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Expert's Corner — sander

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: How to choose a sandpaper grit

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Sandpaper grits vary from very coarse to very fine. How do you choose which grit to use for any given situation? The answer is actually quite simple. In all cases you are using the sandpaper to remove a problem. So choose a grit that removes that problem efficiently without creating larger than necessary scratches that then have to be sanded out. For example, you would choose a coarser-grit sandpaper (#80 or #100) to remove severe washboarding caused by a jointer or planer but a finer grit (#120 or #150) on pre-sanded, veneered plywood or MDF. And you would begin sanding...

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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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