How to Sand Wood

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Sanding is a part of a process that can't be rushed if you want your project done right. The following will show you how to sand wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Varying grades of sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • Sanding sponge
  • Water and sponge
  • Use sandpaper on a padded sand block when sanding flat surfaces. You can also purchase a sponge covered in sandpaper, which is great for curved surfaces.

  • Run the sanding block over the wood going along the grain in long strokes while putting light, even pressure on the block. Putting too much pressure on the sanding block can cause the wood to be uneven along the edges of the block.

  • Brush off the sandpaper when it becomes clogged. Change the paper when it begins to wear and becomes smooth.

  • Begin sanding the wood with coarse grit paper. Go from 3/0 grade to 4/0, 5/0 then fine 6/0 sandpaper. For very soft woods, skip 3/0 and start with grade 4/0. Sand the entire piece of wood with each grade of sandpaper before starting with the next grade and wipe off the wood between sanding.

  • Sand curved edges with a cut strip of folded sandpaper. Go around carvings carefully with a small piece of folded sandpaper, while pressing the sandpaper into the carvings. Use fine grit paper only, as too much sanding can damage the intricate carving and make it look blurred.

  • Wet the wood to raise the grain before you do your finish sanding. Sponge it down with water and let the wood dry thoroughly, then use very fine sandpaper, 5/0 or 6/0, to lightly sand the wood to a smooth finish.

  • Wipe the wood clean with a tack cloth to get rid of all debris.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not get veneers overly wet in case the glue that holds them together is water soluble.

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