"Fuzziness" due to not enough sanding? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By SEMIJim
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 18 Old 01-16-2020, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 53
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
"Fuzziness" due to not enough sanding?

I am, and have been, working on a slab of cypress. A little background: the slab is approx 2'x3'. I sanded it through the grits (80,100,120,150,180,220,320,400,600) because I wanted a glossy finish. I am using an oil based finish, and it will work even sanding to 600. I am using a ROS.

Referring to the pictures (which make it look a bit worse then it actually looks to me)...I don't see swirl marks, but what I am describing as a "fuzziness" for lack of a better word. If you look at the piece from the side, it looks like a piece of glass. Glossy and reflective. But when you look at it from above you see this fuzziness. I'm wondering if this is the wood, or from a lack of sanding enough? Since it's glossy, if it is from lack of sanding I'm guessing that I didnt sand enough on a lower grit, and then kept going, so I'm seeing marks from the lower grit, but still getting the glossiness from the higher grits?

Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9081.jpg
Views:	24
Size:	309.5 KB
ID:	383617  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9079.jpg
Views:	24
Size:	304.7 KB
ID:	383619  

Labow is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 Old 01-23-2020, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 53
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
Well I guess if 70 people have viewed this post and there are no responses that means either it's a dumb [obvious] question, or no one knows the answer. Would love to hear any thoughts
Labow is online now  
post #3 of 18 Old 01-23-2020, 05:17 PM
Moderator
 
John Smith_inFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 1,510
View John Smith_inFL's Photo Album My Photos
the cypress that I work with is pretty soft.
unless you are using a sealer of some kind, it will always be fuzzy.
do you have a half-sheet inline sander ?
what are your expectations ?
how are you going to finish the slab ?

-- 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; 01-23-2020 at 05:21 PM.
John Smith_inFL is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 18 Old 01-23-2020, 05:46 PM
Member
 
SEMIJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 98
View SEMIJim's Photo Album My Photos
Disclaimer: I am by no stretch of the imagination an authority in either the behavior or wood nor finishing it.

Many moons ago, when I thought to make fine woodworking a hobby, I took several classes at a nearby-ish Woodcraft. One of the classes I took was on sharpening. There I learned of scrapers and how to sharpen them. The teacher of that class extolled the virtues of scrapers over sandpaper. The "fuzzies" you're talking about I distinctly recall being one such advantage. He claimed that one could achieve much better results with a properly-sharpened scraper than they ever could with sandpaper.
John Smith_inFL likes this.

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -- John Ruskin (1819-1900)
SEMIJim is offline  
post #5 of 18 Old 01-23-2020, 07:30 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 63
View B Coll's Photo Album My Photos
Maybe it is the photo's, but how many coats of finish do you have on it? It appears to not have much build. Is that the look you are trying to achieve? The finish, in the first few coats, is going to absorb into some areas of the soft Cypress.
B Coll is offline  
post #6 of 18 Old 01-23-2020, 08:10 PM
Senior Member
 
Pineknot_86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,939
View Pineknot_86's Photo Album My Photos
Labow, the only dumb question is the one not asked.
SEMIJim has a good point. My uncle helped with a woodworking class in high school. The teacher would take a piece of glass, score and break it. He would then use it as a scraper. Soft wood is a pain to sand. Tried turning a piece of something to practice CA finish for pens. Never could get rid of the fuzzies, even with a sharp skew.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
Pineknot_86 is offline  
post #7 of 18 Old 01-23-2020, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 53
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the responses.
John, what do you mean by a sealer? Yes, I have a half sheet sander. Are you thinking that would work better then an ROS on cypress? And I'll be finishing it with an oil based finish.

Regarding my expectations...that's a great question, and I'm not sure. I guess that's part of my problem due to my inexperience. I have this idea that the wood should look "clear" and the grain should look crisp (not sure if that makes sense), but because I dont have any/much past work to compare it to I don't really know if my expectations are realistic. I don't know what a piece of cypress sanded to 600 grit should look like. Maybe my piece is fine and that's how cypress looks. I just don't know.

