Turning Archive 2005

End Grain Smoothing

>Novice alert. OK, now the question. I've gotten so I can get through a project without killing it, but I can not for the life of me get end grain to smooth out when I'm sanding on the lathe. If I've got a bowl spinning, once I get it sanded down, you will definitely be able to find the end grain no problem.

Is it my use of the tool, or my use of the sandpaper? Or something in between? My lathe goes one direction if that matters.

Tool - I try really hard to use a super-light touch as I finish something to smooth out these rough areas. I'll typically use a scraping tool at this point. Works ok everywhere but the end grain.

Sanding - I go through 100, 150, not sure, 320, 600. I spend a lot more time with the 100/150 than I do with the 600. In fact, in a vain effort to smoke out the end grain roughness, I've even started with 60 as an experiment.

Lathe speed - varies with the piece. Call it 1000rpm I guess.

It isn't like the end grain feels like the end of a 2x4, it is relatively smooth, but not glassy like the rest of the work.

Thanks for the time. If I can figure out how to post a couple of photos I'll let you see what a novice can kind do once I get the computer hooked up in the new office after I get my daughter moved to the new room but before the baby is born and sometime after the dresser is fixed up and the room painted and you get the idea.

David B.

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