Let’s say you are sanding a chair, one of your favorite furniture pieces. There is lots of light because it is a beautiful sunny day, and your sandpaper and sander are both chosen and ready to be fired up.
You begin sanding by hand before you turn on the sander. Wait – one of the chair’s legs has been scratched! How are you going to fix it? You can panic as much as you please, but it will not change the scratch on one of the legs. Calm down, you did not do any lasting damage. It is simply and painless to repair.
In addition to scratches, I’ll talk about other typical sanding mistakes and how to deal with them. To repair minimal damage such as uneven surfaces or perhaps raised wood grain, just keep sanding. Don’t overdo it, however, or you might alter the size of the piece, changing it’s shape and rendering it useless to you. Remember the direction you are sanding in: is the direction with the grain or against it? If the grain is with the direction, there won’t be any problem.
If the grain is against the direction, change your direction at once so you don’t hurt the wood (most important if it’s a picky wood like pine). Here are other common sanding mistakes and what to do about them if you commit any: – Using the wrong kind of tool for the job you are doing. An attitude of one-size-fits-all when it comes to sanders is a mistake. The difference between a belt sander and a block sander, for example, is huge.
Choose the right kind of tool before you start sanding. – Stay in one spot for too long. No matter whether you’re sanding by machine or by hand, the need to keep moving as you sand is essential. If you stay in one place, you will create uneven surfaces that will be invisible until you apply a finish. Get into a sanding rhythm and follow it. If there is a blemish or deep scratch in the wood itself, most of the time sanding it away will work, but sometimes drastic action is needed. In these instances, apply water to raise the grain of the wood and diminish the depth of the blemish will take care of it.
If that doesn’t work, try a full scale sanding of the entire surface. – Letting the edges of the board get rounded. Despite your efforts to not stay in one place, this is an all-too-common inadvertent mistake. If you want rounded edges, of course, then you have nothing to worry about. It isn’t so good for you if you don’t. Extreme action is required to fix something like this, so the important issue is how to prevent it from happening.
Keep the sander away from the edge (I know, this is way easier said than done), use some scrap wood to cover the edge, or avoid using a sander and use a sanding block near the edges. None of them are disastrous or not able to be repaired. Always keep in mind that proper preparatory techniques can save you trouble when working with wood.