Category Archives: Tools

Sanding Cheat Sheet


I really hate to sand! I try to avoid it like Covid-19. Thus it seems ironic that I have written a dozen blog entries on sanding.

Here is a cheat sheet for my students that sort of ties all of my sanding blog entries together.

Wet Wood?

Is the wood wet? i.e. something you turned out of a fresh log?

If wet wood then friction dry with Siasoft. Then power sand with Autonet.

See my “Sanding Wet Wood” blog entry.  http://carlford.info/blog/2020/03/sanding-wet-wood/

Already Finished?

Does the piece already have a coat of finish like polythene or lacquer on it?

Then sand with Abralon. See my “Abralon Sanding Pads” blog entry.  http://carlford.info/blog/2020/03/abralon-sanding-pads/

Spindle Turning?

Is the piece something with the grain running parallel to bed of the lathe and less than 4″ in diameter? i.e. like a table leg or stair baluster?

Use Red Siasoft.

1. Protect any fine details with 2 layers of masking tape.

2. Hand sand everything else with Red Siasoft sandpaper.

See my “Red Siasoft Sandpaper” blog entry.  http://carlford.info/blog/2020/03/red-siasoft-sandpaper/

3. Remove any masking tape from any fine details.

4. Sand the fine details with small chunks of old fashion sandpaper.

See my Klingspor Sandpaper Rolls” bog entry.  http://carlford.info/blog/2019/12/klingspor-sandpaper-rolls/

5. Burnish or buff the raw wood with synthetic steel wool and then a blue towel.

See my “Nylon Mesh Sanding Rolls (aka Synthetic Steel Wool)” blog entry.  http://carlford.info/blog/2019/09/nylon-mesh/

6. Apply your favorite finish.

For small items like Bottle Stoppers, etc I like quick finishes like “Howard Feed-N-Wax” from local food store or “Hut Crystal Coat” from Amazon, etc.

For everything else I like Polyurethane.

See my “Great Polyurethane Finishes” blog entry.  http://carlford.info/blog/2013/01/great-polyurethane-finishes-demo/

Bowl or Hollow Form (Faceplate Turning)?

If the wood is wet.  See “Wet Wood?” above.

If the wood is dry then power sand with Blue Flex sanding disks or Autonet. I usually go with Blue Flex disks because they are cheaper.

1. Protect any fine details with 2 layers of masking tape.

2. Power sand everything else with Blue Flex disks.

See my “Blue Flex Sanding Disks” blog entry.  http://carlford.info/blog/2014/11/blue-flex-sanding-disks/

3. Remove any masking tape from any fine details.

4. Sand the fine details with small chunks of old fashion sandpaper.

See my Klingspor Sandpaper Rolls” bog entry.  http://carlford.info/blog/2019/12/klingspor-sandpaper-rolls/

5. Burnish or buff the raw wood with synthetic steel wool and then a blue towel.

See my “Nylon Mesh Sanding Rolls (aka Synthetic Steel Wool)” blog entry. http://carlford.info/blog/2019/09/nylon-mesh/

6. Apply your favorite finish.

I like Polyurethane.

See my “Great Polyurethane Finishes” blog entry. http://carlford.info/blog/2013/01/great-polyurethane-finishes-demo/

Click here for a printer friendly PDF file.

Sanding Wet Wood


Old school wisdom says you can’t sand wet wood. i.e. something you turned out of a fresh log. You have to wait for the wood to dry out, then sand it.

If you try to sand with old school PAPER backed sandpaper the wood turns to mush and almost immediately clogs your sandpaper. You can’t wash off paper backed sandpaper with water. The paper just turns to mush.

Red Siasoft and Mirka Autonet are game changers. When the wood turns to mush and clogs up Red Siasoft you can do one of two things.
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