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I got my sticks of maple for another set of Cabinet doors. They came wrapped with a note that advised to not sand with grit finer than 120.
I was using 220 on the poplar I used on other doors. Does it sound correct to use 100 or 120 on the raw wood? I wouldn't think I could get the surface as smooth as I like with anything heavier than 220.
If I use 100 on the rails and stiles, do I use 100 on the maple ply I got for the panels too?
This is my first project using maple.

Thoughts?
 

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Not a pro but I use 180 I think 220 would be fine.
 
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Painting or staining? The higher the grit sanded, the worse results i've had staining things. If painting.....it doesn't really matter.
 

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I'd follow your supplier's advice. Finer grit papers tend to burnish fine-grained woods like maple, in effect sealing the wood's pores from stain penetration.
 

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120 paint, 150 stain.
 
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You mentioned maple "ply"... Maybe that is what the mfg doesn't want you to sand beyond the 120 fearing you may sand throught the top ply layer.

Generally speaking about solid hardwoods... I never sand beyond 150 with the power sanders and finish by hand with 180 grit, after wetting the wood. I learned from a master to take a pencil and lightly scribble all over wood - sand it clean with 100 grit paper. I repeat the process with 120 and 150 grit paper. The pencil scribbles assure me that I have completely sanded the surface and also points to any surface valleys.

Following the 150 sanding, I wet the wood surface with a well damped (not soaking) rag, just about enough moister to use up about 20 minutes to dry. This wetting will reveal a dents, glue spots and other imperfections. It will also lift all loose wood fibers from the surface and leave your smooth wood with a fuzzy feel. These fibers are best removed with a 180 grit paper powered by the human hand. Dents will pop out of the wood (hand sand). Gouges (wood marks caused by removal of fibers) will not be fixed.

220 + grit sanding will be counter-productive. The higher grits will close the wood fibers leading to uneven staining etc (as others have stated).
 

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I've learned summat

Who knew you could sand hardwood too fine for stain? I have sanded some hardwoods to 320, then rubbed with #0000 steel wool. Was this a bad thing to do?:blink:
 

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I never knew this either, but I guess it makes sense when you think about it.

I normally wipe everything with a damp rag before final sanding as stated before. Would a pre stain conditioner raise the wood fibers the same way the damp rag would?

What if you are finishing a piece with just poly or another type of clear coat. Would you still only sand to 120 - 180?
 

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Durdy, don't use steel wool on bare wood. It has oils and shards of the steel will embed in the surface, perhaps causing stains later. Save the steel wool for the process of flattening a final film finish.
 

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There's a lot of variables. WB stain, oil based stain or dye stain. Home store stain or professional stain.WB finish or oil based finished. Type of maple( hard or soft). Each has it's own set of rules/steps. In general 180, then sand your seal /finish coats with the finer grits. If unstained go 220 then finer on seal/finish coats. If your a snob like me and painting 180-220. I can see the 120 marks.
 

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Thanks for all the in put on sanding. I never thought about the things that were mentioned, but I have never done fine wood working, like cabinets. The cutting boards I'm making I take all the way up to 220, then gutting wet, then 220 again. Last is oiling, is that to high since it is oil?

Eric
 

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Thanks for all the in put on sanding. I never thought about the things that were mentioned, but I have never done fine wood working, like cabinets. The cutting boards I'm making I take all the way up to 220, then gutting wet, then 220 again. Last is oiling, is that to high since it is oil?

Eric
That is how I do all my cutting boards. I've only done end grain, but the first few I made would be extremely smooth until the first coat of oil. The oil would raise the grain a good bit, but at that point you can't go back and sand.

I've wondered if doing it this way has hindered the oil from getting all the way through the board, but all of mine have been holding up just fine.
 

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captainawesome said:
That is how I do all my cutting boards. I've only done end grain, but the first few I made would be extremely smooth until the first coat of oil. The oil would raise the grain a good bit, but at that point you can't go back and sand. I've wondered if doing it this way has hindered the oil from getting all the way through the board, but all of mine have been holding up just fine.
The majority of the boards I do are end grain also, thanks to the PK from Kendo, but I have also done and am doing some face grain board (more of a serving tray) for Christmas gifts. Is it ok to take it up to 220?

Wood Table Brown Plywood Cutting board

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You mentioned maple "ply"... Maybe that is what the mfg doesn't want you to sand beyond the 120 fearing you may sand throught the top ply layer.

Generally speaking about solid hardwoods... I never sand beyond 150 with the power sanders and finish by hand with 180 grit, after wetting the wood. I learned from a master to take a pencil and lightly scribble all over wood - sand it clean with 100 grit paper. I repeat the process with 120 and 150 grit paper. The pencil scribbles assure me that I have completely sanded the surface and also points to any surface valleys.

Following the 150 sanding, I wet the wood surface with a well damped (not soaking) rag, just about enough moister to use up about 20 minutes to dry. This wetting will reveal a dents, glue spots and other imperfections. It will also lift all loose wood fibers from the surface and leave your smooth wood with a fuzzy feel. These fibers are best removed with a 180 grit paper powered by the human hand. Dents will pop out of the wood (hand sand). Gouges (wood marks caused by removal of fibers) will not be fixed.

220 + grit sanding will be counter-productive. The higher grits will close the wood fibers leading to uneven staining etc (as others have stated).
The note was just with the stick wood, not the ply. Thanks for all the info, I'm gonna try it on some test pieces and see if I like the results.
Thanks again.
 

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On maple to be stained, I'll stop at 150 and get a smooth final feel by sanding with a higher grit followed by steel wool or mesh rubbing, then wax.
If the plan is to not stain, I will go to 180-220. It's true that the higher grits produce splotchy staining due to some, not all, of the pores being blocked.
 
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