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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you get rid of those tiny circles that get etched into the surface? I usually start sanding with 60grit, then go to a 100, then a 120, then fine/super fine sponges...feels nice and smooth with the fingers, but when i stain and then finish i see those blasted circles up close under bright lighting. Suggestions?
 

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Whatever grit you use, do not START or STOP the ROS on the surface of the wood. I only get circles if I forget and either start of stop the ROS when in contact with the wood.

If you start and stop the ROS off the wood, you should not see the circles.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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I think your issue is your starting too low....and finishing too low...

Start higher and end higher......for example...120 to 180
 

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does the ROS leave more noticeable circles than a circular saw? might it be a tad out of adjustment?

*edit* never mind .. i thought you were talking about a RAS, not a ROS ... oops
 

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The suggestions above are what I would put forward. One other thing, spot the flaws before you finish: wipe the wood with a cloth dampened with MS, then hold a bright glancing light across the surface and examine for flaws....this also shows stray glue spots, if any. Lastly, I never go from ROS to finish, I always hand sand a little in the direction of the grain, normally with 180 grit.
 

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I've also started hand sanding after ROS. Sometimes with the same grit I used last on the ROS. Works for me. But ill sure take some of the other tips given here and use them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the big "crop circle" arcs left by an ROS dig, but by the tiny circular pebble/grit tracks. I normally use sanding sponges after the 120 grit paper pad...guess I'll try to look for some 150 - 200 grit paper...at least until I can get a block plane or planer, and/or some card scrapers. Starting with 120 on oak? Ouch :)
 

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A ROS will leave a swirl pattern for every grit you put on it. So what we do, is sand with ever finer grit until the swirls are not visible to our eye.
If I ever have to use 80 grit after planning, I'm looking for a blade change ASAP :laughing:. I do use 60 grit on rough wood to clean it prior to running it through my planners. And I sometimes use 80 grit followed by 100 grit, on surfaces that get machined after glue up.

But my usual sanding schedule is 120, then 150/180, then 220 on end grain. After a coat of sealcoat, I knock the nibs off with 320, either with a ROS or by hand. Since this always works for me, I can only guess that something is different with our ROSs.
 

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Obviously, you start coarse and go fine. Don't try to jump too many grades. Use each grade to remove the swirls from the previous coarser grade.

AND

SLOW DOWN!

Move your ROS at about 1/2" per second. Moving the ROS too fast is what leaves most of the swirl marks.
 

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How do you get rid of those tiny circles that get etched into the surface? I usually start sanding with 60grit, then go to a 100, then a 120, then fine/super fine sponges...feels nice and smooth with the fingers, but when i stain and then finish i see those blasted circles up close under bright lighting. Suggestions?
this is plained wood from your planer ? good smouth planed job? shouldn't need to start with this to course of paper to start with, the 60 grit is making cicles , i would start with at least 120 grit and i my self go to 400, but most stop at 220, depend's if the wood is to be stained, a real smooth wood finish wont soak mush stain, now i guess with dye it is different, i don't use dye, my 2 cent
 

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Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the big "crop circle" arcs left by an ROS dig, but by the tiny circular pebble/grit tracks. I normally use sanding sponges after the 120 grit paper pad...guess I'll try to look for some 150 - 200 grit paper...at least until I can get a block plane or planer, and/or some card scrapers. Starting with 120 on oak? Ouch :)
i did a reply , but now i see that you don't have a planer , than you will have to work up with the 60 grit and work up tell the circles are gone and use good paper , some paper isn't very good , the grit come's off and that can cause what you are getting, but look's like you will have to work up with grits tell the marks are gone, now with a planer you work would be done quick, good luck
 

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Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the big "crop circle" arcs left by an ROS dig, but by the tiny circular pebble/grit tracks. I normally use sanding sponges after the 120 grit paper pad...guess I'll try to look for some 150 - 200 grit paper...at least until I can get a block plane or planer, and/or some card scrapers. Starting with 120 on oak? Ouch :)
please don't take this defensively, but i am wondering about your equipment. right out of the planer, you should have a relatively clean surface, with maybe some lines/marks from nicks in the planer blades. 120 ros should remove those fairly easily. most ros are designed to slow down when lifted off the material, this will eliminate the swirling when setting back down. maybe the part is worn on yours. I know my dewalt is exhibiting that issue right now, i just have to order the part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No offense taken, mate. I don't have a planer - only a belt sander and a random orbit sander, with 60, 100, 120, 220, and 320 grit pads...oh, Nd some fine/extr fine sanding sponges. A bench planer is on my wish list, as well as a disc/belt sander combo, a drill press, and one of those Carter bandsaw guides for my old Craftsman 12 inch bandsaw. I'm pretty much starting out in the hobby...only have some basic tools ( table saw, router table, bandsaw, some old chisels, and a small block plane) and am learning the various techniques from videos and of course folk like you all in here :)

Mark V.
 

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No offense taken, mate. I don't have a planer - only a belt sander and a random orbit sander, with 60, 100, 120, 220, and 320 grit pads...oh, Nd some fine/extr fine sanding sponges. A bench planer is on my wish list, as well as a disc/belt sander combo, a drill press, and one of those Carter bandsaw guides for my old Craftsman 12 inch bandsaw. I'm pretty much starting out in the hobby...only have some basic tools ( table saw, router table, bandsaw, some old chisels, and a small block plane) and am learning the various techniques from videos and of course folk like you all in here :)

Mark V.
I hand plane can and will tear out material if not used correctly. Don't assume that that is the answer. I've only managed to handplane a few cooperative pieces fully but I almost always have to sand.

Like I stated before, if I have to use 80, it will leave swirlies no matter what - moving slow doesn't help. The only real way to deal with that is to hand sand after you use the ROS with 80 grit paper, then you can progress to 120. Even 100 grit will leave those marks but with 120, you won't see them. 180 knocks all of it out.

Just be patient and use the hand sanding technique. It'll help you a lot.
 

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igster said:
Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the big "crop circle" arcs left by an ROS dig, but by the tiny circular pebble/grit tracks. I normally use sanding sponges after the 120 grit paper pad...guess I'll try to look for some 150 - 200 grit paper...at least until I can get a block plane or planer, and/or some card scrapers. Starting with 120 on oak? Ouch :)
What's the problem with starting at 120?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I dunno, seems like oak would be too hard to start to remove ridges & the like with 120 grit? Probably depends on how rough the stock is to start with...
 

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My work is almost exclusively oak...and I only use two grits...120 and 180. I don't even keep any stock of other grits.
 

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please don't take this defensively, but i am wondering about your equipment. right out of the planer, you should have a relatively clean surface, with maybe some lines/marks from nicks in the planer blades. 120 ros should remove those fairly easily. most ros are designed to slow down when lifted off the material, this will eliminate the swirling when setting back down. maybe the part is worn on yours. I know my dewalt is exhibiting that issue right now, i just have to order the part.
he doesn't have a planer so sanding form ruff sawn wood so starting with 60 grit is goint to put in sanding marks, so working up from their is the only way i know of to get the marks out , and using good paper also
 
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