You have to sand in stages. LOTS and LOTS of stages. Even on my trinket boxes I use 6 different grits, and I only work for my own pleasure.
If you went sideways with 60, you would need 80, 100, 120, 140, etc etc to get back to 240 or 320.
And each time, you have to sand untill ALL of the coarser scratches are gone. Listen closely and you can hear the noise change when the paper reaches optimum smoothness
When smoothing boards that have been glued together, think of it as a flattening process. Any ridges need to be taken down over a wide area, otherwise you'll get dips or gullies that show and look bad. Traditionalists use hand planes diagonally across the joints and its still a reasonable approach and it can be quick. I usually use my trusty belt sander and work across the grain in a wide pattern, then finish with the grain to get out scratch marks before moving on to smaller sanders and higher grits. Cabinet scrapers are also handy for getting scratches out, but that's another topic.
So, yes sanding across the grain is necessary sometimes. Good for you for being attentive to the details.
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud
You might not be there yet in your woodworking, but Frost's advise about planes is spot on!
It really should be understood as the foundational method for such work if really "into" the craft and enjoyment of woodworking.
Planes are fast and very easy to use once you just give them a bit of time. Even rough work with a plane is pretty smooth if the blades are sharp and the plane is set up and used properly. If I do have to do any sanding, its typically after I have planed something. As such, the grit I get to sand with is super fine...anything from 300 to 600 range as the plane did the brunt of the work...
Now IF you (all) will notice ....there's a pattern here AND ALL are correct PROVIDED you follow the correct stages/actions to make them work. I will only touch lightly on them as ALL are indepth BUT they ALL are intertwined to each other.
THERE'S a PLEASURE with hand tools IF you'll/ I'd take the time and set them up correctly AND keep them SHARP (YES I use powertools BUT they must be properly kept/sharp/conditioned/knowledged. SHARP is the key to ALL tools AND that's why/where/how come the sanding comes into play....
1) Jay (due to his prestine upkeep on his tools) can plane quickly and only have to use 300 to 600 grit to final up his project.
2) Frost knows to spread the planing/sanding out wide and knows the importance of the grain change cuts and to re-align the patterns/grains together and builds the sanding back up to par via layers/grits of correct steps.
3) Sunnybob is dead-on with the correct grits to step up with....I myself have the hardest time controlling myself to NOT jump up the chain TOO quickly (skipping grits). You MUST know though where to start your grit at.....
.....THAT'S where SHARP tools , EITHER hand OR power are VERY important. The sharper the less tear-out, the less tear-out the less sanding, the less sanding the happier the builder/craftsman....SEE a PATTERN now!!!....
....ALL this to say, I must follow them also, I can't point fingers, it is a discipline routine to get into.
NOW.....Have a GREAT day enjoying your project....WE'VE ALL here have made the "mistakes" at some time in our careers/hobby, some have learned from them while others continue in them, some of us will admit to doing them while others deny. Bottomline is ENJOY your wood time AND SHOW us pictures....WE LOVE THEM!!!!