sanding methods for small wood pieces

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davedoublem

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Can anyone recommend the best sanding methods for small flat sheets of either pine or birch ply? I want to be able to print onto the surface of wood and in the process of making a possible order for some sheets but I don't know what state these come and if I have to sand them. I can only print onto unfinished wood and it needs to be as smooth as possible. The average size piece I will use is 10x8" and 12mm thick. Should I purchase a sander and if so what is the recommended grit or could sanding just be done with just regular sandpaper?

Sorry for asking such a simple question to some, but I'm a complete novice where wood is concerned.
 
I'll post this again from your other thread in case you haven't checked back, I may be able to help, I keep offcuts of 12mm Birch ply, if you message me we can have a chat about exactly what you are looking for.
 
Can anyone recommend the best sanding methods for small flat sheets of either pine or birch ply? I want to be able to print onto the surface of wood and in the process of making a possible order for some sheets but I don't know what state these come and if I have to sand them. I can only print onto unfinished wood and it needs to be as smooth as possible. The average size piece I will use is 10x8" and 12mm thick. Should I purchase a sander and if so what is the recommended grit or could sanding just be done with just regular sandpaper?

Sorry for asking such a simple question to some, but I'm a complete novice where wood is concerned.
If they are already cut and finished like good quality bought ply then might be easy enough by hand with a cork block with half sheet wrapped around it. Start fine say 150 grit or finer, and proceed through grit sizes without missing one out until desired finish arrived at.
Or if you are doing a lot then a ROS sander and work through grit sizes the same.
On the other hand it is possible to "fill" a surface rather than smoothing it. Might be more suitable, depends what you are doing. Google "wood filler" or "smoothing filler"
 
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A technique I was shown for gunstocks is that once you get down to the finer grades, dampen the surface first. Just wipe over with a damp sponge, this swells the fibres slightly. If you then go over it with some fine wet and dry that removes the raised fibres. Once it dries they shrink back and you are left with a surface as smooth as the proverbial baby's bottom.
 
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