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Sanding/buffing

Maddis

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#21
My experiences with finishing are completely empirical (a fancy way of saying “trial and error” in this case). I may (may) be developing some understanding of what’s going on but it’s rudimentary at this point. Having said that...

I think shellac can be finicky. It seems to change its consistency and quickness to tack up over time as a batch sits in a jar. My guess is that’s why Sas mixes small amounts.

Thin to win. Always.

I’m experimenting with Danish oil which seems able to sit on Briar for a LONG time without being absorbed and/or tacking up. I’m up to 45 minutes before wiping off and I’m sure it could go longer.
 

dwaugh

Look a squirrel!
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#25
Actual particle size and their effects are really hard to compare in a paper form versus a loose form (and if they are loose on a lap or a fabric cloth). Depending on the material, a 3 micron abrasive can have very different results in the different formats and on different materials. Nothing to do with pipe making, but when I polish the surfaces of rocks to make microscope slides, a 1 micron abrasive on a cloth will make a really nice looking surface, BUT, it will produce a huge amount of relief on the surface because of the different mineral phases. The same thing happens if you polish on a fine abrasive paper for too long. Who knows what the difference between different brands of "white diamond" are.... Is it really diamond? Wood may not have different material phases, but certainly the direction of the fibers will cause differences in the amount of abrasion. One of the manufactures changed the formula of one of the abrasive papers I use (still nominally the same grit size), and it has thrown a wrench in my "protocol" . For material science stuff, they sell like 40 different fabrics that do different things.
 

dwaugh

Look a squirrel!
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#26
This chart is often useful to me, as many stuff is also labeled in P-grade or European grit sizes. Evidently micromesh does their own thing http://www.sisweb.com/micromesh/conversion.htm I sometimes use 1200 grit paper (P4000 2.5 micron), on a 12 inch disk polishing with running water, and it lasts about 1 minute maybe; grinding any longer just causes too much relief. Non of this relates to polishing wood (in a strict sense), @Maddis is right, you need to rely on empirical results. An easy A/B test is to polish the surface with one method, cover half with tape, and then use the other, pull the tape off and see what looks best.

grits.jpeg
 
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