Jim, I just bought my first scraper. I haven't even sharpened it yet. I've read things similar to what you're saying, which is what made me buy one. However, considering I've never used one before I'm a little nervous to use it on something like this slab of cypress until I have a bit of experience just playing with it on throwaway pieces.

Thanks again guys.
Labow is online now  
post #8 of 18 Old 01-23-2020, 10:49 PM
Moderator
 
John Smith_inFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 1,510
View John Smith_inFL's Photo Album My Photos
this may be one of those instances where a person over thinks the project.
I often see a situation where someone takes a rustic slice of a tree.
all rugged and beat up around the edges. then, they want the surface to be
museum quality smooth and beautiful.
in my opinion: you are building a table of some kind. a piece that will be used.
cypress is not the ideal wood for a table. it is soft. it dings and dents very easily.
if you are new to woodworking in general, finishing the project is just as important.
proper sealing of any wood will achieve the most favorable finished results.
you can wipe parts of the slab down with VM&P Naphtha to get an idea of what it
will look like with a clear hard finish on it.
in my personal opinion, sanding down to 400 grit is as far as I go. (often just 320).
sealing and finishing will be a whole new subject.
when you are completely finished processing your slab,
start a new thread on how to finish it. many knowledgeable folks here that can walk you through it.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --
John Smith_inFL is online now  
post #9 of 18 Old 01-23-2020, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 53
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
Sorry, somehow I didnt see the responses from B Coll and Pineknot before...to address their comments..

B Coll, There is no finish on it right now. I didn't want to start finishing it till I figured this out.

Pineknot...interesting. A piece of glass as a scraper. I wonder how long that would last before it got dull.

John...Me? overthink a project? never! Just kidding...yes, I overthink everything. I probably should have been done with this a month ago (at least). I said something like this in another post...I have to change the way I think about things. I'm planning to sell what I make, and so I'm trying to make it look like what I think people want to see instead of just making it, and then if someone likes the way it turns out they'll buy it.
But...I also don't want to turn out projects that look bad because of a lack of understanding on my part. So, I'm just trying to learn as I go.
I've finished a couple of other projects in the same fashion I will this one, and they've turned out nice, so while I'm still learning with every project, I am gaining some confidence in my finishing ability. But still reading a lot and learning what I can.

John, why did you ask about the half sheet sander? Do you think that would help?

So, if I'm understanding, I'm not doing anything "wrong", this is just how it goes with a softer wood using an ROS.
Labow is online now  
post #10 of 18 Old 01-24-2020, 12:07 AM
Moderator
 
John Smith_inFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 1,510
View John Smith_inFL's Photo Album My Photos
glad to see you are on your way to making it a profitable hobby !!
after the ROS - the 1/2 sheet sander will remove the swirl marks
and any imperfections that the ROS inflicted. leaving a nice flat surface.
sealing the grain locks the fibers solid - making subsequent coats of
the clear finish nice and smooth and blemish free.
looking forward to seeing more of your projects.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --
John Smith_inFL is online now  
post #11 of 18 Old 01-24-2020, 12:34 PM
Senior Member
 
BernieL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Greenville NH
Posts: 1,396
View BernieL's Photo Album My Photos
Late to jump in here - but yes, do learn to use scrapers. It would take a lot to ruin a board with a scraper as they simply cut the surface with a burr.


One problem is the wood and as pointed out, it is a soft wood. Add to that, your wood doesn't have a straight grain, there is a lot of different direction of the grain which makes it harder to smooth out.



One thing I do is I only sand to 180 - then I moisten the wood with a damp cloth and allow it to dry (about 20 min). Once it dries, lightly pass your hand over the piece and feel the fibers which popped up. Knock those off using a 220 grit on a hand sanding block.

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
BernieL is offline  
post #12 of 18 Old 01-24-2020, 12:59 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Posts: 1,008
View gmercer_48083's Photo Album My Photos
From the photo... I assume we are looking at the end grain (the end of a log).

Gary
gmercer_48083 is offline  
post #13 of 18 Old 01-24-2020, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 53
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
I'll give it a go with the sheet sander and see how it looks. Thanks John. I'll also try and remember to post a picture when it's done (and of other projects i've completed).

Bernie, Can you get tear out with a card scraper like you can with a hand plane? That's my worry. I'll also try your suggestions with water on my next project.

