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I have some soft maple that I have been turning in segmented bowls and I can not get a smooth finish on it. I have sharp tools, I have used a slow and fast speed , sanded from 60 to 400 grit, I have used beeswax sanding solution and nothing works.

Is there anything else I can do or should I use a hard maple?
 

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I have some soft maple that I have been turning in segmented bowls and I can not get a smooth finish on it. I have sharp tools, I have used a slow and fast speed , sanded from 60 to 400 grit, I have used beeswax sanding solution and nothing works.

Is there anything else I can do or should I use a hard maple?

I use Water base lacquer on soft let it dry then sand on lightly to the finish grit you want
 

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you didn't tell us what tool you were using. If your using good sharp gouges and still getting tearout you may be forcing the cut or possibly cutting up hill against the grain. First try a freshly sharpened tool gouge (not a scraper). Then try relaxing and let the tool do the cutting, don't push it any harder that it takes to cut. You should be getting little curls off the tool. If not then it's not sharp enough. If you still getting some tearout try cutting in a different direction to see if you can cut down hill or with the grain on those problems sections.
I rarely have trouble cutting any kind of maple clean unless it's curly or birds eye and those can fight you.
 

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