Steel Wool and All Those Pores

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Forum topic by Eric posted 07-17-2008 05:46 AM 2124 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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875 posts in 4018 days

07-17-2008 05:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: steel wool residue

I noticed that when buffing my recent project with steel wool (00000), there seems to be residue being left in the open pores of the wood. I’ve tried using a toothbrush to get it out, but I’m not satisfied with that.

Is there an alternative to steel wool, or a better way to remove the residue? All I need to do is take off some of the gloss, so would just a nice soft cloth do the same thing?

-- Eric at

10 replies so far

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3952 days

#1 posted 07-17-2008 06:20 AM

You might want to try a Scotch-Brite pad; they leave no residue. Steel wool will also interact with any water you might have in a finish, leaving black specks. I avoid it.

-- Have a blessed day!

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875 posts in 4018 days

#2 posted 07-17-2008 06:23 AM

The Scotch-Brite doesn’t leave scratch marks?

-- Eric at

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4231 days

#3 posted 07-17-2008 08:47 AM

The standard green stuff is pretty coarse (like the kind used for pots and pans), you have to get the “super fine” gray stuff that is similar to steel wool…

Check this out:

Also, check out the Mirka Mirlon product/s:

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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875 posts in 4018 days

#4 posted 07-17-2008 08:58 AM

View Grumpy's profile


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#5 posted 07-17-2008 09:46 AM

a painters tack cloth might help.
Eric, are you talking about bare wood or painted?.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4018 days

#6 posted 07-17-2008 09:53 AM

View CharlieM1958's profile


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#7 posted 07-17-2008 02:36 PM

The big box stores sell sanding sponges. The finest one is great for knocking down a gloss or rubbing out nibs.

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

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4002 days

#8 posted 07-17-2008 02:38 PM

i heard this from charles neil. haven’t tried it out yet but try using a brown paper bag. he said that it is equivalent to around 4000 grit.

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768 posts in 3907 days

#9 posted 07-17-2008 07:02 PM

I use swiffer duster pads to remove dust and steel wool leavings and general cleanup before applying finish. They work GREAT.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4225 days

#10 posted 07-18-2008 12:56 AM

Don’t forget that there is also Bronze wool. The local hardware store carries it in stock and it works great. In my experience it doesn’t seem to be as brittle and leave little pieces behind. A friend who does a lot of marine work suggested it to me….

Take a look at this Link. You can also just google Bronze wool for a ton more info.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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