How to sand wood to prepare for applying finish
When I was growing up my dad used to build all kinds of things out of wood. My job was to sand down all the pieces before he applied the finish. Since I have grown up I have been perfecting my sanding technique.
To start you have to make sure that you prepare the wood. If there are nails make sure to hammer them into the surface properly and remove any staples as they might catch the sandpaper and rip it.
Depending on how rough the surface you are going to be sanding you will be using different gradient of paper. A higher grit paper works well to make the surface smooth to the touch while a lower grit will help to get rougher surfaces down to a point when you can use a higher grit paper to do a final smoothing.
My dad used to make me wear a mask, goggles and gloves whenever I would sand, but I've learned that he was a little over protective. When you are sanding you should wear a mask and glasses to keep small pieces of sanding dust from getting in your lungs and eyes. While you don't have to wear gloves when your sanding but if you are using a sanding block and your hand slips you could skin your hand, its always better safe than sorry.
What I have noticed from teaching my kids how to sand wood is that after they have been sanding for a while they will come to me and say that the paper has stopped working and they need new paper. This is not entirely true, when you use sandpaper the dust that comes off the wood tends to clog the paper. Thankfully this is easably fixed, all you have to do is tap the paper and the dust should just fall right off.
When the wood is smooth to the touch you are finished sanding. I like to use a soft dry rag to just wipe the dust from the surface. This is an important step if you are going to apply a finish to the wood because if there is dust then the finish will make little bumps where there is dust.
Building things with your kids can be a really great bonding experience. And teaches your kids the basics of fixing simple things like a loose nail.
on Nov 07, 2013 | Crafts & Hobbies