene said except I feel super heavy duty compound is to course given that you have sanded to 1000 grit. Rubbing compound comes in three grits super heavy duty heavy duty and fine. I would use the fine and given it’s going to be outside and if your using Spar varnish I would forget the wax.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1754 days


#5 posted 04-02-2012 11:44 PM

I used Spar Varnish on the last couple, but I’d like a more natural finish on the one I’m making now. I think I’ll use the compound and the wax. I have an old circular buffer I got from my dad’s. It’s old enough to be shiny metal. It should do the job. I’ll need to pick up some fine compound and a couple of pads tomorrow.

Jim, on this next chair I’m making, I’ve increased the leg room by a couple inches and rounded off the end to fit under the knee better. I also made it recline more. Exactly how much remains to be seen because I have a couple inches to play with while I’m building it. I like having the arms wrap around the back as an upper back support, but the measurements are not set in stone. I have a couple inches of play when the back slats are connected to the lower bracket, before I put on the upper bracket that connects to the arms. All these angled band saw cuts are driving me crazy.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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RogerM

764 posts in 1866 days


#6 posted 04-03-2012 12:02 AM

Russ – As already stated, starting with 50 grit is way too course for pine or just about any other wood. Instead of the rubbing compound for the finish coats try some of the higher grit you can get from Klingspor Abrasives www.woodworkingshop.com/. Some of these are available for most ROM’s up to 1500 grit. In addition, while pine is nice to learn on it is often difficult to finish. In your area, consider trying to locate some hardwood mills and trying some poplar, oak, and walnut. These are much nicer woods to work with and you don’t have to deal with all of the pine resin gumming up your equipment.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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Dusty56

11806 posts in 3155 days


#7 posted 04-03-2012 12:07 AM

You don’t mention if your wood has already been planed by you , or possibly store bought S4S.
Did you buy rough-sawn Pine , and is that your reason for starting with 50 grit ?
Another thing to keep in mind when sanding is not to jump so far ahead in the grits you choose.
Getting the 50 grit scratch marks out of the wood with 150 grit paper is too time consuming and wasteful.
There are a lot of grits that you skipped between 50 and 150. Each successive grit removes the scratch marks from the previous grit, and there is such a thing as over sanding an item, especially if you’re applying stains or dyes and also , your top coat needs something to hold on to in order to remain intact. High Gloss finish on an outdoor project won’t last very long due to exposure to the elements. Best wishes : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#8 posted 04-03-2012 12:46 AM

Russ
If you basically just use wax as a finish then most of the process I suggested is not really pertinent because it involves finishing the finish and will not work on wax. Wax is not really a finish and offers little protection. On the other hand if you use woods like cedar, cypress or redwood a finish is not really necessary because these woods hold up for years with out finish. Some folks advocate using oils as a finishes but in my experience they are not much of a finish and don’t last long.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1754 days


#9 posted 04-03-2012 03:43 PM

Jim, the wood is store bought, the best I could find in 1x’s. Pine has a dullness to it which is why I use 50 grit. I cross sand the grain to even it out seeing I don’t have a planer. It really doesn’t need to be planed much, just smoothed out. There are stamps and blemishes which the 50 grit takes right out. So you could say I’m using the 50 grit to lightly plane the wood. 50 grit seems to work fast to get down to good wood.

I think one of the problems with pine is that when you use any liquid on it, the fibers raise a little, so no matter what you did before in the way of sanding for a smooth finish gets lifted when it’s wet. CN talks about this in his videos.

The chairs I’m building now are only prototypes for viewing. All chairs sold will be made to order so the customer can have a choice of finishes and wood type. In fact, I’m still working on the design to make it more comfortable sitting for long periods. I think this latest chair will be the one. I’ve seen some at Lowes that a guy made out of aromatic cedar, which look really good, but they are very expensive to make out of that wood, and just regular cedar is so uneventful that I can hardly bring myself to buy some. Teak is out of the question. In this economy you have to be able to make one of these that will sell for around $200 or you’re not going to sell many.

I can’t help thinking that I need to make one out of walnut, because I have about 90 BF of 15/16 sitting in my shop at the moment. I was hoping to make some tables out of that, but seeing I have a local connection for all the walnut I can haul for 3.45 a BF, I may just have to try it out. I’ve never worked with walnut before and I’m sure it will be much much different than pine.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#10 posted 04-03-2012 04:21 PM

Russ
I can’t imagine that Incense cedar or Ipe costing more than $3.45 BF have you investigated deck material? Another material that’s very cost effective if your going to paint your chairs is poplar,it’s a very economical wood ,it takes paint well and is harder than most pines and mills up very well. The 50grit thing(particularly cross grain) seems like a very awkward way to go about getting rid of defects, normally you would use a belt sander with the grain if you don’t have a planner or jointer, one or both should be on your shopping list if your going to make any quantity of your chairs . Walnut is a unique Idea even though it’s spendy because I don’t think I’ve seen a walnut Adirondack chair before,so it might be a stand out . As you already know you just keep your cost in line to make a descent profit. As far as the grain raising on the pine that’s pretty much par for the course for most woods,it’s customary to dampen you wood with a sponge let it dry and do a very light sanding before applying a finish to minimize the grain raising problem.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1754 days


#11 posted 04-03-2012 04:43 PM

Jim
I have two belt sanders, one is a bench sander I picked up at HF and the other is a portable belt sander. The bench sander is only about 14 inches so you have to flip the work around to sand both sides of a board longer than 14 inches. The portable is a bit unwieldy to use on the smaller work like seat slats. What I need to do is build a bench where I can incorporate my portable belt sander right into a bench so I can sand any length. The sanding part of the project is taking me more than a day as it is, and needs to become more efficient. One of the things I’ve learned is that the finishing part is going to take up much more time and space than I had originally thought, so the shop needs to be arranged to accommodate this. I’m glad I have you experienced guys to fall back on.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Dragonsrite's profile

Dragonsrite

136 posts in 2864 days


#12 posted 04-03-2012 04:59 PM

Russ,

You said ”... can incorporate my portable belt sander right into a bench …”
You may want to consider this idea, a V-drum sander from one of our own, here at LJs…

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/20482

-- Dragonsrite, Minnesota

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1754 days


#13 posted 04-03-2012 06:53 PM

Looks interesting. I might look into it, but I’d probably build my own box. I do have a motor sitting around doing nothing. I’d probably have to gear it down a bit. The parts are pretty expensive.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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