Sand Better – 360w360 E.192

sand_betterIn this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking the 360 guys talk about tips to help you sand better, quicker and smarter.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

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We all love to sand (did we get enough sarcasm in there?), but there are lots of little things we can do to make the process more productive. There’s nothing worse than getting a project completed, applying the dye and seeing every surface blemish known to man show up. By including a raking light and introducing some kind of liquid to the process, you’ll reduce the frustration associated with finishing.

Surface prep is the foundation of any good finish. If you don’t do a proper job of eliminating dents, scratches and tear out, they’ll haunt you throughout the finishing process. Each layer added to an imperfect surface traps that imperfection deeper below the top level of finish. Adding more finish won’t level out the surface, unless you’re using an epoxy pour-on bar top finish that’s 1/4″ thick. Even then, major blemishes will translate to the top surface.

To get a good finish, start with good surface prep, and that means proper sanding. And if you’re going to sand, you might as well take advantage of learning a few useful tips from two guys who’ve screwed up more surfaces than any ten woodworkers you know.


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3 thoughts on “Sand Better – 360w360 E.192

  1. Stuff I’ve added to my bench:

    (Dorky, but works) — bright LED headlamp. This works great as a raking light and you aren’t in your own shadow (unless you have a really big Pompadour). $7 and you can switch it to strobe mode for when the radio is playing Bruce Springsteen or you are watching Andromeda Strain.

    LED strip lights that can be dimmed — these are mounted so that I can look into them as opposed to the headlamp. And I can dim them down so I don’t have problems with the little floaty after images.

    Big fat driveway chalk, green or blue, that I can color known defects. More useful for planing or scraping. I think the sander knocks it loose so not as helpful.

    Finally, I’ve found that my digital camera (Canon T3i) seems to have pretty good IR sensitivity when combined with its on-camera flash. So defects tend to show up that I can’t otherwise see well under normal room light (combo of fluorescent and LED). Might show up under daylight but I’m typically working in the evenings. No idea if iPhones or other camera phones would have this sort of sensitivity.

    1. Rob,

      So, you mount a headlamp to your bench?

      The driveway chalk is similar to the lumber crayons I use. Peel the wrapper off the crayon and lay it down flat and you can cover lots of ground fast.

      And cameras pick up every defect…usually after the finish has been applied, rubbed out, waxed and ready for delivery…

      1. Wear the headlamp. Like this one:

        The camera adds 10# to any project.

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