Category : hand sanding


Having a really smooth surface is critical to achieving highly attractive finish and sanding helps achieving that.  Sand papers are available in all Indian hardware stores and will cost anywhere between Rs.5 and 10/-.
Complete guide to wood staining

Choose your sand papers

Sand papers are available in different grades. The grade mentioned in the rear of the sand paper refers to the number of sand grit particles per square inch. So, lower the grits, more is the roughness of the sand paper. Ideally, you have to start sanding with a lower grit sand paper and move upwards towards the higher grit papers. In essence, you need to have 4-5 levels of sanding before you can achieve that perfect smooth finish.

I normally use 80, 100, 120, 150 and 220 grit sand papers. Depending on the initial level of smoothness of the surface you need to choose the following :
  • Whether to start with 80, 100 or 120 grit papers and
  • How many levels of sanding is required
Each level of sanding would increase the degree of smoothness and will also reduce the scratches that were a result of the previous sanding level.

How to sand wood
Basics of sanding wood

3 key rules to follow

  • Always sand along the direction of the grains. Never sand across the grain direction.
  • Apply gentle and even pressure as you sand along the surface, Overdoing it might damage the surface.
  • Wipe off the leftover dust particles using a rag cloth after every level of sanding.
  • The not-so-key rule is to use a sanding block if required. It will ease the stress on the arms and will help evenly distribute the pressure.
For staining wood, surface preparation and in turn sanding is one of the most critical activities. Any blemish, or scratch on the surface will be distinctly visible making the whole staining process a failure. While it is a really tedious task, it would make sense for you to go through the inconvenience of sanding rather than to repent as you start staining.

Besides sanding, sealing is the other important surface preparation step which we shall look in the next post. Meanwhile, remember to enter your email address below just so you do not miss the rest of the posts.

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It is the little things that we do that make a really huge difference and sanding is just about one of them. It is probably the most boring, cumbersome and time consuming of all the tasks that are involved in the process of woodworking. However, if done right (learn how to sand and pick the right grade sand paper), the outcome can just wow you.
Sanding
What is sanding ?
Each piece of wood that you buy comes with scratches and may be coarse in appearance. Running your fingers along the surface of the wood would reveal the irregularity in the wooden piece. Sanding is the process of removing the scratches, and the roughness on the wooden surface in order to attain a smooth and even finish.  Sanding is done by hand using ordinary sand / emery papers (available for Rs.5-10 at any local hardware store) that are available in different grades / grits starting from extra coarse to very fine.  It is performed by simply rubbing the sand paper in the direction of the grains on the wooden surface.There are also power sanders available for this purpose.

What is sanding
Chairs sanded and waiting to be re-finished
Personally I start with a coarse sand paper of grit 80 and work my way towards the finer ones (220 or 350 grits). So the process itself involves sanding with 80 grit sandpaper and subsequently with 100,120,150,220 and 350 grit sand papers. The number of sanding cycles performed  and the grades of sand papers used  is specific to the level of smoothness one desires. A Sanding block can be used to ease the process. While there are commercially available blocks, you can learn how to make your own Sanding Block from our earlier post.

Sanding offers the following advantages and hence becomes a necessary evil that cannot be overlooked:
  • Provides a smooth and even appearance to the wooden surface,
  • Removes scratches and other blemishes
  • Enhances the grain patterns
  • Prepares the wooden surface for staining or painting

- Somu

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