You know, structurally sanding is not that difficult task. Due to carelessness, we can make lots of mistakes during this power job. When you use the wrong sanding tool or sandpaper, this error will occur most of the time. Another thing is that if you are lazy, there will be a chance to make a mistake. When we were doing our sanding job, we all made some mistakes.
By the way, the goal of every woodworker should gather more lessons, whether they make a mistake or not. But don’t worry about that; the mistake is a part of gathering experiences. Without making mistakes, you cannot learn properly.
Now, I will share some common mistakes that we are making during sanding, and if you know the errors before you start your sanding job, I believe it will be beneficial for you.
- Sanding too fast: Sometimes sanding is an annoying task indeed. It is a firm and steady job. If you want to finish your job less than half of your regular time, it will be harmful. Sometimes when you want to increase the speed of the sander, tiny swirling scratches are visible. Sooner or later, you have to remove it again with the sander. So, in the long run, you will take more than the regular time.
- Putting extra pressure during sanding: While you are sure to use this power sander, don’t try to give extra downward pressure. Usually, the weight of this device is sufficient for sanding. Your job is to guide the device, not provide additional weight and let the machine do its job. Try to move at a snail’s way, not more than 1 inch per second. After some time, like 30 seconds, you will be adjusted with the device.
- Don’t press down on objects: During sanding with the power tool, avoid using heavy pressure. Don’t put extra pressure on your arms. Try to use light pressure on an object. Here I will give you an old and famous technique. Before starting doing the sanding, put pencil marks over the surface, take fine-grit sandpaper, firmly sand the object, and see the pencil marks removed evenly after some time. If you press the sander more than average pressure without thinking anything, then the device will give you an uneven surface at all.
- Use various grit, but not all of them: In my experience, I want to share with you that sanding with all the different grits can make your work less time-consuming and get a smooth surface. Select the proper sequence of sandpaper grit to get a smooth surface with minimum effort while sanding. If you like to use without conscious, too coarse grit, you will get deep scratches over the surface. After that, you have to give extra time to remove it. If you like to use too fine-grit sandpaper, you have to give lots of time to get the perfect finishing of your project. You may spend the whole day with your sanding job. So, you must gather the knowledge of a variety of sandpaper grit according to your situation. Avoid using every grit from coarse to fine; use other grits, like; 80-120-180 or 100-150-220.
- Don’t try to finish sanding by hand: Sometimes, we try to take a piece of sandpaper and do our job without a perfect sanding block. In my view, only an inexperienced person can do these activities. But you never get any good results by following this system. Unfortunately, you will get an uneven surface for the inappropriate pressure of your finger and arms. So, be careful about that, don’t make any mistake in taking a sanding block. Use a block even when you are working with a small chunk piece like 2″ x 4″ of wood.
- Don’t ask too much or too little from your sanding discs: Sanding disc’s cost is not more than the wood you are using for your project. So, don’t expect from one disc more than it can do. When you see the disc will be full of dust, my advice is to take them off from the sander and replace it. Don’t think about the price of a new disc; it will give you better performance and do its job more quickly when you change the dirty disk away. This disc will make you satisfied with its performance.
- Over sanding: Don’t try to do over sanding. If you press the sander in one place more than the required time, try to go slow. And try to monitor whether the surface is going to be uneven or not.
- Cupping and rounding: In the true sense, joints are not as perfect as you see in the picture. You cannot get ideal finishing when you want to fix two pieces of wood together. By using 60grit sandpaper and giving extra time, you may get smoother finishing.
Don’t neglect the middle; sand slowly, give a pencil mark over the surface to see how evenly the surface may sand. Otherwise, the bottom will be like a rocker. There is nothing wrong if the joint is not equally sanded. If you want to test it, you can use a table saw on the flat surface if you have one.
- Using incompatible supplies: Some hardwoods can create different problems, like oily type tropical hardwood finish seems to be wet and tacky all the time. This problem arises due to the antioxidants present inside the hardwood.
Even when you want to use a nice finishing wood, a different problem will arise during combining two or more products that are generally incompatible with each other. Usually, you can think that oil and water never mix. For avoiding sanding difficulty, try to use the finished product. If you can, you have to try to use shellac as a peacemaker between two incompatible coats.
Sometimes steel wool can cause lots of problems during water-based finishes.
