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Expert's Corner — finer

Woodworking Tip: Wood Prep and the Look of a Finish

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Woodworking Tip: Wood Prep and the Look of a Finish

The way you prepare the wood for finishing, whether by sanding as most do, or by scraping or planing as some do, has no affect on the way the wood will look with the finish applied. Different finishes add more or less color to the wood, but if you aren’t staining the wood, the way you prepare it has no impact on the appearance under any single finish. Nor does the grit to which you sand the wood make any difference for the appearance with the finish applied. You can sand to120 grit or to 600 grit and you won’t...

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TIP: Washboarding

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TIP: Washboarding

The accompanying picture shows a very bad case of “washboarding,” the compressions left by jointers and planers, especially when they are not adjusted well, as is the case here. Washboarding is highlighted by a stain; it isn’t disguised or hidden. So it has to be totally sanded out before staining if you don’t want it to show.To remove washboarding efficiently, begin sanding with a coarse-enough grit sandpaper to sand through the problem efficiently, without creating larger than necessary scratches that then need to be sanded out. In this particularly bad case, you might actually begin with 60 grit, which is...

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TIP: Sanding with a Random Orbit Sander

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TIP: Sanding with a Random Orbit Sander

There are two large categories of random orbit sanders: electric and pneumatic (compressed air.) Both work well, though you need a fairly large compressor to power a pneumatic sander adequately. Random orbit sanders are easy to use; you don’t need much instruction. But there are two general rules to keep in mind for achieving the best results: Let the weight of the sander do the work. If you press down on it, you’ll leave deeper and more obvious “squigglies” that then have to be sanded out. Simply move the sander slowly over the surface in some pattern that covers all...

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