How to Sand Spindles


Spindles are usually single pieces of wood decorated with curves and knobs. Spindles are commonly used as legs for furniture, but they are also found as supports for railings and decks. The fact spindles have elaborate variations make them more difficult to sand than an ordinary (or straight) piece of wood. There are two ways to sand spindles. One is by hand, and the other is with a sander. There are also different kinds of spindle sanders.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandaper
  • Sanders
  • Tack cloth

By Hand

  • Remember that spindles must be sanded carefully. Buy sandpaper that is of a fine grade, not overly coarse.

  • Place the spindle so the grain of the wood runs vertically, if possible. Sanding against the grain can leave marks or scratches that can be permanent.

  • Place the sandpaper around the wood spindle, and pull the sandpaper back and forth. Change the angle of the sandpaper as you go along. Continue sanding until the wood is smooth. When sanding round parts on the spindle, use narrow strips of sandpaper to better sand at an angle.

  • Rub the sanded parts of the spindle with a tack cloth.

By Machine

  • Buy or rent a spindle sander. Spindle sanders are specifically designed to work on intricate pieces of wood that are round or curved. Oscillating spindle sanders are usually mounted on benches and work well because they go up and down, leaving the sanding surface free of grit. Oscillating sanders are used when the spindle is unattached. There are also detail spindle sanders. These are used when the spindle remains attached. Detail sanders are usually small and have different settings that are fitted with sandpaper, allowing you to sand in grooves and at angles.

  • Sand the spindle with long, smooth strokes. Do not push too hard or leave the spindle or sander in one place for too long. Make long sweeps and several passes when sanding a long piece of the wood. Continue sanding until the wood is smooth.

  • Rub the sanded parts of the spindle with a tack cloth.

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