Turning Archive 2004

A sanding tip

Mike Schwing from Md.
>Based on a reply to an email I received on sandpaper sources, there is a tip about how to remove those all too common circular sanding scratches we find in our turnings that are power sanded with the lathe turned on. It works like a charm, easy as cake to do, and since I found this little tip/method, I can honestly say there are none of those frustratingly hard to remove, but extremely easy to see marks in my work. Hope it helps someone.
On almost all of my work I use a combo of the "Wave" discs in a powered drill and Micro Mesh. I start with the work on the lathe at a very high speed, maybe 1500-1800 rpm, IF I'm comfortable with the work spinning that fast.

I usually start with 80 grit wave discs with a firm pad to remove any tear out that might exist as well as any tool marks or high spots. I then switch to the soft pad and proceed to 100, 120, 180, 220, 320, and 400. After sanding each grit with the lathe on, I lock the spindle and go over it with the same grit with the powered sanded but lathe off. This will remove all of those lousy circular sanding marks so prevalent in turned work, and I only spend another minute or so for each grit. It is fast work.

From there I go to the Micro Mesh and do not skip grits. I start at 1500, which is supposedly the same roughly as 600 wet/dry paper and go all the way up to 12000. If it happens to be maple I'm turning I'll grab a handful of shavings and burnish it after the 12000. See Russ for confirmation of this last step as it has caused controversy when I've relayed it in the past.

Hope this helps.

ps..I don't mean to start another brou-ha-ha over the long term effects of applying finish to surfaces that are so smooth or burnished. This works for me.

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