Preparing a surface to shine is more important than getting the wood to
shine. Design your piece to where light can move across its surfaces without
drastic distortions (eg. Hail dents distort the light reflecting
off the hood of a car, or a poorly
repaired car fender).
Step 1: Wood
Remove all saw, gouge and rasp marks
with a Nicholson #50 followed by any variety of Nicholson 2nd cut files. Shallow file marks are easily sanded out. The surface is now ready. Be sure to
sand with the grain whenever possible. Note- Each grit of wet/dry
sandpaper (I prefer 3M brand), will leave its own tiny scratches.
Step 2: 220 grit
Removes all file marks and does final
shaping of surface.
Step 3: 400 grit
Removes 220 grit scratches. When you
think you are through (all 220 scratches removed),
hen go over it again, as
most people do not spend the necessary effect on this step. Always
before going to the next grit of
sandpaper, take a worn piece of the sandpaper you are using,
wipe it clean, then lightly go over
the entire surface (in good light) checking for any noticeable scratches or
Step 4: 600 grit
Removes all 400 grit scratches, wood
should start to shine. Caution, listen while you sand,
pieces of grit from the
coarser sandpaper may be lurking in a crack or elsewhere and will
your 600 grip sandpaper and the wood. This will make little 'E' shaped
and can be heard as you sand. Also, on these finer grits sawdust will accumulate
and adhere to your paper in small dots, these dots can scratch the wood surface.
Frequent wiping of the sandpaper on your pants or cloth will help
Step 5 : 1500 grit
Removes 600 grit scratches. Be even
more careful to listen for scratch makers and watch
for build up on paper. Note: Letting
a finger drape over the edge of the sandpaper onto
the wood helps keep unwanted grit off
Step 6: jewelers
rouge on leather (split cowhide or buckskin)
Use light colored rouge (yellow or
white) for light wood and dark rouge (chocolate colored)
for dark woods.
Applying the rouge to the leather requires pressure and a little friction heat
to apply it well. Rub the wood with the rouged leather with moderate pressure
until the wood
shines like glass. Be careful not to touch
finished surfaces with your bare skin as hand oils
or moisture will leave deep prints.
Now that the wood shines like glass
you should be able to see every scratch you missed,
yuck. You may have to go back to 220
grit in places to remove a rasp or file mark or just
to 1500 grit sandpaper to remove
prints. Use any finish you like (Danish oil - put 5 coats
on, buffing with leather between each
coat). Follow the instructions on drying time. Be
sure and wipe piece dry before
allowing the oil to curl or the oil will collect rouge from
your leather as you buff and look
Here are a few helpful tips to speed the sanding process:
1. Use good light!
2. Concentrate on what
you are doing. Be systematic (start on one side, move over
1/2 inch and sand again, then move
over and repeat). Check often to make sure you
do not sand one area 20 times and
another not at all.
3. Frequently wipe
surface with hand or cloth.
4. Frequently clean or
wipe the sandpaper off.
5. From 1500 grip
sandpaper on, wear a cotton glove or use a soft cloth to hold the piece
This keeps the prints down. (1500
grit sandpaper can be bought at auto body paint and
6. On small areas, in
tight spots or if there is a specific scratch you wish to remove without
too much area. cut the paper in narrow strips (1/2" to 3/4" by 5" to 6"). Place
thumb over a scratch (kind of a practice swing), hold the strip of
sandpaper by one end,
place top end of paper just above scratch then replace you
thumb with light pressure. Pull
the sandpaper between your thumb and the surface
of the wood. Keep even light pressure
on the wood, it all takes
practice. HAPPY SANDING!