November 21, 2005

Sanding Slow when Woodturning

OK, I agree. Sanding is not one of the "fun" parts of woodturning. However, your final finish will only be as good as the surface on which it is applied.

Some turners want to sand too fast--trying to get it done quickly... But sanding fast creates more friction than is desired--and more heat! Don't spin the piece in the lathe so fast that you can feel the abrasive getting hot. Eventually your sandpaper will quit cutting and just glaze over. In addition, the heat can burn the wood's surface. 250 rpm is a good guide for maximum lathe speed on most pieces.

If you are disc sanding with our little 2" and 3" hook and loop discs, "dial down" the speed as much as possible on your sander. 150 rpm works fine--just because the back-up pad has a little sticker on it saying you can use it at 18,000 rpm doesn't mean you should try!

Remember the old fairy tale of the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the prize.

For more information on abrasives for woodturning, visit our website or, give us a call: 800-814-7358.

Basic Sanders

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