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12 Tips for Faster, Smoother, Better Sanding Great Falls MT

There’s nothing worse than sanding right through a veneer. Pencils lines are a great way to gauge sanding progress. I always draw lines on plywood where it meets a solid hardwood edge. The lines will start to disappear when the hardwood edge is flush with the plywood. That’s when you know it’s time to stop.

The Home Depot
(406)727-1542
1500 Market Place Dr
Great Falls, MT
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-9:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Great Falls Ace Hardware
(406) 216-5050
215 NW Bypass, The Fairgrounds
Great Falls, MT
 
Holiday Village Mall
(406) 771-4000
1200 10Th Ave S
Great Falls, MT
Store Hours
Sears Stores
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Sears Stores
Hours
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:10-19
Sun:11-18
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Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:10-19
Sun:11-18

Fastenal- Great Falls
406-771-1972
4212 North Star Blvd Great Falls, MT, 59405
Great Falls, MT
 
Ace Hardware Great Falls
(406) 727-5550
3527 10th Ave S
Great Falls, MT
 
Kmart 3094 / Cross Merch
(406) 453-5424
1000 3Rd St Nw
Great Falls, MT
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Miscellaneous
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Miscellaneous
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Monday To Friday Working Hours is :0-0 and for Sat:0-0
Sun:0-0
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Johnson-Madison Lbr Co
(406) 771-0222
815 10th St
Great Falls, MT
 
Great Falls Lumber
(406) 453-5413
310 6th Street South
Great Falls, MT
 
Big R Stores
(406) 761-6623
4400 10th Ave South
Great Falls, MT
 
The Home Depot
(406)523-0901
2725 Radio Way
Missoula, MT
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-9:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

12 Tips for Faster, Smoother, Better Sanding

12 Tips for Faster, Smoother, Better Sanding

by Eric Smith

People give me strange looks when I tell them I don’t mind sanding. Yeah, it’s dusty and a bit tedious, but I enjoy watching the fine detail in the wood grain pop out as I go through the grit sequence. That silky smooth surface reminds me why I became a woodworker. I also look at sanding as my best opportunity to catch potential finishing problems before they blossom into complete disasters. Even so, I like to sand efficiently and get good results for my time. I’ve learned some simple techniques over the years that can keep you from spending more time at the job than necessary. Here’s a sampling.

Pencil Lines Tell You When To Stop

There’s nothing worse than sanding right through a veneer. Pencils lines are a great way to gauge sanding progress. I always draw lines on plywood where it meets a solid hardwood edge. The lines will start to disappear when the hardwood edge is flush with the plywood. That’s when you know it’s time to stop. 

Pencil lines work on glued-up boards, too. The boards aren’t even until all the lines are gone. 


Dust Collection Improves Sander Performance

Without dust collection, your sander rides on a layer of sawdust, greatly reducing its effectiveness. With a shop vacuum hooked up to your sander, excess sanding dust and grit particles are vacuumed up instantly. This ensures complete contact between the paper and the wood at all times allowing your sander to work at maximum potential. Plus, the lack of dust and grit helps keep you, your shop and your lungs clean. 


Scrapers Leave Sanders in the Dust

Scrapers have been around for centuries, and for good reason: They do the job fast! A sharp scraper leaves hardwoods with a smooth finish that only needs a little finish sanding. A scraper is faster than an orbital sander and you never have to change grits. The hard part is getting a good cutting edge on a scraper; it takes some practice. But, once you’ve used a sharp scraper, you’ll find yourself reaching for it more often than for your sander. (For more on sharpening a scraper, see AW #102, September 2003, “ Foolproof Scraper Sharpening ”.)


Keep Edges Crisp 

Lay pieces of scrap wood of equal thickness to bridge the piece you’re sanding. This will prevent the sander from tipping and rounding over the crisp edges. 

For sanding the narrow edges of doors, clamp the door between two pieces of thick stock to help steady the sander.


Skip Grits

Really, it’s OK. We checked with several major sandpaper manufacturers and each one said the same thing: Whatever grit you start with, you can skip every other grit as you progress from coarse to fine. Using each grit in sequence is almost always overkill, not to mention extremely tedious.

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