Sanding time? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 4Likes
  • 2 Post By difalkner
  • 1 Post By Tony B
  • 1 Post By Labow
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 Old 04-27-2019, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 19
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
Sanding time?

Hi everyone,

I'm pretty new to working with slabs, and to sanding to a very high finish. I've been working on a piece, and once I'm done (or think I'm done) I keep finding scratches in the surface. I知 trying to get an idea of how long people sand for? I realize there are a lot of variables that would determine how long a piece needs to be sanded, but I'm just looking for a reference point.

For example, how long would people expect to sand the piece in the picture? It's a 31" round piece of redwood. I sanded it with my belt sander with 60 and 120, then switched to my orbital sander and did 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, 220, 350, 400, and 600. I figure with the orbital I sanded for about 15 mins with each grit. I only used one disc for each grit for the most part.

Does this sound like a reasonable amount of time? or should I be sanding longer?
Should I be switching out my discs more often?
I would guess that at the higher grits I should be sanding for longer? Not sure if this is true.
Is it possible to sand too much?

Like I said, I understand that sanding time will depend on the wood, the sander, moisture content (I would guess?), and I'm sure a lot of other factors that I don't even know about, but I'm just trying to see if I'm in the ballpark with what I'm doing now. Thanks

Name:  B89062AC-D333-4F0A-8272-FE4B13A3BAB9_1556378696581.jpg
Views: 70
Size:  477.5 KB

Last edited by difalkner; 04-27-2019 at 12:08 PM. Reason: replaced link with photo
Labow is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 Old 04-27-2019, 12:12 PM
Wood machinist
 
difalkner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Posts: 3,200
View difalkner's Photo Album My Photos
Going from 60 to 120 probably left you with a fair amount of deep scratches that took a while to get out. I would have used 80 and then 100 before going to 120. As for time, each successively finer grit should remove the scratches from the previous grit. If you can do that in 5 minutes then that's long enough but if it takes 25 minutes and 3 discs then that's just what it takes.

I generally sand longer with the finer grits than I did with the previous grits, especially if I am shooting for a higher gloss finish.

David
FrankC and Tool Agnostic like this.

David

Curly Wood Shop on Etsy
David Falkner - Woodworking YouTube channel
Our music at church - current videos Airline Baptist BC Facebook Live
Romans 3:23
difalkner is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 04-27-2019, 02:54 PM
Village Idiot
 
epicfail48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Springfield MO
Posts: 4,521
View epicfail48's Photo Album My Photos
Time estimate? Until its done. Like David mentioned, you have to keep sanding until every scratch from the last grit is gone, could take a minute and a half, could take an hour, each piece of wood behaves differently. The finer the grit is, the longer it generally takes to get the last grits scratches put, but there's really no hard and fast rules. Just gotta pay attention to the work.

Dunno how you plan on finishing that piece, but in my opinion taking redwood, or any softwood, past 220 grit is a waste of time and sandpaper. If you plan on applying a film finish like polyurethane, you're actually making it more difficult to apply the finish, as the smoother surface gives the finish less tooth to grab and finer papers tend to burnish the wood, meaning the finish won't absorb in as easy either. If you plan on doing an oil finish, like linseed or tung oil, stepping up to 320 grit is still as high as I'd go, and even then only for the denser, close grained hardwoods. Softwoods like redwood are too, well, soft, they just don't take the finer finish to a worthwhile degree. Save the high grit stuff for the finish itself.

Also, that goes out the window with dense, oily woods, think rosewood and the like. Stuff like that is hard and dense enough to actually take a really nice polish, but even then you hit a point of severely diminished returns after about 400 grit

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
epicfail48 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 13 Old 04-27-2019, 03:02 PM
Moderator
 
Steve Neul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,608
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
You can't put a time on sanding. Each projects demands a different method. Using 60 grit though is probably your problem. It was probably alright to belt sand at 60 grit but once you belt sanded with 120 grit I would have started with that grit with the orbital. It also makes sanding more effective if you would dampen the wood and raise the grain between grit changes.

One other note, be careful sanding too long with finer grit paper on end grain or soft woods. It can wallow out the soft portions of the grain leaving the texture of the hard grain raised. Using an orbital sander try not to put very much pressure on the sander.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 04-27-2019, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 19
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the responses. I guess a better way for me to have asked the questions is how can you tell that you've sanded enough. Yeah, until you don't see any scratch marks from the previous grit, but, for example with this piece, I looked at the piece as I was sanding and thought it looked good, but then when I apply a finish (odie's oil) to the piece I see a bunch of scratches that I'm not seeing while I'm sanding.

