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  • Steve Schrecengost

Easy sanding technique


No woodworking project is complete without a copious amount of sanding. In this post I will give you an overview of my sanding technique for hand routed wood signs.

As you probably know, I spray my signs with Rustoleum 2x flat black primer after the carving is complete. I prefer to spray over brushing because it is faster, looks the same as brushed and holds up just as well once the finish is applied. This process, as you can imagine, requires a lot of sanding to remove all the primer.


My sander of preference is a belt sander. This type makes quick work of the sanding process. I start with 40 grit to remove as much primer as possible without loading up the belt. A finer grit would fill up with primer and be useless very quickly. At this point I should mention I user a sanding belt cleaner. This cleans the belt and extends its life, saving money.


The 40 grit is very aggressive. Care must be taken anytime we use a belt sander. It is easy to ruin a piece it you are not careful. I light touch is important, especially when using a grit as coarse as 40.


After most of the primer is removed, I switch to 80 grit to finish removing the primer. Again, a light touch is very important. I ensure I keep even pressure as I move the belt sander around the piece.


Now, it is time for the 120 belt. This will remove all the scratches from the 80 grit. Usually, only a couple passes are enough.


Lastly, I switch to my orbital sander with 220 grit. Several passes are enough to give a nice smooth finish and looks great once the urethane is applied.


I hope this helped you out or at least have you some things to think about in your sanding process.


Here is a video of my process. Be sure to subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel to keep up to date with my posts.




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