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Sanding Natural Edge Bowls

Joined
May 13, 2020
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Was wondering if anyone has encountered this before. I turned a natural edge bowl out of Linden (basswood). I used a 2 inch foam backed sanding mandrel in my drill. Lathe speed was about 250 rpm. But when I finished with 400 grit, some of the rust coloured dust from the bark layer had stained the nice white wood below it on the wings. Would you have done anything differently? Perhaps I should have shut off the lathe and used the sanding discs on a non-rotating bowl. I don’t turn that many natural edge bowls and have never had this happen with any of the woods I have used. Also, the fine dust seems embedded in the soft wood, so I’m not sure anything can be done to remove it.
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Joined
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Are you sure this is from the sanding dust and not from sap discoloration ?

You could try to blow the dust out from the outside through he wood, if the wood is open enough.

If that does not work, how about sanding with the disk on a bit of an angle and rotating so the sanding dust gets thrown to the outside, to the bark ?
 

john lucas

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Might try using sanding sealer before you start sanding and in between each grit. That's what I do when sanding segmented forms with contrasting woods that carryover onto the lighter woods.
 

Randy Anderson

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Looks to me like there is still a brown oxidation layer in that area and not sanding dust. That said, the bark does have the same coloration. I have the same issue with other wood (bradford pear most notably) where I have to break through the brown layer formed while drying. Was the rest of the interior brownish in color when you started? Was it light colored and then turned brown as you sanded the bark area on the end grain sides? Since that's the end grain area I suppose it could be dust building up there. I never sand natural edge bowls as they spin. Just rotate them by hand and work my way around with 2" or 3" disc on my sanding drill.
 
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My first thought was that it was 'bruising' rather than bark dust. Seems to be at the same level on both end grain sections. That would have to be cut out. Any open pore wood will take in dust. I actually like walnut dust in ash wood. Some of it can be blown out, but generally it is like trying to get beet stains out of a bowl...

robo hippy
 
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I sand with the lathe turned off and use a Metabo 3" random orbit sander. I can keep the sandpaper off the bark pretty well. For what you have now I would hit it with compressed air and then a little careful hand sanding with the lathe shut off to clean up the wood. 250rpm is pretty fast for 400 grit sandpaper. You are doing more burnishing than sanding. That could be forcing the bark dust into the pores instead of sanding it off.
 
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All good ideas, thanks my friends. I’m very sure it is sanding dust. Next time I do a natural edge bowl, I’m going to sand the wings while the bowl is stationary, being careful to make sure the disc rotates from the interior to the exterior, taking the dust up and out of the bowl.
 
Joined
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All good ideas, thanks my friends. I’m very sure it is sanding dust. Next time I do a natural edge bowl, I’m going to sand the wings while the bowl is stationary, being careful to make sure the disc rotates from the interior to the exterior, taking the dust up and out of the bowl.
That’s how I do it.
 
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