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Removing fine scratches from a maple desk

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Forum topic by vernelee posted 02-14-2013 08:45 AM 739 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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vernelee

3 posts in 675 days


02-14-2013 08:45 AM

I just completed building a small drop top writing desk out of maple and am getting ready to apply a finish. I am in the process of sanding before applying the final finish. I plan on using a dye with a rub on gel poly. During the sanding process I have noticed fine scratches and am having a heck of a time removing them. I have used 60-100-220 sandpaper and am not sure if I’m going to live long enough to remove all the scratches by sanding. Any suggestions or do just keep sanding?


9 replies so far

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Dallas

3194 posts in 1234 days


#1 posted 02-14-2013 02:29 PM

Sounds to me like you are skipping too many grits.

You cannot remove scratches from 60 grit by using 100 grit. You’ll need 80 grit.

You cannot remove scratches from 100 grit with 220 grit…. you need to go from 100 to 120 -150 to 180 and so on.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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woodman88

117 posts in 1396 days


#2 posted 02-14-2013 02:54 PM

I agree You cant sand out 100 grit scratches with 220. You need to use at least 150. I generally use 120 150 then 180 before 220 on my Maple projects. might be overkill but it works for me. I most of the time start with 100

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1906 days


#3 posted 02-14-2013 02:57 PM

Get a card scraper and learn to sharpen and use it.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1034 days


#4 posted 02-14-2013 02:59 PM

If it were walnut or some open grain, you could get away with it, but not maple. Is this hard maple or soft?
Are you using a ROS?

Dallas, 100 will remove 60 scratches, just depends on how long you space out while sanding it. :)

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

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Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2141 days


#5 posted 02-14-2013 03:02 PM

scrapers always work wonders for me, the finest shavings and finish you can ever get!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1034 days


#6 posted 02-14-2013 03:02 PM

Also, I found that if I need to use 60g on a board, should probably run it through the planer or hand plane it. I’ve been known to cut a board into 12” segments just to plane it and then glue it back together, lol. The more you put into it the better it looks.
Some woods, (soft) look better sanded down and others (mostly hard) look better just planed.

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

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1906 days


#7 posted 02-14-2013 03:03 PM

BTW, I would have never used 60 grit to begin with. Good way to scratch up an already decent surface. Use sandpaper on wood to remove tooling marks…if the tooling marks are so bad to require 60 grit paper, then you need new milling tools (or handplanes and scrapers).

I normally sand with 120 grit to start (180 grit for end grain), if I use sandpaper at all. I end with 120 unless I decide on a natural oil finish (whereas I might sand to 400 or so). Once a film finish is applied, you can sand it to higher grits than the original 120. Smoothness comes by sanding the finish, not the wood.

Experiment with it on scrap…you’ll see what I mean.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1034 days


#8 posted 02-14-2013 03:06 PM

Sorry to add so many comments but I’m on painkillers this morning and it’s hard to think.
If you use a ROS, don’t let it contact wood till its running. If you hold it on the work and turn it on, or turn it off, you will get swirlies.
Don’t apply pressure and use all the grits to get to 240.

I’ve learned that you should never use a grit stronger than about 180 on a large surface. The lower grits tend to make the surface uneven with dips where you took out too much.

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

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waho6o9

5286 posts in 1324 days


#9 posted 02-14-2013 03:59 PM

+1 for card scrapers.

Practice your finishes on scrap first.

Read up on Charles Neil’s techniques to perfect your finish. No sense messing
up your fine work. Charles is also a LJ member as well.

Some folks shine a light across their work to check for imperfections. And, welcome to
LJ’s Vernelee!

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