Once the first coat of finish has dried, youíll need to sand your wood again. But this time, donít use sandpaper. Use the finest steel wool you can find to sand your wood. Steel wool is available in #3 coarse to #0000, which is very fine.
Some wood workers recommend using the steel wool before you add a coat of finish. However, when you do this, tiny particles of the steel wool tend to get trapped in the pores of the wood. By putting on one coat of finish, you will plug the pores and keep the metal particles out!
Now once youíve finished sanding with your fine steel wool, again you will need to clean the area of all the tiny particles. This time youíll notice that your second coat of finish goes on nice and smooth. A little steel wool in the beginning will give you a silky smooth finish in the ends.
Here are some more tips we found for you when it comes to sanding!
There are several ways to clean the sawdust off the wood's surface before applying a finish.
To get rid of sawdust you can brush, wipe with a soft rag, or use compressed air. However, these three methods (brush, wipe or blow), allow sawdust to remain floating in the surrounding air. This is a big problem because as the sawdust floats in the air it has a chance to drift back onto the surface of the wood, as the finish is drying. The last thing you want is sawdust in your dried coat of finish. However, if you brush, wipe of blow the sawdust away when you are working outside or near a dust collection system, you have a better chance of getting rid of all the sawdust and your project will be better protected.
If you are working in doors and you donít want to use any of the above three methods, try wiping the sawdust away with a tack cloth, or use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Either way you stand a much better chance at getting rid of the sawdust for good than if you go with the brush, wipe or blow methods. The one problem with using a tack cloth is that the cloth can't reach into the wood's pores, but this can be overcome by using the vacuum cleaning method also.
Tack cloths can be purchased or hand-made by dampening cheesecloth, or a soft rag with a 3 to 1 mixture of varnish and turpentine.
Mixture example: One cup of varnish with 1/3 cup of turpentine.
Some wood workers who choose to use fine steel wool before they apply the first coat of finish will recommend using a magnet to pick up all of the metal particles. But again, you run the risk of a metal particle being stuck in a wood pore and the magnet may or may not pick it up.
Most Common Mistakes when Sanding:
1. Allowing a power sander to dig into wood being finished. When working with a power sander it is important to remember that you donít really have to apply much pressure. Simply let the sander continue to move around as you guide it. Donít apply pressure to it, it will do the job on its own.
2. Putting the belt on a belt sander backward. This tears the seams. Always follow directions and make sure you double check before turning on the sander and turning it loose on your project.
3. Using an inappropriate grit of sandpaper for the desired effect. Remember the lower the number the more coarse the grit. Higher numbers mean finer grits. Sandpaper runs from very coarse (20 to 40 grits per inch) all the way up to the very fine (600 grits per inch). The materials range from flint and garnet Emory to aluminum oxide and silicon carbide.
Finishing is usually the last step in building a project. The finishing tools are designed to smooth something to its desired finished state.
Sanding block. This is a rubber block wrapped with the appropriate sandpaper and hand rubbed across the surface. If you donít have a sanding block you can create one simply by wrapping a piece of sandpaper around a wooden block. This will literally take the heat and pressure off of your hands and fingers.
You will want to use a sanding cloth for curved or round objects. It's easier on you and gives a much more even finish. For those tiny hard to reach places try using an Emory board.
As we mentioned earlier the materials or the ďsandĒ in sandpaper usually contains, flint, garnet Emory, aluminum oxide, and Silicon carbide
Flint is best for hand sanding painted or pitchy surfaces, which can clog the paper. If your sandpaper becomes clogged too quickly, vacuum it or use a fine bristle brush to go back and forth across the grit. This will give your sandpaper new life.
Garnet Emory is for hand sanding clean wood.
Aluminum oxide is fast and longer lasting when power sanding wood. It can also be used on plastics and fiberglass and for polishing stainless steel, high carbon steel, or bronze.
Silicon carbide is harder than aluminum oxide and is best used for hard plastics, glass, and ceramics, or grinding and finishing brass, copper, and aluminum.
If you want to polish metal objects you will want to consider using an Emory cloth.
As we mentioned before, you will want to start with a coarse paper and work your way to a fine paper for the smoothest finish. Whenever possible, sand with the grain.
Tips on Sanding
1.When using a power sander do not press down on the machine. Let its own weight do the sanding. Pressing down inhibits the natural action of the machine.
2.Whenever operating any power sander engage and disengage the machine from the material being sanded while the belt or disk is still in motion to avoid gouging the wood.
3.Wrap a padding material around a stick or dowel, then wrap sandpaper over it to use on inward curves.
4.When sanding wood, seal any heating and air-conditioning ducts and electrical outlets with plastic sheets and/or duct tape. Wood dust can ignite.