- No rubbing out: Due to several thick, drippy, gobbledygook coating, thicker finishes look plasticky. These types of finishes look like cheap plastic. But this cheap lools does not arise due to the number of coats of the finishing. But due to the errors, unevenness, and defects of the coating. Without giving the correct layer, you will get a thick and uneven coat of tike plastic. After getting the thick coat, you will rub it out again.
So, what’s the difference? Can you find out if you give a thicker coating and, after that rubbing out the coat? So, try to avoid this type of mistake. Only for the uneven surface can you use this type of layer.
- Overlook to sand inside corner: When you are experienced enough, you may find out that a round disc is not always sanding the inside corner correctly. It isn’t straightforward for the random orbital sander to sand the edge of the inside corner. When you wish to sand the bottom shelf, you must move the sander all along the surface and at the right angle. If this process seems complicated for you, then put some tape along the edge to protect the shelf, then sand it.
But it’s my view; you can sand the inside edge with sandpaper and use your hand. It will take some more time but can give you better finishing. This inside edge is not visible, so that you may give light sanding. First, you have to pay attention to the outer side of this kind of furniture.
- Neglecting the faces: Sometimes, we forget about the primary purpose of sanding; we try to give more attention to removing spots and gouges. But the whole sanding process is for getting a good finishing. To make perfect finishing, you must try to treat the sanding phase of a project with as much attention as possible.
Try to feel that when sanding any surface, the large surface or broad faces are always neglected. You may emphasize where you can see the spots or rough surface—spending more time there and then giving the rest time on the rest of the area. But then the imperfection appears. So, you have to keep inside your mind that your main job is to give all the surfaces almost the same finishing without taking any pressure.
- Using the wrong tool: It is imperative to gather proper knowledge about the merits and demerits of all the power tools related to a sanding job. For example- a belt sander is not suitable for final finishing but good for spot removing and other finishing tasks. On the other hand, a palm sander is ideal for an all-around sanding tool but not best for the core sanding. You can see the random orbital sander is usually a better option for removing mill marks and other defects. It is also the right choice for the edge of the joining of two boards.
- Staying in one spot too long: Remember to keep moving when sanding with tools or hands. If you are sanding in one place for a few minutes, then you will get uneven finishing. And it will be visible after finishing the whole job. If there is an extra dip spot or dent over the surface, you must do it concisely. If you apply the water over the surface or use a scale, you can see the depth and uneven surface.
- Sanding through the veneer: With other mistakes sanding through the veneer of plywood is the ending result. But it’s a common problem for all woodworking projects. This mistake is usually seen when anyone is trying to level an edging strip. And at the same time, the plywood will sand where the edging strip is so slightly below the surface of the plywood. The solution is to do better sanding applying the edging but needs to avoid working with the sander when sanding near the edges.
- Not removing sanding dust: Try to remove the sanding dust frequently. Otherwise, the sandpaper will get a clog, and at the same time, the surface will partially conceal. And this dust also pollutes the entire environment and creates injury.
- Sanding against the grain: It is said that never try to sand against the grain. But sometimes, we have to sand against the grain. So depending on the situation, we make our decision in which direction we can sand. When we need to remove stock faster and other finishing work is done, we can sand against the grain. To get an excellent result where two pieces meet together or the common area, you can use a random orbital sander against grain direction.
- Not changing sandpaper often enough: Listen carefully, don’t forget to change the sandpaper when it needs to change. When you realize that the sandpaper has lost its effectiveness, you must change it. If you don’t change the sandpaper frequently, the sander gets jam and takes longer than its usual time. You can feel the sandpaper’s grit, and I think you can understand the difference between the new one and the old one. So, don’t be lazy to change the sandpaper to get excellent performance.
- Using too coarse grit on end grain: Same grit sandpaper is not equally suitable for all the board surfaces. Because the end grain of a board is more complicated than the face or middle of aboard, when you start to sand the board with 100 grit sandpaper, at the end of the board, you should use 150 fine-grit sandpaper. Otherwise, you cannot remove the scratches of that more complicated part. Thus you can save the overall timing of sanding.
- Using the wrong sandpaper grit: With the minimum amount of effort, you must maintain some secret rules if you want to do your sanding. You must select the proper sequence of sandpaper grit to get a smooth surface during your job.
- Health and safety concerns: Traditional wood sanding method is sometimes responsible for creating injury to your family. Wood dust can cause severe respiratory problems; many toxic VOCs can damage your respiratory system and cause environmental issues. So, before sanding, take proper precautions to avoid such issues.
