July 22, 2014
Sanding Diamond Willow
Tools that will do the job: Scrapers, chisels, knives (no folding blades though--it's too hard to see what you're doing through the blood) and of course, sandpaper. All sharp tools must be used in such a manner and direction that the hand not holding the tool is out of danger.
Procedure: Remove the bark from the diamonds. This can be done most effectively with a rounded blade such as a gouge chisel or a knife. Whatever the tool, do not cut too deeply into the diamond area. Traces of bark in the deepest recesses enhance the final appearance. If you prefer to remove all traces of bark, you must take care not to cut to a depth that exceeds the diamond's special coloration.
Next, smooth the overall surface to whatever degree practical using a scraper, rasp, block plane, broken glass (an old Boy Scout trick) or other tool that lends itself to the purpose.
Sanding follows and this is the most important element in creating a good-looking finish.
Sandpaper Recommended: You will need standard Aluminum Oxide Production Paper. Grits needed are 100, 120, 220 & 320. The paper should be tri-folded for easy gripping during use. 90% of the sanding has to be done with the 100 grit paper, so resist the temptation to go to the other grits until you have smoothed the wood to the greatest degree possible with the 100-grit.
Coating: This can be done with whatever finish you prefer except that polyurethane is not recommended. Tung oil finish works very well for everyone.
Submitted by Holace Nelson of Holly Industries