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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I may ask what your sandpaper increments are? With a DeWalt high speed, random orbital sander, I'm starting with 80-100-120-150-220. Sometimes 60, only if needed. This is for fine decorative items, like the cutting boards, valet boxes, etc. I'm wondering if the 120 is needed, or just jump to 150. The items that create are both stained and oiled. Thanks

Eric Williams
 

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For cutting boards I start at 80 if its rough. But usually after throwing it through the planer I only use 150 max. That's usually good enough. For boxes and what not mostly finish with 220 unless I want to try higher.
 

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If I may ask what your sandpaper increments are?
A good question, although I expect no simple black-and-white answer.

In my projects starting grit will depend on whether I need to get the surface flat to remove height differences between piece, or just removing scratches from the work.

If I need to flatten I will start with 60 or 80 grit.

If I am just removing scratches, I may start with 120 or 150. If I am being lazy and 220 grit is on the ROS, I may try that.

I think the use of next grit size vs skipping a grit size may be a trade-off. We sand to remove the marks from the previous grit. If we skip a grit we save the time in changing discs, which with my hook and loop discs is only a few seconds, but then we will spend more time to remove previous scratch marks.

It may also depend on the wood. Denser wood will take longer than softer wood.

I would give it a try and decide for yourself if skipping a grit is saving time.

Now if you do not have the discs of a given grit, then it is a different issue, you are saving the cost to purchase the discs, which may be worthwhile.
 

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Now I work with almost exclusively oak and maple....and have cut out a number of grits. I start with 120 after planing, and then go to 180. I used to go to 220, but I've found my finishes look much better only going to 180.
 

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I believe I got this info from this site. If I start with 80 the next will be 120 followed by 180. If I start with 100 the next will be 150 followed by 220 if needed and so on. If you don't see the sequence it's you go up by one half of the previous grit. One half of 80 is 40 and 80 plus 40 is 120. Then go 120 plus half of it or 180 and so on to the max you need. This has worked well for me.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Has anyone used Mirka discs? That is what I'm using, to me they seem to be wearing out quick. But, I have not used other discs, so I'm not sure. I might switch to Norton 3x, which are created with a blend of ceramic alumina and heat-treated aluminum oxide grain. Has anyone used these and liked them?

Eric Williams
 

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I use mirka....and they do wear out quick. But then again....they're cheap from amazon. Klingspor are by far the best ones i've used, and they last at least 3 times what the mirka do.........I should probably order some of those one of these days.
 

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I only use master craft brand. They last quit awhile. I can usually get about 5-6 cutting boards out of 1 disc. Much longer than the Diablo brand I have used.
 

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As for grit - I always do 100 - 120 - 150 with a PC 330 sander (best sander in my opinion which uses 1/4 sheets). When I'm done with my 150 stage, I wet (not saturate) the wood with a damp cloth and let it dry (about 20 minutes). This pops out minor dents and brings out any imperfections. It also makes all the loose wood fibers stand up so the wood feels fuzzy when dry. If no imperfections need to be sanded, I hand sand the fuzzy fibers with 180 grit. I do not use the machine at this stage.

220 paper is too much for the hardwoods. It closes the fibers so the stains will not penetrate the surface of the wood. I prefer not to hide the wood grain but if you prefer the shinny glass like finish, I would follow my method and add more finish after sanding the finished stained product
with 400 grit paper. In my humble opinion, 220+ grit paper is only good to sand a previously stained or finished product to add more coats of stain.

If working with soft woods, I will sand up to 220.
 

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Let the flames begin!

The coarse grits of sandpaper (40 up to about 100) are used for shaping and flattening. The finer grits (120, 150, 180, 220) are used to remove the scratches made by the previous coarser grit. These grits make the surface smooth. The extra fine grits (320, 400 and up) are used to make your finishes blotch.

You will find that you will use much more of the coarse grits than the finer grits. While I have 80 and 100 grits, usually I'll start with 120. Depending upon the surface I may skip the 150 and go straight to 220. If the finish is to be a shellac / French polish type I may go beyond 220 but that is a very rare occasion.
 
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I go from 100 to 150 for raw wood, but after the finish is applied, I use 220 between coats. Never had a problem.
 
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