The reason I sand to such a high grit is that the finish I use doesn't sit on the surface, it soaks into the wood. therefore, there's no buildup on the surface, and the quality of the sanded surface is what you're going to end up with in the end.

Gary! yes! I forgot to say when I first started this post...it is end grain.
Labow is online now  
post #14 of 18 Old 01-24-2020, 08:01 PM
Senior Member
 
terryh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 217
View terryh's Photo Album My Photos
A properly sharpened card scraper is pretty foolproof as far as tear out is concerned. The shavings are razor thin and you can easily work in different directions depending on the grain. The main thing to be careful about is not to overwork an area. For sure the fuzzies will be gone.
terryh is offline  
post #15 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 12:35 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Posts: 1,008
View gmercer_48083's Photo Album My Photos
Labow, Since end grain are like the ends of bundled straws, I think since you have sanded to 600 grit... you have probable got it as smooth as you are going to get. I would put on a coat of finish, then sand it between coats. It will fill the voids between the straws so to speak and as you add layers of finish you will be happy. I don't think a card scraper will improve what you have already done. If you want to check the end grain for smoothness you can use a nylon stocking. It will snag any wild fibers as you rub it over the surface. That's my 2 cents worth.

Gary
gmercer_48083 is offline  
post #16 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 12:49 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Posts: 1,008
View gmercer_48083's Photo Album My Photos
When you sand or scrape... and look at the result under magnification, It looks as though you went over your lawn with a lawn roller. The fibers of the wood (lawn) get shorter with each finer sanding... but the are still pressed down and bent over. When you lay on the finish, it will fill the area between the fibers (lawn) and as it is wetted some of the fibers raise naturally, and after the finish hardens... some of the fibers (lawn) will still stick up beyond the finish. Once the first coat has hardened and you sand again, you effectively remove those fiber tips and the next coats of finish will pool above and build up a smooth finish. This is the simplest way I know of as a way of thinking by comparing it to a lawn. Hope this helps.

Gary
gmercer_48083 is offline  
post #17 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 07:07 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 442
View Larry Schweitzer's Photo Album My Photos
A cabinet scraper is a great device but I don't think you need one now on this piece. I'm not a fan of oil finishes for functional work. try this on a sample piece: about 1/3 or each: McFadens or any "Danish oil", urethane varnish, naphtha. Using a lint free rag saturate the wood until it won't take any more. Wipe the excess off. Let it dry overnight. Apply more of the finish mix, rub in with 220 wet & dry. What this does is cut off any raised fibers, creates a fine slurry of powdered wood and fills the open pores. Rub with a fine lint free clothe until the surface is "dry" (sort of.) Use a stroke similar to doing a French polish, never stopping a stroke on the surface, go off the edges. If you stop on the surface you will pull the "fill" out of the surface. Depending on how porous the wood is you may need to repeat the wet/dry with finish process quite a few times. Always let the surface dry over night between. After you have gotten a surface you like, do the last couple of applications with just the finish mix using a French polish method. You will have built a finish that is very durable and can be at what ever gloss level you want. If it comes out too shiny for your tastes, use the appropriate polishing compound to dull it. If the finish seems to be getting sticky too fast, add a little more naphtha to the mix. Lots of work but a great finish. BTW sanding to 600 is a total waste of time.
Larry Schweitzer is offline  
post #18 of 18 Old 01-27-2020, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 53
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
When you guys are saying that the finish will fill the voids, is this true even for an oil/wax based finish? I'm guessing no?

Larry, thanks for all that info. I try not to use anything derived from gas/petroleum on my projects, and instead opt for natural products that are food safe; no risk to anyone, especially children. And I know people think that once varnishes, etc are cured they're harmless, but I dont know why people think that, or where the proof is coming from. I'm a bit of an extremist about this kind of stuff, but I think about things like BPA that has been in plastic food containers and the lining of cans for years (and still is), but has been found to cause cancer. Doctors used to smoke while examining pregnant women. and so on. I just don't trust it, and I get a nice finish with what I use as long as the wood is where it needs to be before starting to finish it. anyways, no judgement or anything like that, just the way I do things.
Labow is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome