Follow up, what are the thoughts on water treatment to bring out the grain? Required if finishing with only mineral oil?
I'm personally not a fan of "mineral oil" anything...but that point is moot...
I am a huge fan of..."wet sanding"...in many forms.
Either with a thinned version of my traditional finishing oil in a atomizing spray bottle...or...(at minimum) that same bottle filled with alcohol...
It cleans the wood as well as leaving a more satin effect on the wood which also tends to "fuzz" less when a final finish is applied.
I would also offer, that instead of a Belt Sander that you try a "Finishing Sheet Sander" perhaps?
These are meant for "finer work" getting into corners and...going with the grain. They do not (or tend not to if use properly?) leave sanding marks...
A point on Grit:
This topic...like how to sharpen something...LOL...
...is often debated...So take this and use it or don't...
Sanding is nothing more than "planning wood" with thousands of little plane blades. However, that is not how it is looked at or treated in "modern woodworking."
"Sanding" (or Polishing) wood has been around longer than the hand plan actually has been. Yet, most books and related text do not look much beyond the European traditions of the craft.
Nevertheless, finishing methods like "French Polish" and related methods around the glob's woodworking cultures have all relied on "sanding methods" for millenia. Volcanic and sand pumice, Ray-Shark Skin, Horse Tail Reed, and many other natural sanding and polishing agents all lend themselves to really understanding how..."sanding"...evolved.
As such...I would go with a lot finer sand paper than 220 alone if you wish for a really smooth finish...or!!!...Use a very sharp plane and be done with it. If I do use a good hand plane I would never touch the wood after unless in the 1000 grit range.
Even on bare "green" wood you can raise a polish with proper sanding modalities that will let you see your reflection in the wood once the means and method of sanding are understood and practiced. You can then choose just how smooth you wish to make something...Food for thought?
I uploaded some of the parts I am finishing, any advice is greatly appreciated....My wife absolutely loves that I am using her cooling racks :)
I agree fully with other posters on this one...Do as much of your sanding (or planing?) as possible before assembly of a project...Then, your only doing very fine finish sanding...
You really don't want a sanding belt that fine... Of course the better a person is with the belt sander the fewer dents you make but everybody does it. The finish sanding should be done with an orbital sander which will sand the surface flat.
Sorry...that simply is not the experience of anyone I know of in woodworking that routinely uses belt sanders...???...That seems like a "bad tool" or some other challenge taking place?
I have used belt sanders for decades (as do most of my colleagues) and have never had any issues with "dents.". If that is taking place, then the tool is being pushed past its limitations and/or used incorrectly...or...that is a badly designed belt sander?
As to grit...???...I (et al) often go well beyond grits as fine as 220..??? They would not make belts in the 1000 grit range (and finer) if there wasn't professionals using the product...