How much sanding is enough?

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Forum topic by rut posted 07-24-2012 12:24 PM 1018 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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81 posts in 1802 days

07-24-2012 12:24 PM

So I’m progressing on my kitchen cabinet project to the point I have all the carcasses built, the face frames put together, and just finished routing my stiles and rails for the raised panels.

I now notice that some of the stiles/rails are not completely smooth along the routed areas. There is some kinda rough feeling grain on the small curved section. So I’m thinking I need to sand this down to get it perfectly smooth for a decent paint job. Then I look at how many I have to do and I’m thinking this is going to take a week to sand these by hand.

I can’t help but think that most shops don’t do this or they have a specialized sander to do it. This is soft maple wood and I used new router bits (from Sommerfeld tools) and made 3 passes (from shallow to full cut).

So is this normal to still have to sand this much or will the primer help cover this and make it smooth and I should fuss too much on it? Is there a more expediate method to sand these sections?


8 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile


2284 posts in 1716 days

#1 posted 07-24-2012 12:35 PM

If it’s just a bit of fuzz and sandpaper doesn’t do much now, put a coat of finish on it to stiffen the grain, THEN sand it. As far as a mechanical sander, you’d probably have to look for the correct profile head for an oscillating tool (pricey?), but I would probably just hand sand with some kind of fine sanding sponge.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2389 days

#2 posted 07-24-2012 12:41 PM

It’s not that much of a chore really, use an abrasive with a light weight backing paper to follow the contour without rounding off the quirk. +1 on applying a coat of finish if the rough fibres are woolly.

View AandCstyle's profile


2538 posts in 1677 days

#3 posted 07-24-2012 11:34 PM

1. Put wax paper or plastic wrap on the profile. 2. Put Bondo on the paper or plastic. 3. Put a stick into the Bondo and let it harden. 4. Replace the paper or plastic with light weight sand paper and you will have a custom shaped sanding block. Try this on a bit of scrap first to get familiar with the process.

-- Art

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

180 posts in 1638 days

#4 posted 07-25-2012 12:19 AM

+1 on what Art said – it works like a charm.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 1684 days

#5 posted 07-25-2012 04:27 PM

+1 Art. Good thinking.

Also, just a piece of advice, don’t rush through things. If you’re taking the time to build cabinets, realize that all those finishing steps will probably take a good deal of time but the result will be great.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View StumpyNubs's profile


6830 posts in 2220 days

#6 posted 07-25-2012 04:29 PM

As a general rule, if you hit bench, you’ve gone too far…

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

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 1621 days

#7 posted 07-25-2012 10:28 PM

Festool makes a sanding kit which you could try for custom profiles like this. Pricey as expected.

Also I have used sticky back sandpaper I would put on the profile and had some big chunks of starfoam, rub the starfoam on the sandpaper and when you hit your desired profile, take some glue and brush on the starfoam, titebond glue dries and it will stiffen up a bit and put some sandpaper on it. Won’t last forever but should get the job done.

The bondo trick works well also but I would put a piece of wood for a makeshift handle of sorts and let it all set up. when done looks like some old time iron…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2438 days

#8 posted 07-26-2012 03:03 AM

If you want perfection, you have to do what is necessary!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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