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  • OT: Sanding Oak Parts

    This is somewhat off topic, but I know there is a great store of knowledge here.

    I am currently making what are essentially handles from oak. They measure about 3/4" x 2" x 8" and are somewhat irregular in shape at the stage where I want to sand them. The best thing I can come up with, short of just hand sanding, is one of those wheel type sanding devices you chuck in a drill. But this is still a lot of hand work and will produce a lot of sawdust in my mostly metal shop. And it would be somewhat difficult to reach some of the areas needed.

    I was wondering if a sandblast cabinet or somekind of tumbler would work. That would confine the mess and could also be done unattended.

    Anyone got any ideas? Perhaps I am missing something obvious.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  • #2
    we do alot of wood work and oak is one of the woods we do use alot of , using a dremel is going to get the hard to reach areas and mains as well but you will still have to hand sand it if you dont want to lose the shaping and if your looking for a really professional / nice finish on it , oak can be a bit of a pain to sand its a very porus wood as well as it splinters alot as well, if you opt for the dremeal light passes over the surface and low rpm as well about 3 on the dial is what i use most of the time prevent burnning as well using hte lower speeds...

    i usual use the following gritts 120 330 400 600 and then 1500 for a nice hand polished fininsh this is using sand paper ,, onthe dremeal 60 to 80 griit are comman gritts for dremeals...

    any how hope this helps

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    • #3
      Oak sawdust is carcinogenic.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Evan
        Oak sawdust is carcinogenic.
        All sawdust is probably carcinogenic, especially in California.

        Sandblasting is quite likely to remove the softer wood, leaving a raised grain. This method is used by sign makers to "age" signs. Tumbling might have some success depending on the media chosen. It would take some experimenting. However, I don't know of any easy shortcut to old fashioned hand sanding. It is not that bad, just use a shop vac for dust control.
        Jim H.

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        • #5
          It depends on wether you want to smooth or shape with abrasives.

          If you are just wanting to smooth out the surface abrasive bristle brushes are your best bet.Grizzly and a few others sell them.

          http://www.abrasiveworld.com/imexsu/bristle.htm

          If you need to refine a shape then a hand held air belt sander is tops for small areas.

          http://www.tools-plus.com/astro-pneumatic-223k.html
          I just need one more tool,just one!

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          • #6
            You really minimize the work if you fabricate them so they don't need sanding. Sanding takes a lot of time. Build a jig so they can be routed or shaped with an abrasive drum that leaves a finish you can live with. Vacuum hold downs or toggle clamps. If you're doing it on a lathe, you can use a router or rotary burr rather than a tool bit. If sawing, use a finer blade that leaves a polished finish. Slower, but saves a lot of finishing time.

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            • #7
              I have worked with a lot of oak, both red and white. For small curves, there is a sort of flap-wheel sander sold by Lee Valley. It basically consists of a disc with brushes mounted on the circumference and a strip of slit sandpaper fed out from the disc ahead of each brush. It is chucked in the drill press at a fairly low speed and the action is gentle enough that you dont lose any skin if you get too close,(which you will-trust me,) I think there are several grits available, but from experience, a medium grit, (120 or 180,) works quite well. More important, after the first sanding, coat the wood with sanding sealer, a variety of laquer, and repeat the process. Then apply final finish. No discredit to others, but for HANDLES, in a coarse-grained wood like oak, any sanding grit finer than 180, is a waste of time. All you will get is tired and dusty and nobody, least of all you, will see the improvement. And, no doubt to start an arguement, in the opinion of many finishing "experts," any wood sanding beyond 220 grit give no particular benefit as the finish film will flow into those tiny scratches and level them to invisibility. a similar argument extends to rubbing out the finish 600 grit is enough if followed by a coat od wax. Duffy
              Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul Alciatore
                This is somewhat off topic, but I know there is a great store of knowledge here.

                I am currently making what are essentially handles from oak. They measure about 3/4" x 2" x 8" and are somewhat irregular in shape at the stage where I want to sand them. The best thing I can come up with, short of just hand sanding, is one of those wheel type sanding devices you chuck in a drill. But this is still a lot of hand work and will produce a lot of sawdust in my mostly metal shop. And it would be somewhat difficult to reach some of the areas needed.

                I was wondering if a sandblast cabinet or somekind of tumbler would work. That would confine the mess and could also be done unattended.

                Anyone got any ideas? Perhaps I am missing something obvious.
                how about this

                a vertical reciprocating sander

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JCHannum
                  All sawdust is probably carcinogenic, especially in California.
                  EVERYTHING is DEADLY in California, which is why I LIVE in Texas.

                  Consider a sanding sleeve on an inflatable drum. In the furniture industry we call them "pump sanders." By controlling the air pressure in the drum, you can control the conformability.

                  http://www.woodmagazine.com/material...smooth-curves/

                  http://liutaiomottola.com/PrevPubs/P...alReviewed.htm

                  http://www.supergrit.com/products/pr...s.asp#flexible

                  There are other suppliers, google "pump sander" or "pneumatic sander"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All sawdust is probably carcinogenic,
                    Maybe, maybe not. However oak and beech are class A1 confirmed carcinogens and cause sino-nasal cancer, lung cancer and hodgkins disease. If you get sino-nasal cancer it may be curable by removing the center of your face.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                    • #11
                      The IARC rates wood dust as a Group A carcinogen. It would appear that there are quite a few hardwoods that are carcinogenic as well as cedar and pine. Nothing is safe anymore, we are all doomed.

                      http://www.gregmach.com/new_machiner...rtant_info.htm
                      Jim H.

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                      • #12
                        Many woods are suspected carcinogens. However both oak and beech are proven to cause cancer in woodworkers according to OSHA.
                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Evan
                          Many woods are suspected carcinogens. However both oak and beech are proven to cause cancer in woodworkers according to OSHA.

                          Great, just great.
                          Paul A.
                          SE Texas

                          Make it fit.
                          You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't particularly like oak for handles. You have to keep them oiled all the time or they make splinters. And what good is a handle if it's polished? I save all the old shagbark hickory spokes from Model T wheels to make handles.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks all. Some great ideas here. My part has a lot of curves, complex curves so I don't think any drum or belt sander would be a good idea as it would try to flatten those curves.

                              I don't want a fine furniture finish, just enough to remove anything that would interfere with it's use by irritating the hand of the person using it. I was hoping to sand only once, not over and over as a finish is applied (probably polyurethane).

                              And I guess a mask is in order to prevent breathing the dust. I may take it outside on a windy day to sand.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              Make it fit.
                              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                              Comment

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