What sanding grit to use for Maple - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-04-2018, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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What sanding grit to use for Maple

I'm making a coffee table out of Maple wood . I'm not sure what kind of maple species I have but it's not curly maple . I'm using General Finishes water based dye stain, and the top coat will be General Finishes High Performance water based poly. What grit sanding paper is advisable to sand down to before applying the finishes ? Right now I have it down to 180 grit. Is 220 grit advisable or what do you think ?
Thank you . George in Fla.
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Last edited by Chumly; 09-04-2018 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Add photos
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-04-2018, 07:40 PM
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Maybe more info that you want, but...

I usually sand to 180 with the random orbit sander, then I switch to hand sanding with the grain using 220 grit.

When using a water based dye, I would sand to 180 with the random orbit sander, then wet it with distilled water, let it dry, then sand with 220 by hand with the grain. Then, I'd repeat the wet/dry/sand with 220. Then, I'd apply the dye and hope it didn't raise the grain.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-04-2018, 08:20 PM
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I found that with woods that tend to be blotchy when stained, sanding to 320 grit minimizes the blotchiness. Water based products will tend to raise the wood grain fibers so plan on lightly sanding between coats to remove the wood fibers.

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post #4 of 9 Old 09-04-2018, 09:26 PM
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Using a water based finish takes a little different prep. You sand it to a finer grit and raise the grain by dampening it with water between grit changes. Where a solvent coating 180 grit is good enough using a water based I would sand it to 320 grit. The water in the finish is going to raise the grain so if you get rid of much of that as possible in the prep work the finish will go easier. The wood will otherwise get especially fuzzy with the first coat and you would have to put several coats of finish on sanding between coats before it would start getting smooth.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-05-2018, 01:23 PM
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Extra coarse steel wool has flat strands, not round. It works like a million chisels
to actually cut off the raised grain. No shredding and scratching the finish like with any sandpaper.
Seems to skate right over the finish to clip off the fuzzies.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-05-2018, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
Extra coarse steel wool has flat strands, not round. It works like a million chisels
to actually cut off the raised grain. No shredding and scratching the finish like with any sandpaper.
Seems to skate right over the finish to clip off the fuzzies.
I wouldn't use steel wool with a waterborne finish. The tiny flecks of steel that are inevitably left behind will rust and ruin the finish.

Scott
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-05-2018, 07:05 PM
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Just remember the higher the grit you sand too, the less stain it will take.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-05-2018, 10:26 PM
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You wait until the finish is dry, then you skate the extra coarse steel wool, lightly, over the surface.
You don't have to do it again and again and again. No scrubbing allowed. Try it.
Sandpapers are for sharpening.

The really fine grades of steel wool are good for wet sanding soapstone carvings in the finishing process.
No, they don't rust on the stone.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-06-2018, 01:56 AM
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Personally I prefer the General Finishes Gel Stains and an oil based finish, but that's just me.

First go over the end grain with 400 grit. I mean really sand the end grain to 400 grit. I would sand to 220 and then take a wet (with water) towel and wet the table. (Good work BTW) Let the table dry overnight. Bring the table inside in the A/C if possible. With the table in the shop, lightly go over the table with 320 or 420 grit. You're not sanding but rather knocking down the fuzz grain that the water raised. Scotch Brite is good for this instead of 320 or 400. Use the Scotch Brite on the end grain too. Use white Scotch Brite. Your local Ace should carry the product.

Now do your normal stain and finish.

Before everyone starts yelling and screaming what an idiot I am. . . . The 400 grit on the end grain with 220 on the face grain will yield a consistent color finish. The 220/400 ratio seems to be ideal. The 400 tends to seal the end grain so it won't absorb as much stain and be darker than the face grain.

Rich
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