What the %$^&*# is this

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Forum topic by Nick_R posted 10-16-2013 12:27 AM 1866 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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152 posts in 1840 days

10-16-2013 12:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource question lathe

Every so often when I turn some wood I get what I though was tear out. But this happens every so often and I cannot sand it out. It seems to go through and through.

Believe me I have tried sanding and sanding and sanding, even down to 50 grit!

The marks just stay…

Any smart Jocks out there that can help me.?

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

18 replies so far

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2678 days

#1 posted 10-16-2013 12:29 AM

Is the wood green?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1583 days

#2 posted 10-16-2013 02:15 AM

Is that soft maple?

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9788 posts in 2071 days

#3 posted 10-16-2013 07:25 AM

That looks like endgrain but I get the same problem sometimes. No matter how much I sand it doesn’t go away and finer grits make it worse. Wet sanding with wax or oil helps. I’ve also used sanding sealer then gave it a light sanding and that helps.


View bobasaurus's profile


3114 posts in 2875 days

#4 posted 10-16-2013 07:32 AM

Sometimes you just get really soft patches that don’t want to sand smooth. The only thing you can do is stabilize them with a finish… maybe something like polyurethane that will harden rapidly with friction heat. Then resume sanding like normal.

Edit: Thin CA glue should work well for stabilizing, too.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

24982 posts in 2029 days

#5 posted 10-16-2013 09:49 AM

I use CA to soft spots helps a bunch.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Nick_R's profile


152 posts in 1840 days

#6 posted 10-16-2013 07:01 PM

Thanks for the replies. The wood is Ash.. and is not green. It happens on many different types of wood. I have heard the term “stabilized wood” before.. Just don’t know what it means.

I will try the ca glue but does that affect the finish…

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9788 posts in 2071 days

#7 posted 10-16-2013 07:19 PM

Depends. CA glue is hard and can be glossy. If finishing with lacquer or blonde shellac it’s probably not an issue. Oil won’t absorb and the CA will show. Thinned varnish doesn’t seem to be bothered.


View toddl1962's profile


29 posts in 1620 days

#8 posted 10-16-2013 07:27 PM

My experience with Ash is the same as yours and I think Ash is particularly bad about this. I don’t turn wood but I see the same issue after edge routing. It is frustrating.

-- Todd

View bobasaurus's profile


3114 posts in 2875 days

#9 posted 10-16-2013 07:32 PM

I like to just prefinish the whole bowl after rough sanding, friction cure it with a rag, then proceed with sanding as normal. That way everything is fairly stable for the rest of the sanding. If you sand through, you might have to do this again.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Avg_Joe's profile


66 posts in 1430 days

#10 posted 10-18-2013 07:54 PM

Nick … Please post a follow-up… maybe a picture of final result… I’d love to hear what the %$^&*# you decided that it was… :) and how you resolved it! Good luck!

View Ron Ford's profile

Ron Ford

202 posts in 1423 days

#11 posted 10-18-2013 09:12 PM

Cap’n Eddie Castelin ( Vince Welch ( given me great tips that have worked well for me in the past. If you haven’t seen their websites, check them out. Lots of great information on both.

Mix up a solution of 25% lacquer and 75% lacquer thinner, then brush it on the areas giving you trouble. It will raise and stabilize the grain and should help you get past the marks. It also helps to power sand at a low speed in reverse if you have a variable speed, reversing lathe.

Hope this helps!


-- Once in awhile I make something really great. Most days I just make sawdust.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4717 posts in 3651 days

#12 posted 10-18-2013 09:16 PM

What tooling are ya using? Are you using a shear cut with a very sharp bowl gouge?


View Nick_R's profile


152 posts in 1840 days

#13 posted 10-20-2013 07:38 PM

Hi jocks… I cannot post a follow up picture since I gave the bowl to a friend. I gave it to him as is with the flaws although he did not think they were important.

I will try the ca glue or lacquer next time I run across this issue.. I will post before and after.

The tools I used on this were the easy woodworking carbide tools with FRESH blades. So I don’t think sharpness was an issue.

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

View Wildwood's profile


2066 posts in 1825 days

#14 posted 10-20-2013 08:18 PM

Before running off to buy more tools have a look at these videos at this site:

Think will find the answer to your problem.

-- Bill

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9788 posts in 2071 days

#15 posted 10-21-2013 03:46 AM

Nick, my EWT’s came with blades that were not very sharp. At the time I had never used carbide cutters before and people were telling me they just aren’t as sharp as HSS. Well after buying replacement cutters I realized just how dull they were so I wouldn’t take it for certain they are sharp.

That said, I worked on a maple bowl today that was having terrible tear out and I had to switch to carbon steel tools to deal with it. Even then there was still a tiny bit but it sanded out in a jiffy.


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