Can Ripples in End Grain be Avoided? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-09-2019, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Can Ripples in End Grain be Avoided?

I have a piece of old growth redwood endgrain thatís about 32 inches across. The difference in hardness between the early wood in the latewood is causing the softer earlywood to get sanded away quicker, leaving a ripple effect. I donít necessarily mind the ripples, but the softer wood shows scratches that I cant get out.
This is my second go at this piece. I had it sanded to 320 or 400 the first time before I realized what was happening. Then I sprayed it with denatured alcohol to raise the grain, but I couldnt get it to raise enough to be even with the harder wood. I sprayed a little water on too, but had the same results. I thought about getting out an iron and spraying the piece with water and going over it with the iron to pull up the wood, but didnít end up doing that.
Then I decided to start over, got out the belt sander, and flattened it with 80 grit. Then I used my ROS with 100 and 120 grit, trying to sand as little as possible, and the ripples are already back.
Is there any way to avoid this? Will hand sanding change anything?
Thanks

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-09-2019, 05:51 PM
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You can sand it with an orbital sander with 80 grit but when you sand with finer grits it does wallow out the soft grain. You either have to use a disc sander or hand sand with a hard rubber block. You could also glue sandpaper to a piece of wood to sand with.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-09-2019, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. Why does hand sanding with a block work and a ROS doesnt? Because the ROS “pad” is too soft so it allows the sandpaper to dip down a bit? And a hard block obviously wouldnt do that
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-09-2019, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labow View Post
Okay. Why does hand sanding with a block work and a ROS doesnt? Because the ROS ďpadĒ is too soft so it allows the sandpaper to dip down a bit? And a hard block obviously wouldnt do that
Yes it's because the pad is soft and will bend down between the hard grain. If you did a lot of it you could put some velcro on a piece of 1/4" plywood cut in a 5" circle. Then use PSA sanding discs. The important thing is what ever backs up the sandpaper be rigid.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-09-2019, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Got it, makes sense. And I like the idea of the 5” round piece of plywood. I have another one of these to do, so it might be worth it to do that. Thanks for the help!
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-10-2019, 08:51 AM
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if you are going to be doing a lot of this type of work in the future,
you could look around for a half sheet sander. (online, pawn shops, etc).
it provides more surface area at a slower speed to give better results
and is much quicker and less tiresome than doing it by hand.
avoid sanding "with" the grain as much as possible with soft pad sanders.
the 1/3 sheet sanders are more common and cheaper. they have the
"clips" that hold the paper in place and that would facilitate putting a piece
of plastic between the sandpaper and foam pad. (even the 1/4 sheet palm
sander will work). the problem is the high RPM of the R/O and too much
unequal pressure while using it.

this is my Makita 1/2 sheeter I found on E-Bay for $35 with free shipping.
well worth the investment if you do a lot of flat-work sanding.
(the PVC pipe and dust bag is my addition).
Looking forward to seeing your finished project !!
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-10-2019, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labow View Post
I have a piece of old growth redwood endgrain thatís about 32 inches across. The difference in hardness between the early wood in the latewood is causing the softer earlywood to get sanded away quicker, leaving a ripple effect. I donít necessarily mind the ripples, but the softer wood shows scratches that I cant get out.
This is my second go at this piece. I had it sanded to 320 or 400 the first time before I realized what was happening. Then I sprayed it with denatured alcohol to raise the grain, but I couldnt get it to raise enough to be even with the harder wood. I sprayed a little water on too, but had the same results. I thought about getting out an iron and spraying the piece with water and going over it with the iron to pull up the wood, but didnít end up doing that.
Then I decided to start over, got out the belt sander, and flattened it with 80 grit. Then I used my ROS with 100 and 120 grit, trying to sand as little as possible, and the ripples are already back.
Is there any way to avoid this? Will hand sanding change anything?
Thanks

Attachment 376951
Do you mind telling us what you are making? I would be concerned about the cracks that are there and the cracks to come in the future. If the moisture content is too high you will have more cracks in the future. I hope the piece is dry enough so you will not have any more trouble.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-10-2019, 10:05 AM
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Hawkeye, look at his other posts.
this has been an ongoing project since Oct-2018
and it looks like he is in the final stages now.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 07-10-2019 at 11:26 AM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-10-2019, 10:16 AM
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it is also very likely that once you have flattened the surface well, that moisture is either entering the wood grain (if the wood was dried), or leaving the wood (if the wood is green-ish) which in both cases would have an effect on the surface flatness.

my recommendation would be to get it flat and apply a finish asap, to both faces.

my opinion is that sanding beyond 180 on a piece like that will have little advantage.

looking forward to seeing the finished project!
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-10-2019, 03:54 PM
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I agree about not sanding past 180. Wood block sanding will also help. If it still has minor dips you could build up the finish, sanding it flat with the block between coats.
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-11-2019, 10:42 AM
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The softer wood between the hard rings is sanding away faster. There is really no way to avoid this, but starting with a coarser grit will help.


Using a hard block will also help.



You will get better results with a hand plane and scraper.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-11-2019, 01:37 PM
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Not only that, but ......

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRobert View Post
The softer wood between the hard rings is sanding away faster. There is really no way to avoid this, but starting with a coarser grit will help.

Using a hard block will also help.

You will get better results with a hand plane and scraper.

Different cells in the wood itself dry at different rates, leaving higher and lower elements. Even if you didn't sand at all there would be slightly different height elements. Just roll with what you have and don't fret about it.
Wood dendrology is the scientific study of wood based plants:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendrology


cell structure:
http://www.ledyardsawmill.org/logs-lumber/wood-science

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 07-11-2019 at 01:51 PM.
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