Steve, your note about sanding too much is interesting. I guess there's a chance that I sanded too much and the softer wood is a little lower and catching some of the sandpaper and getting scratched (but not sanded thoroughly).

The reason I went up to 120 with the belt sander and then back down to 60 with the orbital is because I felt like the belt sanding is so aggressive that I would need a lower grit on the orbital (which is less aggressive) to sand the belt sander lines out.

Thanks again for all the great info.
Labow is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 04-27-2019, 05:31 PM
Wood machinist
 
difalkner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Posts: 3,200
View difalkner's Photo Album My Photos
Wet it with Naphtha and look for scratches. It'll flash off quickly and it's easy to use for this. I do it all the time.

David

David

Curly Wood Shop on Etsy
David Falkner - Woodworking YouTube channel
Our music at church - current videos Airline Baptist BC Facebook Live
Romans 3:23
difalkner is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 04-27-2019, 09:04 PM
Moderator
 
Steve Neul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,608
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
If you would wet the wood between grit changes you would be able to see the scratches. Eventually you will wet it and not see anything. That is the time to think about not sanding anymore.

If you can run your hands over the end grain and feel the annual rings then you may have sanded too hard with the fine paper. It's funny how that does that. You can sand all you want with 80 grit paper on an orbital and it will remain flat but the finer grit paper you use the more it is likely to remove the soft grain. When you get up to 180 or finer it's best not to put much pressure on the sander. The more pressure you apply and the finer grit you go the more it removes the soft grain.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 04-27-2019, 09:39 PM
Senior Member
 
Tony B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dickinson, Tx. / Denison, TX
Posts: 3,023
View Tony B's Photo Album My Photos
I generally never go above 180 grit for normal finishes.
TimPa likes this.

Tony B



Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Denison, Tx
Tony B is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 04-27-2019, 10:57 PM
Timber Wright-Guide
 
Jay C. White Cloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 1,452
View Jay C. White Cloud's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labow View Post
...I'm pretty new to working with slabs, and to sanding to a very high finish. I've been working on a piece, and once I'm done (or think I'm done) I keep finding scratches in the surface. I’m trying to get an idea of how long people sand for? I realize there are a lot of variables that would determine how long a piece needs to be sanded, but I'm just looking for a reference point...
Hi Labow,

To find actual valid "reference points" for such work, I would aim you in the direction of traditional woodworking, and into "green woodworking" in particular, since this is where this style originated and still exists...

As to..."how long people sand"...that will depend on there expertise in actually doing this style of work, there knowledge base of it, and the species of wood itself...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labow View Post
...For example, how long would people expect to sand the piece in the picture? It's a 31" round piece of redwood. I sanded it with my belt sander with 60 and 120, then switched to my orbital sander and did 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, 220, 350, 400, and 600. I figure with the orbital I sanded for about 15 mins with each grit. I only used one disc for each grit for the most part. ...
Your grit differential between size is excellent! Probably you could skip some of these in the very beginning...80 to 100 to 150...but again this will depend on species and other factors as well.

As to length of time again, this really is more a "touch thing" than anything else, as I (and most that do this work professionally for any length of time) do really follow the clock as much as our finger tips. I find my self "touch and feeling" the work way more than looking at it. That is true almost to the very end of the process...

You can go a lot finer than 600 grit...or a lot less too.

This will all depend on what you are wishing to achieve. For example you can take a species like Norway Spruce, fresh off the stump, and green as heck with both dry and wet sanding modalities and raise a gloss that you can see your reflection in. I've done this with "wet sanding" methods and grits as fine as 2000 grit. but usually I to stop at 600. So as to "how fine a grit" that all depends on what you wish to achieve. It will also depend on your finishing style. This being a tradtional craft, I only use and apply traditional finishes and not the modern "plastic finishes" but that will have to be your choice which direction to go in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labow View Post
...Should I be switching out my discs more often? ...
Most likely not and if your not employing a "sanding eraser" I could not recommend them strongly enough. The make your pads last 10 time longer and you get a better quality sanding from them as you go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labow View Post
...I would guess that at the higher grits I should be sanding for longer? Not sure if this is true. Is it possible to sand too much? ...
Again...more about species and goal set you have. As to sanding too much, no not at all...but you will be wasting time past a certain point...LOL...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labow View Post
...Like I said, I understand that sanding time will depend on the wood, the sander, moisture content (I would guess?), and I'm sure a lot of other factors that I don't even know about, but I'm just trying to see if I'm in the ballpark with what I'm doing now. Thanks ...
I'd say your doing really good thus far let me know if I can expand on any points I made?

