Sanding gives complete finishing to woodworking projects. It is tedious, time-consuming, and produces dust that messes the entire workshop, but it’s necessary for all projects.
In this article, I’ll talk about the common sanders needed in a workshop.
Ø Oscillating Spindle Sander
Ø Finishing Sander
Ø Sanding Block
Ø Random Orbit Sander
Ø 8” Disc/Belt Sander
Ø Belt Sander
Ø Drum Sander kit
Sandpapers have different level of coarseness whether it’s a sandpaper sheet or power sander. The smoothness or fineness of the paper depends on its number.
The grades of sandpaper available include:
Ø 24 grit super coarse paper used for removing the unwanted parts of wood quickly,
Ø Ultrafine 1200 paper for finishing.
You may not need all the sandpaper grits for your woodworking projects, so its only a few of them that I recommend to you.
They include: 80, 120, and 220 grits.
The 80 grit sandpaper is a coarse sandpaper used for carving, shaping, and removing patterns of wood from boards joined together. It is suitable for use on sharp edges to give it a round shape.
Dents, scratches, or paints on boards can be removed with this medium grit, coarse sandpaper.
Work done with the 80 grit sandpaper can also be accomplished with the 120 grit workhorse sandpaper. Although, it is not as aggressive as the 80 grit, but it can perform better in shaping edges.
It is a better option for already assembled woodworking projects unless there are dents or scratches on the work piece. It can be used for rough spots and to give smoothness to a surface.
If you are going to paint your project, you don’t have to waste all day sanding. Just try to remove scratches, dents, and imperfections, then allow the paint to do its job.
Finishing is done with fine grit papers such as the 220 grit sandpaper. This sandpaper can also be used for sanding between coats of wood finish, to allow the layers to bond.
I use lacquer finisher the most, and I’ve observed that, the coatings fuses together so that sanding between coats is not necessary. I only use the 220 grit on the surface before I apply the last coat.
The most important thing to do is to remove all dust particles and bumps on the surface. Failure to do so will lead to poor finishing. For painted projects, ensure that you sand the surface of the project to become smooth before you apply the final coating.
Finally, finished sanding is best achieved by hand. You can use one hand to sand and the other hand to feel the surface for roughness.
Random Orbit Sanders
Sanding by hand is the cheapest method of sanding, but for a more versatile job, get a Random Orbit Sander.
A Random Orbit Sander spins and moves in random orbits to avoid scratches due to circular sanding. Here, a sandpaper disc is attached using Velcro, and it has holes to suck the dust produced from sanding. The dust are collected in a container, but you can as well connect a vacuum pipe to it.
This sander is capable of doing the job fast, and you can use your hand to check the smoothness until you are satisfied.
The disadvantage is that, you cannot use it on corners unless you use a finishing sander with spikes for sanding corners.
Belt sanders are very aggressive sanders used for construction projects. I personally do not recommend it for woodworking projects, because it can cause damage to your work piece if adequate care is not taken.
It is best used for rough carpentry to eliminate lots of wood materials. For effective usage, it should be mounted upside down. To have more control over it, always take your work piece to it.
Sanding may pose as a safe workshop activity, but the dust it creates could cause health complications if inhaled consistently. Ensure that your shop has a good airflow or preferably, always use nose mask.