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Sanding Methods and Techniques

When you have a project that is dealing with wood sanding should be inevitable. The truth is sanding is time-consuming and results are subtle but make a mistake and skip sanding and you will be left with a wood project full of mill marks and dents that make the surface uneven and flawed. However, a good sanding either by sanding machine or hands removes mill marks which are caused by woodworking machines, dents, and uneven surfaces of the wood giving you a “wow factor”. However, to achieve the smooth feel one needs to understand the sanding process from the choice of the right sander to correct methods of sanding. Here we have outlined the three main sanding methods so keep reading this article.

The first method is using hands to back the sandpaper. One advantage of sanding by hand is that it gives you full control over the shaping and smoothing of the wood surface. It helps you address the edges and corners a sanding machine cannot easily access. Even when you have a sanding machine that does impeccable sanding you should do some sanding by hand. When you are sanding flat surfaces by hands make sure you use sanding blocks, you can buy one from a hardware store or make one from scrap wood. The sand block allows you to apply enough pressure on a surface and prevents the sandpaper from slipping for effective sanding. However, when you are sanding edges and curved surfaces forgo sanding block and use your hands to stand so that you can achieve a satisfying arc surface.

The other common method is the use of sanding machines that is vibrators and random orbit sanders. Most people prefer random orbit sanders because they are efficient, and they leave less visible scratch patterns, unlike vibrator sanders that can leave some marks on the surface especially when the surface is subjected to lights. The random sanders leave these visible patterns because of their randomness in their movement. It is recommended that when you are using a sanding machine to not press it down. Typically, gradually move the sander over the surface of the wood in a pattern that covers all the areas of the surface equally. It is also recommended that you finish with hand sanding to remove squiggles that sanding machines leave sometimes. This is normally done when you are doing your final sanding grit probably 180 or 220 particularly when you are applying a stain.

Sanding for finishing is also important because you need to apply the stain or a clear-coat on a smooth wood surface. A 220 grit paper is recommended for finishing. Once you sand the surface using 220 grit paper wipe down the surface with a wet sponge which helps in removing the grains making it easy to apply the stain effectively. Sanding with 220 grit sander paper is also efficient when you are planning to apply an oil finish to your woodwork. Those are some major methods of sanding and ideas of how to apply them.

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