How to Sand Wood

If you love beautiful smooth wood, let it grinds to the heart or put into the hands.

Especially for wood, which is to be oiled, it is recommended in any case to grind the wood as smooth as possible. Whether you want to work on a table, a shelf, a chair, jewelry or a simple toy or create your own - a pleasantly soft surface finishes your woodwork. But how exactly do I grind the wood, so that the grain gets nice and wood feels pleasantly smooth? Here you will find helpful tips and tricks how you can successfully reach a beautiful wooden surface. In particular, we would like to present you our advice on the wood grinding by hand. To grind the wood with your hand costs a little patience. One can experience a damn quickly if one does not know exactly what to pay attention at all.

Wood sanding with hand

The choice of the quality of the sandpaper is critical when sanding the wood. The possibilities of choice for the abrasive paper are manifold. Both regarding quality and grain size. It is not necessarily expensive, but cheap can quickly become very expensive, and the frustration is pre-programmed. Nothing is as annoying as sandpaper, which is consumed very quickly, hardly abrasive (of grinding abrasive effect, a foreign word which often shows up on the topic grind) works and quickly breaks. Please feel the sandpaper before buying. The good abrasive paper seems sharp, and the grain remains on the paper when you test with the fingernail. When sanding wood, sandpaper with corundum is the best choice. This paper is usually reddish brown (see illustration).

There are also abrasive papers with silicon carbide as abrasive. This is even sharper than corundum, but the gain in the life of the abrasive paper is not proportional to the price. The term also means the duration and the length of the abrasive paper. From flint, emery or quartz paper, I advise. They consume very quickly and are used, if at all, rather for soft woods. However, there is good corundum sandpaper mostly in quantities which are customary in the trade. For example in 50 meters rolls. A good company where I am a happy customer is Awake. In the construction market, you should ask which abrasive is on the abrasive paper. This is not always the case. You can also use the best electric planer as well.

Choosing the right grain when sanding the wood

Wood grinding always goes from coarse to fine. At the same time, the traces of the previous grinding are removed with the beautiful graining of the abrasive paper. This means that you can eliminate the bumps with the coarsest paper and, with all other grinding operations, only smooth the traces of the previous cut. Avoid coarser sandpaper than the 80s. The 60s or even 40s sandpaper leaves such bad marks in the wood, which they get only with much trouble if at all, get rid of. A useful grading for wood sanding is, for example, 80 - 120 - 180 - 240. For very fine wood sanding, they can also be used as a finish also 320s. 400er is more vanity than utility. The grain size depends on the surface of the workpiece. The rougher and more uneven, the coarser the initial cut must be.

Do you know what grit is?

For example, the grain size of 120 meshes is that the abrasive grain still passes through a sieve with 120 meshes per inch, but no longer with a finer sieve. Thus, it does not mean anything like 120 abrasive grains per square meter on the abrasive paper or the like.

This was defined by the Association of European Abrasives Manufacturers.Wood sanding always goes from coarse to fine. At the same time, the traces of the previous grinding are removed with the beautiful graining of the abrasive paper. This means that with the coarsest paper I eliminate the bumps and with all other grinding passes only the traces of the previous cut. Abrasive paper is available from grain size 40. When sanding wood, avoid coarser sandpaper than the 80s. The 60s or even 40s sandpaper leaves such bad traces in the forest, which they get only with much trouble if at all, get rid of. A sensible gradation is 80 - 120 - 180 - 240. For excellent work, they can also use 320s as a finish. 400er is more vanity than utility.

Wood properly grind

The abrasive paper is selected, all the granules are present in the sufficient quantity, then it can start with the grinding. To grind the wood always means grinding with the fiber. Because you grind crosswise to the fiber of the wood, you get the nastiest scratches, which are difficult to get away. In order to smooth a flat surface of the wood, they need a chopping block. You can either make it yourself from a piece of wood or buy one from cork or plastic. The larger the area to be machined, the more pressing the grinding block can be and the more level the wood becomes. At the latest with the 240er sandpaper, you do not need a sanding pad anymore. A hard sanding pad is necessary, since it does not follow the unevenness, but it just abrades. If you started using 80-grit sandpaper, and you can see that there are still traces of the 80-sheet paper on the 180, go back to 120-grit sandpaper for these areas. This is much better and faster than trying to iron out with 180s. Sometimes you can see these scratches only when you are a step further in the cut. Possible machining traces of grinding machines should have disappeared with the first cut since they are very stubborn.

Alternatively: grinding with the eccentric sander

In many cases, it is a good idea to use an edge sander for grinding the wood. These models are more versatile and efficient than the conventional belt and vibration grinders since the grinding movement is simultaneously oscillating and rotating. As a result, they leave significantly fewer grinding grooves and provide a clean result. Before purchasing, however, you should inform yourself about the circumstances of the individual models. It is therefore recommended in advance to go a little on the research and read some reviews on a lot of devices are available. On various pages, you will find the latest best sander Sanders in the test and can decide for a model. The purchase of such a grinder should be considered carefully, as you would like to be happy with this grinding machine for a few years. Alternatively, a visit to the next building market in the purchase decision can not hurt.

The final touch - moisten the wood?

When grinding the wood, the wood fibers are roughly cut off, as is the case when working with a sharp tool, and some are also pressed down again. If your work piece is now wet, these fibers re-orient themselves and can then be sanded again with a sanding paper (240). This game can also be repeated until the wood has become flat like a Baby. Whether this is necessary, the spirits separate. If I have a lacquer, for example, an intermediate grinding, disappear at the latest then the nasty fibers. This also applies to oils with intermediate grinding. If I only want to oil or varnish the wood, I would moisten the wood, not soak, and remove the straightening fibers before oiling or varnishing.

Wood sanding - is the surface smooth?

How do you see if the surface is smooth and evenly ground?

Quite simply: with the eyes. Because your fingers look much better if the wood has become gentle and soft, as your eyes!

Tip: If you let your fingers slide slowly over the wood, you will feel the possibility of small irregularities. If you drive quickly over the surface, you feel the slightly coarser bumps particularly well.

Even with a lamp, you can sometimes discover quite well, small machinings. If the light from above appears, the surface seems to be immaculate. However, let the light slide over the workpiece at a very shallow angle, and a few scratches can be quickly revealed.

The edges break when grinding

A table top has not only the top but also edges. We want to dedicate ourselves to it now. Sharp edges, e.g., on a table plate are not the hit. So they have to be broken. Broken means that the side is removed. If you only want the edge to be cut and not rounded, you must also use a chopping block for this purpose. If you have the possibility to work here, you should do so. You save yourself a lot of work. If you want a soft transition, then just take your hand for grinding. In either case, work towards the edge and not crosswise. Be careful not to damage the wood of the surface.

Profile grinding

For profiles, abrasive sponges are very suitable. Unfortunately, however, there is sometimes the risk that a pattern is "washed out". Or if you have many profiles to grind, the abrasive sponge becomes too expensive. For example, you can easily create a profile negative from a grinding block made of cork and thus solve such grinding problems in a fast and stable manner.

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