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Getting Rid of the Fuzzies

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Randy Anderson, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    I use walnut oil on about 99% of what I turn. I sand to 400, maybe 600 if I think it will make a difference in the feel. Seldom does. Oil doesn't raise the grain really but after a few days they can sometimes feel a slight bit "fuzzy" and not as slick as I, or people that pick them up to feel them, would like. I normally just grab an old cheap piece of very high grit paper or disc and buff them up by hand. Usually a well worn piece of 400 or even 320 will do the trick. Very light touch and done. I keep some in my show box and will touch some of them up before I put them out for sale. Works fine but since they've been oiled the paper doesn't last very long. What else works that might last longer or even work better? Some sort of buffing pad or steel wool?
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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  3. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    You might try whiskering the wood before the oil. Sand it to the grit you want, then with a damp rag, wipe it down. Let it dry, then sand off the swelled fibers and apply oil. Also try wet sanding with a little more oil and wet sanding paper and wipe off the oil slurry. The paper won't gum up that way.
     
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  4. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    Thanks for tips. I always wipe down after 240 with natural "green" mineral spirits (it's actually white like milk). Not as harsh as reg mineral spirits but better than water I think. Really helps with finding spots to sand more and raise the fibers before final sanding. I then finish out to 400 at least. I didn't realize scotch brite pads came in different grits. I've got some of the green ones around that I use to clean up things. Just ordered some of the grey ones on Amazon.
     
  5. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    I agree with John, gray scotchbrite is probably what you want. They are supposed to be 600 grit equivalent, but I've not found them as effective as paper in between coats of finish to get the nibs off, but for your situation, they're probably just right. The white are supposed to be 'non-abrasive' and intended to polish surfaces.
     
  6. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

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    Actually the water will raise the grain so you can sand and get rid of it. I don’t believe mineral spirits will do this. It’s an old carpentry trick to raise grainwith water before finishing.

    your natural green mineral spirits is expensive water with a little surface detergent in.
     
  7. Jason Goodrich

    Jason Goodrich

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    Denatured alcohol works better than mineral spirits and fries a lot faster than water. But the grey pad is still probably the easier way to go.
     
  8. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    As you can see, sanding is not as easy or as simple as it looks. We had a club member that we were all impressed with his sanding and finishing. He gave us a demo. No great eureka moment, he used to use Deft One Step saver. That requires several applications. He used the Scotch Brite pads to apply it, over and over. The key is patience, do not rush, do not go over the next grit unless you are 100% sure you have no scratches. It is hard to do sometimes, but you have to enjoy every part of the journey, even the sanding.
     
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  9. John Dillon

    John Dillon

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    You can find some of Jeff Jewitt's articles about wood-finishing on-line. He's an expert in wood finishing. I buy his dye products and think they are great. One takeaway is to use distilled water to raise the grain followed by 'lightly sanding" to take the fuzzies off before applying your finish. If you use tap water it's possible the minerals (if you have hard water for instance) in some tap waters could react with the wood causing an undesirable staining in the raw wood, or with whatever finish you decide to use. Also - You don't want to sand so hard you sand back down to the virgin fibers, otherwise the grain will raise again when you put the oil, or dye, etc., back on the piece. So, make sure you're truly done sanding and at the point where you're ready to start applying your finish product when you raise the grain and lightly sand only the raised fibers..
     
  10. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, now I am trying to remember... My bowls are sanded to 400, then walnut oil is applied with the grey pads with some scrubbing, but not heavy scrubbing. I can't remember grain really going fuzzy when I wash them. After a while, the plastic scrub pads at the kitchen sink do fine and the surface is smooth.

    I still have times when sanding out bowls where I have to go back a grit because I find some mystery scratches.... Where did they come from????

    robo hippy
     
  11. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    bronze wool works great
     
  12. Russell Nugent

    Russell Nugent

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    Didnt even know this existed.
     
  13. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    Sanding technique, options and process is one of those things that really doesn't get a lot of attention re instruction. Most youtube videos on turning skip over or fast forward through it (it's boring to watch I know) so early on you piece together what you can and learn by trial and error. If they do show sanding it's often a very deep and in my opinion overly complicated process. If like me you started with sheet paper and spin for hours trying to get circular marks out of your work, then discover drill motor sanders and discs, sanding pads, different types of discs, buffing compounds, etc. It can get deep and complicated very fast and hard for new turners to know where to draw the line. I don't consider myself new and still changing my process if it makes it more efficient but have settled on some basics that I stick to - don't put it up to dry with tool marks, sand with 80 while green if a natural edge, don't move to next grit if you see marks with current grit, wet down after 240 to raise fibers, let dry, finish to 400, apply oil. Keep it simple.

    It's not so much "fuzzy" like it feels after wetting down as perhaps "not smooth" and not all woods or all the time. I'll try the grey pads. Should work.

    I've always applied oil with shop towels. Never thought about using the grey pads - see, I did learn something that might be better.

    I tried wetting down after 240 with DNA but it dries so darn fast it's hard to look over the piece to see areas that might stand out for more sanding or work.
     
  14. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    Reed, I took your advice and used the grey pad to apply oil to this 12" sycamore just now. I really liked how it worked. Felt like it worked it in better and maybe even a little bit of final wet sanding with the oil? Question - you just use the same pad over and over and maybe wash out from time to time I assume? Keep in a sealed bag or something between uses. That's what I was doing with shop towels.
     

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  15. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    I don't believe that DNA will raise grain, unless it contains water. It's the water molecules that diffuse accross cell membranes, plumping cells and raising grain.

    Since they don't raise grain DNA and mineral spirits are good for wiping off wood dust and for previewing what the finished surface will look like.
     
  16. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    When I did more production work, the pads would never dry out since I was always turning and sanding. The walnut oil does dry, so now days, I have to use a new set after about 3 months or so. I am still working on setting up the new shop, have to get the flat work room ready.

    One note on the walnut oil rags, and I use old T shirts. If you leave one that is well soaked, out in the sun, on a black plastic bag of shavings, it will catch on fire. I got to it while it was smoldering, and not in full flame. Couldn't get that to happen any other way, and I did try. The sun and black background must speed up the drying enough to generate the heat needed.

    robo hippy
     
  17. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    DNA has water as the part that is not alcohol. You will not find Absolute alcohol (100%) but rarely outside a chem lab or other industrial uses. Once alcohol is opened it starts absorbing water from the air.
     

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