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Author Topic: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more  (Read 17128 times)

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Offline woodbowl

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Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« on: April 11, 2006, 11:29:06 PM »
   Sanding non flat surfaces has always been a big chore for me. I refinished pianos for 20 years, 15 years ago and all the nooks and crannies of fancy carvings consumes a lot of time if it is to be done right. Now I am sanding bowls from the rough, to a silk smooth finish. Talk about a lot of sanding, there doesn't seem to be a stopping place. Disk grinders and orbital sanders, using finer grits each time seem to be the only way to get it down. Flap sanders do a pretty good job but they are slow. There are a few more things that cut corners but when it comes right down to it, a lot of time and elbow grease seems to be the only way.
    If you have some tips and tricks to reduce this endless effort, please feel free to share them. Thanks.
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2006, 12:07:24 AM »
Well, I like to make my finish cut smooth enough that I can start sanding with my 2000 grit and work my way up from there. ;D

I do try to make my final cuts as smooth as I can. Shear scraping can accomplish that on the outside of the bowl. Sometimes I power sand using a 2 inche disk mounted on a rubber pad in my drill.  Even with that I sometimes have problems eliminating the tearout in the endgrain portions of the bowl.  To do that, I stop the lath and sand the tearout with the grain working my way up through the grits.  I find that if I have a stubborn spot, I can get it out faster if I stop the lathe and just work on that spot. Once you get the spot smooth, turn on the lathe and complete sanding.

I really try to cut my bowls without any tearout in the endgrain portion of the bowl, but sometimes no matter how hard I try, I still get a little tearout.  Shear scraping helps a lot and also, putting some sanding sealer on the wood and immediately turning while the sealer is wet helps. It somehow supports the fiber and keeps them from tearing out.

Other than that, I don't have any secrets.  If your finish cut is smooth, you can start with a higher grit but if rough, don't hesitate to start with 80 grit and work your way up through the grits. And! Don't skip any grits.  Be sure to wear a good mask and set a fan at the end of your lathe to blow the dust away from you. 
Charlie
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2006, 12:11:46 AM »
Olen's bowls are like dough bowls Charlie. They are not turned. Everyone will get to see a good look at one this weekend as we will be putting one up for auction. I told him "DONT SEND THAT ONE TO ME, YOU SHIP IT!" :D (Tammy would never let it leave the house again if it came here.) Its amazing.
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2006, 12:32:34 AM »
OK Woodbowl, I'll try again. :)   Why not try scraping with a curved scraper? I find scraping removes wood fast and leaves a real smooth finish.  Just burnish the edge of the scraper to get that curl of metal on the edge (hook). Pull it with the grain.  I've had good success but I've always scraped flat surfaces. However, they do make curved scrapers and there must be a reason.....maybe to scrape inside of bowls.  Sheesh! Now you know EVERYTHING I know. ;D
Charlie
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Online SwampDonkey

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2006, 05:12:12 AM »
His bowl in his avatar looks like a butter tray and my grandmother used one alot over the years. I think her's was made from basswood, it's not heavy wood and non porous. Market some as butter bowls to the Amish, make'm from basswood as there is no extractives to get into the butter. Make some butter presses/molds and paddles as well. Treat the tray well with flaxseed (linseed) oil. Her's has never cracked.  8)
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Offline Radar67

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2006, 09:17:41 AM »
Olen check out a curved metal moulding scraper, it'll do the trick a lot faster than sandpaper.

Stew
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2006, 09:40:56 AM »

 Break some winder glass. Use them as scrapers. You will get LOTS of different shapes. We used them for refinishing gunstocks.  ;) ;)
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Offline Don P

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2006, 06:51:26 PM »
An osborn (osborne?) brush might work. Its kind of like a wire wheel cup brush with abrasive coated nylon bristles.
I've also used a Vonnegut head on odd shaped stuff in furniture plants. Its a large flap wheel with brushes backing up the strands of paper.
A pneumatic rolling pin sander lets you adjust the air pressure to conform to different shapes, it would only work on the outsides, if at all.
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Offline Burlkraft

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2006, 07:12:36 PM »
Sandbasting turnings with ground up corn cobs is an interesting finish.

Like semi-gloss poly it give it .........Mellow Patina........ ;D ;D ;D ;D Did ya like that ??? ???
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2006, 08:58:39 PM »
I've tried some scraping in the past. I don't know what winder glass is though. All I had were some light weight, curved paint scrapers that would leave chatter marks and I wound up having to sand anyway. I've thought about a heavy scraper with a depth gage on the back. Then it would be a curved planer I suppose. Better still ..... an electric curved planer. Can't find no such thing on the net. BK, do those sandblasted corn cobs eat out the soft wood and leave the hard rings as if it is weathered?

