Sanding/polishing very detailed piece - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-12-2009, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question Sanding/polishing very detailed piece

Hello there, I'm a newbie from Brazil!

First, let me say I have some experience with woodworking but I just do small carvings, jewelry, hair forks, etc.

So I also play the baroque recorder and I finally got a custom recorder made of bloodwood. I love its sound but I am not 100% happy with its finishing. This luthier doesn't care much about a perfect finish and I don't want to return the instrument to him.

The turning is perfect and very detailed, but I can see fine lines. I also think this wood deserves a nice polish. It is an outstanding beautiful piece of brosimum rubescens (conduru, bloodwood, satine). The instrument finish is just mineral oil, but I am considering using a little thinned tung oil on the outside. I can't use anything but oil, mineral or vegetal. Can tung be used over mineral oil?

Anyway, my main question is: how to sand and polish turned wood so the details don't lose their crispness? I'm used to sanding with the grain, but I guess in this case I will have to sand across? I'm thinking about using those very fine grit sponge or abrasive pads. Is this right? Maybe cutting them in very fine stripes...

BTW, I will sand by hand, I don't have a lathe.

Thank you in advance for any ideas.
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post #2 of 2 Old 05-12-2009, 02:10 PM
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I would think you would have to sand a finished instrument by hand because you probably can't get it back on the lathe. I don't like the sponges, they round over details. I use sandpaper glued to sticks or at least wrapped around them for fine details. Sand with the grain as much as you can and then just sand lightly on beads and other details where you have to sand across the grain.
I'm not sure what to put over mineral oil because I've never done that. It would be pretty simple to do a test on some scrap wood however. You might be able to remove much of the mineral oil with mineral spirits of Naptha. As always do a test on some scrap.
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