Sanding Hardwood Question

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Forum topic by MilFlyer posted 06-09-2014 01:08 AM 974 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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924 posts in 1698 days

06-09-2014 01:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sanding question

Hi all!

I am in need of some help and you guys are my only hope! No exxageration…I’m stationed in South Korea and still haven’t found another woodworker who speaks english. lol.
Okay, so I’m working on a coffee table for the wife and have incorporated a few pieces of wood from the local construction lumber supplier outside the base. I am having some problems and hoping that you guys can help me solve two of them.
First, my friend at the yard tells me that this is a Brazillian hardwood but is not sure of the name. It came to him cut in roughly 4”x48” inch lengths and looked to be ready for some sort of molding or chair rail kind of purpose. I’ve looked through some of the woodsuppliers and the closest I seem to be able to find is Wenge, but it looks like that comes from Africa. Can any of you identify from the picture I’m attaching?
Second…I’m still relatively young in woodworking and my sanding skills don’t seem to be up to this particular piece of wood. I had to plane this hardwood down to be the same thickness as all the other boards on the table. I then hit it with 80grit on the RO sander because it was still a couple of millimeters too thick but now the wood face seems really “washed out”. And Hitting it with 100 or 120 doesn’t seem to be clearing up the scratch lines. I’m hand sanding now but can’t seem to fix this. Does hardwood need a different approach than what I’m doing? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

6 replies so far

View Wolfdaddy's profile


300 posts in 1860 days

#1 posted 06-09-2014 01:23 AM

That looks like ipe to me. It is definitely pretty hard stuff. As far as sanding goes, 80 grit is fairly coarse. You’ll need to work your way through the grits to get a nice finish on that. start with your 80 grit, then go to your 100 or 120, sanding with the finer grit until the coarser scratches go away. Also be sure to keep your paper from loading up too much. The dust particles will get stuck in the paper and scratch your work piece even more.

-- "MOM! I think there's something under our house! I'm gonna need a jackhammer, a fish bowl, some air tanks, and maybe a few pipes."

View TheFridge's profile


9608 posts in 1512 days

#2 posted 06-09-2014 01:26 AM

I’d suggest a cabinet scraper. Once you finish with the scraper you might need to finish sand. Take a look at some scraper videos and see if this is what you need.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5705 posts in 2839 days

#3 posted 06-09-2014 02:01 AM

That looks like Wenge to me too. It is beautiful stuff, and looks great under a finish.

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

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#4 posted 06-09-2014 02:07 AM

I agree the first photo looks like Ipe,but many times to get ride of scratches you need to go rougher with say 60 grit and sand it until most of the scratch is gone,most of your time is spent on the courser grits and less and less on the finer grits.Work through the grits 60,80,100,120,150 grit. It’s a good idea to wear long sleeves and use a respirator or dust mask because some folks are allergic to Epi saw dust.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Spike_dawg's profile


13 posts in 2112 days

#5 posted 06-09-2014 02:21 AM

Nice piece of wood! Please post a picture of the table when completed.

View MilFlyer's profile


924 posts in 1698 days

#6 posted 06-09-2014 08:54 AM

Thank you all for the advice. I’ll get to the sanding then. Just wanted to bounce it off all of you before I jumped into it and ended up creating more work for myself before progress. lol And I’ll take a look at Ipe to see if that’s what this stuff is. I appreciate all of you taking the time to help me out on this!


-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

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