Here are a few bowls in the rough. There're sort of smooth, but a good hour of sanding is what it takes to make a furniture smooth finish. It's a real pain. When I get through my hands are tingling from the sander and
I've had enough.  You may remember a topic I posted a while back about a tumbling drum.   
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=17959.msg258411#msg258411


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Offline isawlogs

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2006, 09:20:41 PM »
 Ya got to keep in mind that the man is from florida and now in the jungle    ;) I don't know what winder glass is though

   Read  window  glass   ;D
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2006, 09:34:42 PM »

  Geesch Olen, Took a Quebecker to translate redneck fer ya, EH ???  ::) ::) :D :D :D
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Offline Don P

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2006, 10:05:12 PM »
Well why didn't you say you wanted a curved base planer  ;D
http://www.timberwolftools.com/tools/makita/M-1002BA.html

Alot of times you can play with the pitch angle youre holding the scraper at and kind of cross the grain at an angle to keep the jitters down. Some wood takes scraping better than others.
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2006, 10:07:02 PM »
Winder glass ..........  :P it says, a round piece of glass, got to do with watches or sumpthin'.  Wender glass .......  :P it says http://www.gagirl.com/southern/south.html  I know what a wender pane is but I was thinking hard to figure out how you sposed' to wind a piece of broke glass and scrape a piece of wood with it. Harold, what duz folks sound like that live south of CR?  ::)
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Offline Tom

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2006, 10:19:59 PM »
You can make some really good scrapers from broken bandsaw blades.
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2006, 10:28:22 PM »

 South of Costa Rica, is where them little Dudes wear them tuxeders.  ::) 8) :D
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2006, 10:40:07 PM »
Well why didn't you say you wanted a curved base planer  ;D
http://www.timberwolftools.com/tools/makita/M-1002BA.html


That's a great link Don. Do you have this tool?

Tom, are you talking about sharpening the back edge of the band, making a small hoop and clamping it with vice grips for a handle?

Now Deadheader, .... whuts a tuxeder?  ;D
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2006, 10:50:32 PM »
Many, many years ago woodworkers used glass as a scraper. Me, I'd rather use a metal scraper because the last thing I would want is the glass breaking in my hand.

Woodbowl, we are not talking about a paint scraper.  A furniture grade scraper is a flat piece of steel about 3 inches by 6 inches for the rectangular ones that you would use on a flat surface. To make them so they'll work, you have to "burnish" the edge.  First, put the scraper in a vise, then file the edge of the scraper so it is true and 90to the sides. Then you take very hard steel rod (called a burnisher) and run it down the edge of the scraper to produce a "hook" along the edge. It is that "hook that does the cutting. You can feel the "hook" with your thumbnail. It takes a little practice to get the right angle on the "hook".  Burnish too much and you roll the cutting edge of the "hook" up and it won't cut. Don't burnish enough and the edge isn't there to cut.

Now, with that said, they sell curved furniture scrapers, which once burnished you could use to scrap the inside of the bowls.  You would burnish them the same way as the rectangular furniture scraper.

There are also burnishing tools you can buy where you set the degree of the hook you want. That takes all the guess work out of it but they are quite a bit more expensive at about $35 or so.  

A scraper with the right angle hook will literally cut the wood as smooth as glass.  You'll usually get fine ribbons of wood as it cuts.  A scraped piece of wood is smoother and cleaner looking than a sanded piece of wood because the fibers are cut and not frayed.

Scrapers are really handy when smoothing burl and endgrain too.  It might take you a little practice but I assure you that once you have it down you'll be well rewarded.  
Charlie
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Offline DanG

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2006, 10:57:01 PM »
Olen, I got one of them Vonnegut type sanders you can have if you want to try it.  It came on a little machine that B&D made, called the Work Wheel.  The little machine has crapped out, but I still have the sander.  Pick it up and try it next time you're over here. ;)

ps:  Somebody left a big pile of spalted sweet gum in my yard while I was gone.  Ya need to come over and pick through it, too. ;D
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Offline getoverit

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Re: Sanding irregular surfaces - sand sand sand & sand some more
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2006, 11:31:20 PM »
A while back, I hand sanded my 57 chevy down to bare metal. It took me 6 weeks, working 8 hours a day to do it. After that, someone told me bout a product that is basically a sponge ball with a bit of abrasive material on it. When sent through a sand blaster, it compresses the sponge balls, and they are hurled out at what ever you point it at. You can literally take off layers of paint on a car with it, or take off the paint and leave the original primer on the car. It is THAT sensitive.

try THIS LINK for more info on the  product. I'm sure there are other manufacturers that make this stuff, and several grades of abrasive are available. Because it is on a foam ball, it will also work on irregular surfaces. It can be reused also, so there is just a one time investment if you contain the balls that have been blown out of the sandblasting rig.

this is called "sponge blasting" of you want to google it. It would be my first choice for sanding large objects smooth, especially objects with irregularities.
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