Here are some additional links you may enjoy reading:

Burl Table Top

Drying Stumps and Cookies

Easter Red Cedar

Using Green Lumber for a Project

Epoxy Finishing help needed

Tosa Tomo Designs
Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:的 cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
Jay C. White Cloud is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 19
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
Damn, sounds like I sanded that piece too much with a high grit. What grit would people recommend it go back down to in order to get everything back to the same level?

Steve, when you say wet the wood do you mean with water? How wet?

Jay, thank you for all the information. I've read many of your post on the forum. I've seen you mention "traditional" finishes before in other posts. What do you mean by traditional? Linseed oil and the like? A beeswax based finish?

You also said that you can't sand too much, and so I was wondering what you thought of what Steve was saying about sanding too much and removing too much of the softer wood and leaving the hard rings?

And thanks for all the links. I definitely want to read up on using green lumber because I have a few logs that were cut this winter that I would like to make slabs with, but was figuring I would have to let them dry for a couple of years. It looks like maybe that's not the case. Still have to do more reading though.

Wow. I'm realizing that there is so much to learn, not only about the process, but also about the wood itself. Anyone have any good book recommendations? Or websites? Youtube channels?

Thanks
Labow is offline  
post #11 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 09:49 PM
Moderator
 
Steve Neul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,608
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Without being there it's difficult to recommend a procedure to get the wood flat again. Assuming you can barely feel the rings you might glue some 180 grit paper to a piece of wood and hand sand it with that. If you are going to put some type of varnish finish on it the 180 grit is fine enough. If you are not using a stain you could even start putting a finish on it before you get it completely flat. If you use a hard block for between the coats sanding it will fill the low places while removing more of the high places. If you are going for an oil finish then you will need to get the wood flat first. It should be sanded to a finer grit for an oil finish. What you could do is when you get real close to getting it flat you could change to 220 grit also glued to a flat piece of wood. Eventually it will get flat and then you could oil it.

When raising the grain between grit changes water is used for that. Just wet it enough to make it look wet and allow it to dry completely before resuming sanding. It will otherwise just gum up the sandpaper with the wet dust. Also most sandpaper uses a water based glue which could cause the grit to come off.

The logs you have letting them dry a couple years will only help marginally. It takes many more years for longs to truly dry. Cut into lumber wood takes a year for every inch thickness and in log form that timeframe is greatly extended.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #12 of 13 Old 05-01-2019, 11:30 PM
Timber Wright-Guide
 
Jay C. White Cloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 1,452
View Jay C. White Cloud's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labow View Post
Jay, thank you for all the information. I've read many of your post on the forum. I've seen you mention "traditional" finishes before in other posts. What do you mean by traditional? Linseed oil and the like? A beeswax based finish?

You also said that you can't sand too much, and so I was wondering what you thought of what Steve was saying about sanding too much and removing too much of the softer wood and leaving the hard rings?

And thanks for all the links. I definitely want to read up on using green lumber because I have a few logs that were cut this winter that I would like to make slabs with, but was figuring I would have to let them dry for a couple of years. It looks like maybe that's not the case. Still have to do more reading though.

Wow. I'm realizing that there is so much to learn, not only about the process, but also about the wood itself. Anyone have any good book recommendations? Or websites? Youtube channels?

Thanks
I sent you links to some of your requests...I look forward to your email...

Wood drying is another topic deserving its own post, but there is much here on the forum about it already...

Drying time and when you can use the wood...is not...what most claim or suggest...!!!

Ask professional sawyers and those that operate mills (there are a few of us on here.) Its all dependent on the finial project, and what you wish to achieve. Use it green...or wait a few months and use it after its lost a lot of it "water" depending on the size of the piece...grain pattern and other mitigating conditions...

As to grain raising...it can happen and I use alcohol most often to temper this...Give it a shot and see what you think...

Regards,

j

Tosa Tomo Designs
Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:的 cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
Jay C. White Cloud is offline  
post #13 of 13 Old 05-06-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 19
View Labow's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the suggestions. Looking forward to giving it a go and trying something new, both with the wet sanding and the green woodworking (although I have more reading to do on this subject first). We'll see how it goes....
Jay C. White Cloud likes this.
Labow is offline  
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



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sanding Board from Okoume ply. 👌 DutchShedWoodshop Project Showcase 0 12-06-2018 06:48 PM
Diablo self adhesive sanding paper. mjadams61 Power Tools & Machinery 4 10-18-2018 01:56 AM
General Finishes Sanding Sealer & Enduro-Var TimeTurnsElastic Wood Finishing 5 02-22-2017 09:50 AM
New tool time! epicfail48 Project Showcase 14 09-08-2015 06:36 PM
Shopsmith 5" ROS sanding pads Rileysan Tool Reviews 2 08-07-2015 12:56 PM

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