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By Quickben
#1271054
I've just ordered a mixed pack of micro mesh pads, ranging from 1500 grit to 12000(!!), cut to fit a 5" sander and with a velcro back.

We have some jarrah and mahogany to work on, so I was wondering how shiny i could get it before putting a finishing oil/wax/lacquer on it.

Has anyone tried sanding to this level before ?

I've used micro mesh before in the RAF to blend out nicks on compressor blades in gas turbine engines. It's good stuff.

I'm just wondering how far up the grades I can get before it makes no difference to the wood. My thinking is that if I can get the wood to look like it already has a coat of lacquer on it and THEN lacquer it, it will have an even deeper shine.

Or I could get away with just oiling the wood after sanding and not need to use anything else.

Any thoughts ?
By AJB Temple
#1271062
I've never gone beyond 1000 grit, using a Mirka with extraction. That was on an electric guitar body I recently repaired and refinished for a friend. After sanding I went over it with a polishing mop as usual. This was on hard maple. Then spray lacquered. I doubt that on wood going any finer will make a noticeable difference as you are always dealing with wood cells and grain. Will be interested to see what you achieve.
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By Bm101
#1271099
Used it on a plane handles etc but it was more to polish up the tru oil finish in between lots of very very thin coats. Worked very well for that. I've used it effectively on brass and bronze. Not really the same process you are trying mind.
Believe it was developed to take the scratches out of windows on aeroplanes if memory serves. Good stuff I found. Lasts well and you can wash it but I only use it on small stuff.
By Quickben
#1271128
Bm101 wrote:Used it on a plane handles etc but it was more to polish up the tru oil finish in between lots of very very thin coats. Worked very well for that. I've used it effectively on brass and bronze. Not really the same process you are trying mind.
Believe it was developed to take the scratches out of windows on aeroplanes if memory serves. Good stuff I found. Lasts well and you can wash it but I only use it on small stuff.


This is what I had in mind, actually.

It really is good stuff. I could bring a compressor blade up to a chrome mirror finish going through 4-5 grades. I'm hoping I can approach that kind of shine with hardwood. Anyway, it's an interesting experiment if nothing else.

I'll post some pictures when I get some done.
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By woodbloke66
#1271154
AJB Temple wrote:I've never gone beyond 1000 grit, using a Mirka with extraction.


Agreed, 600 to a max 1000g is all that's needed (possibly 1200 or 1500g on a lathe). I usually finish at 320/400g for walnut etc and 240g for open grained timbers such as oak - Rob
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By custard
#1271163
For an open grained timber like Oak or Walnut there's really very little improvement once you go above 180 grit, for a fine grained timber like Maple or a fruitwood you could go up to 220/240 grit, but you'll see little practical difference above that.

That's not to say however that there's no role for ultra high grits. If you have a thick film finish, say shellac or varnish, where you can body up a discernible thickness to the finish, then going up to 1000 grit or higher can be readily perceived in the finish quality. Although this depends on appropriate grain filling being completed first.

A second application for 1000 grit plus papers is on the end grain of bare timber. If you want to prevent the end grain becoming significantly darker than the long grain once finished, then sand the end grain through to 1000 grit or higher.

But with most furniture sanding don't get too focussed on the fine grits. That's a newbie mistake. The truth is the real work with sanding is normally done with the 80 grit. You should be spending far, far longer with 80 grit than with any other grit. After that be really careful you don't miss a grit until you reach at least 180 grit, because all subsequent sanding after 80 grit is only about removing the scratch pattern from the previous grit, all the actual flattening work was done with 80 grit.
By rafezetter
#1271179
custard wrote:A second application for 1000 grit plus papers is on the end grain of bare timber. If you want to prevent the end grain becoming significantly darker than the long grain once finished, then sand the end grain through to 1000 grit or higher.


I've often read that sanding the long grain to a higher grit will hinder the absorbtion or adhesion of a finish to the wood - but never put 2+2 together and considered using that property as a useful tool.

An obvious but clearly overlooked tip for endgrain.
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By Bm101
#1271204
Ben I'd say I wrote a wip on making/altering a stanley 101 a while ago but it wasn't a wip it was a cry for help if I'm honest. Personally I wouldn't usually spend that much time on a original plane handle. Since it was a new one it got some care because.
I can't find the thread for love nor money though.
I still have some pics and they might give some idea? Also a pic I took today. From memory (and there's the problem), it's probably 2/3 years old. It gets treated like a tool and I use it a lot by my hobby standards. It works very well. I pretty much use this, my 5 and 4 1/2 for 90% of what I mess about with . The handle has held up well in terms of the tru oil. Brass is starting to get some patina the wood looks the same as when I finished it. Tru oil is tough stuff.

Image
Brazilian Mahogany was gap filled. Then apply a coat leave in sun then sand. 20 min later rinse and repeat. Have another beer etc etc etc :D
Coats are super thin and a little repetitive but hasn't suffered a scratch.


When finished.
Image
Today.
Image
Hope it helps.
Cheers
Chris
By LancsRick
#1273036
custard wrote:A second application for 1000 grit plus papers is on the end grain of bare timber. If you want to prevent the end grain becoming significantly darker than the long grain once finished, then sand the end grain through to 1000 grit or higher.


Custard, whilst I was aware of the advice in the rest of your post I wasn't aware of this. In the past I've just ensured I have a nice clean (sawn) face and then sanded it the same as the rest of the piece of timber. How does going finer reduce absorption - the grain is still open? Not arguing just genuinely intrigued.

Cheers.
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By custard
#1273617
LancsRick wrote:
custard wrote:A second application for 1000 grit plus papers is on the end grain of bare timber. If you want to prevent the end grain becoming significantly darker than the long grain once finished, then sand the end grain through to 1000 grit or higher.


Custard, whilst I was aware of the advice in the rest of your post I wasn't aware of this. In the past I've just ensured I have a nice clean (sawn) face and then sanded it the same as the rest of the piece of timber. How does going finer reduce absorption - the grain is still open? Not arguing just genuinely intrigued.

Cheers.



The usual assumption is that finish is absorbed in end grain's open fibres, and that's why end grain finishes darker. However, the latest thinking is that is only partially true. The bigger reason end grain finishes darker is because there's micro tear out all over the end grain surface, too small to be seen with the naked eye, but it's there even with the best quality cuts. And the finish pools in these minute pits and hollows.

The solution therefore is sanding to a much higher grit level on end grain to remove this tear out. I first saw this demonstrated a few years ago and was astonished at the results, I've since tried it myself and it works. End grain will always finish a bit darker than long grain, but carefully work through the grits to above 1000 grit and you'll significantly reduce that difference.