Landing Page

These ROS tricks will change how you sand wood!

understanding how to use your tools properly is critical to good Woodworking and in the past we've done some deep dives into essential sanding skills but this time I just want to focus on some of the most useful tips that I've employed over the years which I believe can have the biggest impact on your next project one of the best sanding tips ever is to use a pencil to help you judge your progress through the Grits now this means lightly scribbling on the surface of your work then sanding off that line when the line's gone you know it's time to move on to the next grip now keep in mind this tip is best for finish sanding if you're using 40 or 60 grit on a rough surface you're probably going to need to remove more material than just the pencil line but at those levels you can usually tell by eye when you're ready to advance grits The Pencil Trick is for the next grit such as 80 and above when your progress is more difficult to judge by eye alone I often see tip videos that show how to use a piece of paper or cardboard to keep the sander from marring a perpendicular surface when you're sanding into a corner a better solution is to Simply sand your project Parts before you assemble them it is so much easier to work that way maybe there are occasions when you have to sand after assembly such as when cleaning up some glue squeeze out or in some really small assemblies but that can usually be done by hand just because you have a five inch orbital sander doesn't mean you have to use it for everything in fact you should always complete your project by hand with your finest grit you work with the grain and that eliminates any cross grain scratches that may have been left behind by the orbital sander So to that end get yourself one of these it's a comfortable foam sanding block that accepts the same sanding discs as your power tool so you don't have to get separate paper I'll pin a link to the one I used to the top of the comment section below get one it's inexpensive and it'll be one of the handiest sanding Tools in your shop I don't worry too much about slightly rounding over the edges of most projects because I usually ease the sharp edges by hand during my final sanding anyway but sometimes you do need some parts to stay nice and crisp at the edges and the soft pad on a random orbit sander can round those over if this is a concern for your project you should avoid letting more than just a little bit of the disc hang off the edge of a work piece or you might lay a second piece of the same thickness right next to your work to support the sander and keep everything flat and even sandpaper works by abrading away the surface until all the remaining scratches or imperfections are no deeper than the size of the grit on the paper skipping grits then won't speed up your work or save you money because the finer grit will just have to work harder it's much easier for example to remove 80 grit scratches with 120 grit paper than it is with 180 grit paper so as a rule it's best to jump your grit size no more than 50 percent at a time that means go from 80 to 120 and then from 120 to 180 and so on and know when to stop a couple coats of a film finish like polyurethane will fill in 180 grit scratches so sanding much higher than that may be a waste of time in that case on the other hand a penetrating finish like oil or something that soaks in more and doesn't build up a thick film on the surface that may require finer sanding perhaps 220 or 320 or even higher believe it or not cheap sandpaper is actually pretty expensive because it works more slowly and it wears out faster maybe you have a favorite sandpaper and if you do that's great but if not I think you should at least try a pack of the Sandpaper I use it's the 3M cubatron 2. I like the mesh version but it also comes in a multi-hole version that'll work with any sander hole pattern I'll pin a link to the top of the comment section below seriously this stuff is different it's going to cut faster and last longer than any paper you've tried which actually makes it perhaps the least expensive sandpaper on the market Try It You'll thank me later it's a bad idea to start your sander in the air before you set it down on the work piece and I say that knowing that I myself do this all the time but it is a bad idea because many lower end Sanders need resistance to keep them from spinning up too quickly and potentially damaging their bearings but the biggest problem with starting up off the work piece even with a high quality sander is when you do set it down you can do so unevenly and you can end up putting a deep scratch in the surface of the project with the edge of the disc depending on the quality of your random orbit sander it may vibrate a little bit or it may vibrate a lot some folks are really sensitive to those vibrations especially over time they can cause temporary numbness or even permanent nerve damage in some extreme cases if the vibrations bother you or if you often sand for extended periods and you don't want to take any risks get yourself some anti-vibration gloves I'll link to a good pair below this video I like the fingerless ones and the goat skin palms and there's a gel pad inside that's just enough to make sanding more comfortable without being too bulky a lot of people think if they push down harder with their sander it's going to work faster and sure if you really hog down on the edge you can sand the heck out of a little spot but you're causing an uneven surface and it's going to stand out like a sore thumb when you put your finish on applying too much pressure also interrupts the tools random orbit pattern it reduces it to just simply vibrating try this put a mark on the edge of a sanding disc and watch how its movement changes when you apply excessive downward Force this is going to quickly wear out your sandpaper and it could prematurely kill your sander not to mention it will cause those nasty pigtail swirls that are common to the vibrating Sanders you bought a random orbit sander not a vibrating sander you wanted that randomized motion and Superior finish so don't interrupt it by applying too much force another mistake common to impatient Woodworkers is to move the sander too quickly this Alters the sander scratch pattern it's designed to create tight continuously overlapping swirls that blend together and become impossible to see when you move it too quickly you stretch the scratch pattern out into longer more noticeable swirls you aren't scrubbing the wood you're sanding it about an inch of movement per second is pretty much ideal if you have to keep going back over the same spot you just have to switch to a coarser grid one thing you should not slow down is the variable speed dial on your sander I made a whole video about this some time ago but here's the short version single speed Sanders are designed to run at the optimal speed for the Sandpaper which is 10 to 12 000 RPM that also happens to be the top setting o

Related Articles

Back to top button