|Out of Control Woodturning
|The most difficult part of woodturning for some people is sanding. But if you follow a few simple rules this doesn't have to be the case.
1) Be sure you are starting with the correct grit of sandpaper.
If you start with something like 80 grit you will be sanding for a long time. This happens because the coarser grits leave large scratches which need to be sanded out with the next finer grit. Some people say "if all else fails use the 80 grit gouge". This is the biggest mistake anyone could make. If your turning is rough enough that you are reaching for the "80 grit gouge" it's time to sharpen your tools and continue turning.
Shear scraping is one way to smooth the surface so you can avoid the "80 grit gouge".
As your turning skills improve you will get a better surface right off the tool and will be able to start sanding with something finer like 220 grit.
If you start with 220 and it appears like your making very slow progress you should probably step back a grit or two.
2) Don't push!!
Most new turners tend to put too much pressure on the sandpaper. What this actually does is turn a round turning into a turning with a very uneven surface and the more you do it the worse it gets.
The reason this happens is wood has different densitys and they sand differently. An extreme example is spalted wood. If you push too hard on spalted woods your surface will become uneven VERY quickly due to the softer parts that sand off much faster.
3) Keep moving
Never sand in the same area for too long. Keep the paper moving. Sanding in one area too long will burn the wood and could cause heat cracks.
4) Don't skip grits
Never skip grits. If you skip a grit you will be sanding forever. It's very hard to sand out scratches from the previous grit if you skip to a grit that is too fine.
Be sure you are completely finished with each grit before moving to the next finer grit. And if your not making progress back up a grit.
Always wipe your turning down between grits. If you don't you will be introducing scratches from the previous grit.
5) Don't hand sand between grits.
Hand sanding between grits will leave you with an uneven surface that makes sanding with the next grit difficult. Hand sanding is like digging a hole in your turning. You may not see it but it is there.
That said I always hand sand woodturnings BUT only at the final grit for touchup and only if I'm sure the lathe won't be turned on again.
6) Don't save used sandpaper
If you use old sandpaper your just asking for trouble. Used paper does not cut it burnishes. It heats up easily which causes burning and possible cracking and you will be sanding forever and won't make any progress. Throw it out.
7) Always Wear a mask
This is the most important step in sanding.
This is the way I sand and it works well for me. I believe if you follow these simple rules ( and maybe a couple of your own) you will find that sanding woodturnings can be pleasurable. Bob
|The following is what works for me.|