Wood Sanding Processes
The wood sanding process may be defined as the removal of material from the surface of a wood work-piece on the purpose of preparing the piece for another stage of manufacturing or more commonly, for wood finishing. However, depending on the type of wood material being finished and the type of preparation required by the piece, wood sanding may have several different aspects. Sanding has also the purpose of giving the surface a specific condition to allow later processes.
Applying the wrong sanding process in any piece (particularly wooden pieces such as furniture) may damage the piece permanently or produce a complete unexpected and undesired result. For this reason, it’s essential to know what it’s the exact type of sanding needed and also carefully choose the grit size of the abrasive material.
- Sanding may be applied as means to calibrate and flatten the surfaces using extra coarse grit sizes and producing a lot of splinters and debris. It’s generally used as a starting step in wood work, also to eliminate nodes, fissures and other imperfections on the piece. Being the roughest type of abrasion, this sanding process is very harsh to the piece, and may be very measured not to cause damage.
- As a second step, wood may receive a finer sanding, by using smaller grits, or even micro grits. This is usually in order to make surfaces more uniform or as a preparation for painting or varnishing. A ultra fine sanding may be also using in wood or leather as almost a polishing process, making surfaces to become burnished after painting and varnishing.
- Polishing may be also considered a type of sanding, and there are several sanding machines which allow polishing pieces by using different types of rubbing materials. This process is very common in both wood and metals. Intense polishing makes the surfaces shiny, and it’s commonly used as a final step in the preparation of wooden pieces or metal after painting. For very delicate polishing (particularly in small metal pieces), sometimes silicon based polishing pads or even diamond solutions are applied in addition to friction.
- Before painting and varnishing and yet after sanding a very soft and light polishing, there may be applied in both metal and wood pieces in order to remove sanding dust and slivers that may interfere in later processes.