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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have done turnings in the past, but I am new to turning bowls. I am working on my first segmented bowl and was wondering how fine a grit do the rest of you bowl turners use on your projects. I used 220 on this one but I still see some lines. I'd also like to hear about what your favorite finishes are.
 

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Ken, I haven't done that much turning, but I try to sand everything I do to at least 400, then go over the whole thing with a white Scotchbrite pad for a final burnishing. Some of the turning gurus at SawmillCreek and Family Woodworking sand their stuff to 12000 with micromesh--I've never gone quite that far.

Nancy
 

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Basically you keep going up the grits and sand until YOU are happy with the finish. I Have sanded to 1500 on some pieces. Having said that it is only a light sand for a few seconds at that grit.
 

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Crazybear pretty much nailed it. You sand until you like it. I usually stop at 400 but will occasionally go far beyond that. I did a little experiment last year with sanding grits. It was flat wood and not turned so take that into consideration.
What I did was to take 4 different kinds of wood, some porous and some smooth. Some had curly grain and some plain. I sanded them to 1500 grit. I started at 220 and left 2" strips that I progressively sanded to finer grits. Then I applied an oil finish to 4 and lacquer to 4. I went through all the same steps I would when finishing a fine turning including the beal buffing system as the last step.
I took these to the club and passed them around. No one was able to tell the difference between 600 on up. I thought there would be a lot of difference especially with the oil finish. I would like to do the same test with turned highly figured wood but I'll probably never get around to it.
I sand my production work to 400 grit and my finer pieces to 600. It it's a really exotic piece of wood I sand a little further. I'm not sure it needs it but I feel like I should give it my best effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone! I'll try 400 and see how it looks. When it is complete, I'll post pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! 400 grit did the trick. I can't believe how the wood shines! Very nice finish.
 

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What kind of look do you want, plastic, rustic, or warm and glowing? You hit the nail on the head by letting the wood dictate the fineness of the finish. Clear and clean colored wood gets grain filler if needed and then all the way through to at least 600 grit paper. I am experimenting with buffing with ruby and then white compound. I like what I see!
 

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turning marks

I have done turnings in the past, but I am new to turning bowls. I am working on my first segmented bowl and was wondering how fine a grit do the rest of you bowl turners use on your projects. I used 220 on this one but I still see some lines. I'd also like to hear about what your favorite finishes are.

cross sand w 240 then sand to 600 then use compound and finish
 

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I think if depends on what finish you are going to use. I used to go to 600 grit but I use multiple (thin) coats of low-gloss polyurethane finish and after a while I realized that even with the hard exotics, after a few coats of poly, you can't tell whether you took it down to 600 or to 220 (although you can certainly see the difference before the poly goes on).

Back when I used to use high-gloss poly, the 600 was more often needed.
 
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