- Don’t tilt your sander: When we see some deep scratches, high spots, or burn marks, naturally, we want to remove it faster with the sandpaper. But don’t try to slope your sander. Random orbital sander has the quality to do one thing; it can make a flat plane surface uniformly smooth.
Never try to hurry; you can use your hand for sanding when this type of issue arises.
So, try to maintain some self-dependence and go steady while you are sanding. This article will show you lots of sanding mistakes and show you how to fix all those mistakes. Don’t hurry during sanding; we all make different types of sanding mistakes only due to hurry and lack of knowledge. So, learn properly and gather lots of instructions regarding sanding. And, if you go through this article, it will meet all of your needs related to sanding mistakes and fixing those mistakes.
How to fix over sanded wood:
When you sand strongly over a single spot, you can get uneven or distorted surfaces. An experienced woodworker can also make this mistake sometimes. These problems usually arise when we see defects, scratches, burning spots, gauge discoloration, etc., over the wood surface areas. However, when you want to focus on one spot, there will be a chance to get uneven results.
You know, unfortunately, the woodworker never even notice this type of irregular surface arise due to over sanding. Sometimes it becomes too late to understand. But there is a technique to bring it back using the same sanding block and give a little bit of effort. It will be a significant issue to fix the problem correctly.
Here I will show you how to fix over sanded wood:
- Draw out the problem area: Before you start sanding with the problem area, you can highlight making with the pencil all over the surface. The marks will be helpful for you to identify the uneven areas. First, the defects may not be visible to you, but when you start sending the pencil marks inside, the defects will stabilize, but the marks outside the stippled area will gradually disappear. The woodworkers had used these techniques lots of years before and tried to solve the problem.
- Start sanding: The sand block, which uses 100 grit sandpaper, is appropriate for this sanding job. When we see the pencil mars disappear entirely, then we must stop sanding. Don’t forget to sand parallel to the grain; across the grain will permanently damage the wooden surface. Sometimes you cannot fix it again. It would be best if you use moderate pressure, short and light strokes during sanding. Keep the block as flat as possible to get even a flat surface.
- Get it level: During the sanding process, lots of dust particles create. Clean the surface area and make the environment safe. Using a soft cloth or air hose pipe fixed with the sander can remove the dust. If you still see the pencil marks inside the defect surface, you can understand how far the damage extends and how deep the over sanded area is. You have to repeat the process until you get an even surface.
- Veneer: Wood veneer is the special care of the wooden surface. It only shows a few centimeters deep and is easy to sand. When we see the visible line on the wood side, it is a good sign of veneer. If we see that the wood’s edge doesn’t have any open area, then the veneer is a good practice of working with that wooden surface.
So, try to solve all the problems very carefully with your total concentration. After that, you can give your best effort to fix the over sanded wood by following this article.
How to fix sanding against the grain:
Sometimes you can feel that some surfaces or shapes are not possible for us to sand in parallel towards the grain. So, though we always sand with the grain, it’s pretty tough for us to maintain the rules. Don’t worry; when you do sanding against the grain, you have to know how to fix the problem when this type of unavoidable condition arises.
Cross-grained scratches can destroy the looks of all attractive items. That can occur on the floor surfaces, craft items, and furniture. Sanding with the grain is a perfect solution to scratches created by cross-grain. Here I will show you how to fix sanding against the grain-
- Take coarse sandpaper, then sand out deep cross-grain scratch marks over the surfaces. Try to remember which grit sandpaper you used before; try to take the same grit paper for getting a better result. Must do the sanding process by hand.
- Now take a new grit paper and sand again. Like- if you take 80 grit paper, soon retake 100 grit paper and sand. Wipe the area with a cloth after finishing the second sanding process. And then see the surface; if the scratch marks are still visible, change the sandpaper grit like 180 and sand again.
- Take a pull scraper; try to remove the scratches from the corner of the floor, other hardwoods, and cabinets as soon as possible. Fix the scraper blade on edge, then give light pressure; after that, pull the scraper toward you along the grain with the fine grit paper( 150 grit). Don’t try to use the scrapper on the veneered surface.
- Take a small piece of sandpaper, fold it, and sand the area with the grain. Use your hand when sanding the inside corner of the cabinet. You can change the finger grit, and don’t forget to stop sanding as soon as the scratches are invisible.
From the very beginning, you will be very much careful about not sanding against the grain. The above topics will help you to fix the problem if you san in anti grain direction. Another thing I want to clarify is that if the scratches come from the belt sander, then remove it with the help of a belt sander. If you can, then use the orbital sander.