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Sanding wood

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  • Sanding wood

    Hi Everyone.

    This is my first post and I need some advice as I am quite new to the scroll saw but loving every moment. I have no problem getting all the wood I need and usually it is in large sections. I cut the wood on my band saw but getting it nice and smooth is causing me problems. A friend used to plane it for me but he planer has packed up. I work in a spare room and it is impossible for me to have my own planer. I have a belt/disc sander coming soon and was wondering if I could use the belt sander to take of the band saw marks and generally clean the wood up. The belt is 4 inches wide but i sometimes have to go wider on the wood. I would appreciate your comments.

  • #2
    Yes - the belt sander will work. That's what I use all the time. The 4" wide doesn't matter - just move the sander over the other part of the wood - back and forth so you don't get a groove in the wood.


    • #3
      Someone posted a link to a video on making a "drum sander" for the drill press, which is useful for small piece of wood. If no one comes up with it, I'll look for it later.

      And the belt sander will work, but you do have to be careful. It's also easy to sand the wood unevenly, so if uniform thickness is an issue, this might be a problem. I draw lines on all sides of my piece to serve as a guide for sanding--it helps to keep things even.

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      • #4
        I sometimes use my belt sander to take the tool marks off. As it is the most sawdust producing tool in my shop, I always take it out to the driveway and set up sawhorses. This keeps the sawdust down in my shop.
        Paw Paw Ray


        • #5
          Carole would this be the video you are looking for?
          MOV03095 - YouTube
          Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.


          • #6
            Some folks would say that this is a job for handplanes, scrapers & winding sticks. Fortunately for me, I have a benchtop planer.

            It would seem to me that the biggest concern is getting accurate and uniform thickness across the board. That can be tough to do by hand, regardless of what method you use. It may be more or less of a concern, depending on the type of project you have in mind.

            A belt sander will work. Use a coarse grit to start and work across the entire surface of the board. Keep the sander moving to minimize creating gouges and divots. Check the board periodically for flatness and consistent thickness. Mark high spots and sand them down first. Once you have a flat surface and are ready to progress through grits to a smoother surface, scribble over the surface with a lead pencil. Sand off the lead and keep doing that until you have reached the desired smoothness. Sanding off the pencil marks helps prevent you from oversanding in spots, so you can more easily maintain a flat surface.

            It's not the ideal way to do it, but given the limitations, it should be workable. You'll generate a lot of dust, so wear a mask as well as hearing and eye protection. Hopefully you can work outside or at least have some means to collect/filter the dust in your shop. Sanding dust can be pretty nasty for your lungs.
            Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


            • #7
              I really would like to thank everyone who took the time to post a reply. I have cancelled the order for the belt/disc sander and getting a different one from the same supplier, it is more money but will pay for itself in the long term. It has a 6 inch wide belt and a 12 inch disc. I know that this is not the ideal way to prepare wood for scroll saw work but I just cannot have a planer because of the neighbours. I cannot take the sander outside as i am disabled and when I get something new I get my son to lift it into position for me. I have a very good dust extractor and I am in the process of making an air filter so I should be okay. With the tips you folks have very kindly given me I think it will work. I will cut the timber to the size I need for each project and then sand the band saw marks off, final sanding can always be done with an orbital sander if I need to. I loved the video wood dog gave a link to. I shall make one of those as well. Handybunny's tip was also good, marking a line all the way round. I am going to take it real easy tough when I do this and I think with some practice I will get it about right. Thanks again to everyone.


              • #8
                I use a router setup like this one.LeeWay Workshop, LLC -Projects: Jigs/ Router sled planer


                • #9
                  sounds like you have a good handle on it. Good luck and keep us in the loop. Watch that disc it can bite you real quick. Keep your wood in contact with the table. NO gloves!!!!!! No loose sleeves either. Button or roll them up. I know sound like a nag but we want you posting for a long time.
                  "Still Montana Mike"

                  "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                  Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


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