Swirl Marks

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Forum topic by lexxx07 posted 01-30-2013 04:16 PM 924 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 1387 days

01-30-2013 04:16 PM

How to get rid of them, How to prevent them.

9 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8522 posts in 2737 days

#1 posted 01-30-2013 04:20 PM

on what? using what?

(what finish? how many layers? how do you apply finish? when do you notice them?)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Earlextech's profile


1155 posts in 1779 days

#2 posted 01-30-2013 04:24 PM

They’re most likely coming from your random orbit sander. Never start or stop the ROS when in contact with wood. Never skip grits(except for breakfast). Never apply weight or force on the ROS, let it do the work. When done with the ROS, sand by hand with the last grit you used, with the grain.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


6392 posts in 1665 days

#3 posted 01-30-2013 04:33 PM

Or, a card scraper with the grain.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 1773 days

#4 posted 01-30-2013 04:44 PM

earlextech has a good clue. The ROS is often mis-used. I have to say that my old PC hand-held has never given me a problem because it simply won’t do anything if downward pressure is applied. It’s big sister (the one that looks like an angle grinder) is a different matter.

on bare wood I start at 80 grit and finish at 220. never have to hand sand at all. finished surfaces I only use steel wool. I use mostly water-based poly and I find machine sanding takes too much material away. just my personal approach of course.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3060 posts in 1581 days

#5 posted 01-30-2013 04:59 PM

After the final pass with an ROS, I always sand a few hand strokes with a block in the direction of the grain.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Manitario's profile


2386 posts in 1971 days

#6 posted 01-30-2013 08:12 PM

As others have said; make sure you sand through all the grits thoroughly with the ROS; I use 80-100-150-220 and never have had a problem with swirl marks.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View pintodeluxe's profile


4185 posts in 1901 days

#7 posted 01-30-2013 09:48 PM

I have never had any issues with swirl marks from either my Dewalt or Bosch ROS.

If you wax a piece of furniture with steel wool in a circular motion, that will cause swirl marks.

I guess you need to give us more to go on.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


930 posts in 1443 days

#8 posted 01-31-2013 08:25 AM

First get a high rpm random orbit sander, they for one will sand better and on the other faster. second make sure to go through your sanding steps thouroughly, after you you get done hold them up to the light and scan along the side of the wood, you should be able to see most of the scratches this way, unfortunately words fail me on exactly how to do this last part :/

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Purrmaster's profile


899 posts in 1181 days

#9 posted 01-31-2013 09:49 AM

If you sand up to a higher grit the swirl marks a random orbit sander leave aren’t as visible. The best thing to do is do a final hand sanding, as suggested. And don’t skip too many grits. I’ve always sanded with 60-100-150-220 and have yet to have a problem. Some people add in 120 and 180 and 80l

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