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Sanding cottonwood carving

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  • Sanding cottonwood carving

    Hello all,
    I am looking for advice on sanding/finishing cottonwood carvings. Usually I am too impatient to spend much time sanding/finishing a carving - I'd rather move on to the next carving than sit and sand.…. I am trying to change that..

    How do you finish your cottonwood carvings? what grit sandpaper do you use to get a nice smooth scratch and fuzzy fiber free finish? I have heard of using steel wool…? is this so? if so, what type of steel wool do you use ( I may have misheard the steel wool thing..)
    Any advice appreciated.

    I will try to attach a couple of pictures , I tried to get a close up to see the scratches and fuzz.. not sure if it will show clearly in these pictures..

    Thanks,
    Anton.

    http://antonkew.weebly.com/carvings-etc
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

    Anton - I'm no expert about sanding -- I just wanted to thank you for showing us such good carving! Wow.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

      Wow! that's some good carv'n!

      I haven't carved cottonwood yet.

      When I sand, I usually start with 150 grit and go up to worn out 220. Sometimes I'll sand, then brush on polyurethane wipe off after it soaks in, after it dries sand again, then poly again.

      I know what you mean about wanting to get to the next carving. In your minds eye you know what the carving you are working is going to look like and you're so eager to tackle the unknowns in the next carving.
      Greg

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      • #4
        Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

        Very coarse steel wool has flat fibers = they are not round. On a finished carving with a hard surface, the CSW acts like a million chisels to cut off the wicky-bits which stick up through the hardened finish for the rough texture/feel.
        Without much pressure, the CSW glides over the surface without scratching it very much at all but cutting wood fiber at the same time.
        Brian T

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        • #5
          Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

          I'm different than most carvers in that I actually like sanding, especially faces. I think this comes from a background of furniture making prior to taking up carving. I like to start with 100 and go to 220, Maybe 320 if I'm working on a surface such as a crown on a head or something. I stop when I get the finish I am seeking. A womens face for example is going to be smoother than a mans. Haven't needed to go to steel wool yet. I do think there is a point you can over sand and have toooo smooth a surface. Lar

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          • #6
            Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

            I enjoy carving in CWB. I've found that when it is time to finish, I use 240 or fine grid to finish a carving off. Often I will go down to 600 on surface that I want to stand out. I also use 3M scouring pads, cut into 1"± squares mounted on power tools. You can get different coarseness, then regulate the speed to suit your need. . . .JoeB
            . . .JoeB

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            • #7
              Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

              Thanks for the info Brian . . .JoeB
              . . .JoeB

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              • #8
                Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

                Oh. I guessed that the OP was doing cottonwood wood carvings. I don't know squat about CB carvings.

                The other possibility might be tools which aren't "carving sharp."

                To be honest, we wait for cottonwood wood chainsaw carvings to dry out a little then blast them with a blowtorch to burn off the fuzzies, then finish.
                Brian T

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                • #9
                  Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

                  Thanks for all the info, some interesting idea's. Sorry but I should have specified cottonwood Bark is what I am carving.

                  I have bought some finer sandpaper and made myself spend more time with this. Also as per GregGerard I am going to sand,poly, sand , poly etc..

                  Good point about the tools being sharp. While I have become better at tending to the edges of my tools this is something I can always be better at. Funny how time can fly by when you are in the carving groove..
                  As for the blowtorch, I have often wanted to take a blowtorch to some of my carvings! luckily I don't own a blowtorch so I usually just stick them in the corner of the room and ignore them for a while..
                  Thanks again to all of you for your comments and advice...
                  Anton.
                  Last edited by akew; 03-05-2015, 11:59 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

                    Nancy-G , Thanks for looking!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

                      When you use poly as a sealer, be sure to thin it almost in half. That way it will soak way in and harden up the wood. You can also buy Sanding Sealer at any hardware store.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

                        oh, thanks for that, .. will definitely try that on the next one. I can see how this would be good for the bark carvings.

                        thanks,
                        A.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

                          Originally posted by akew View Post
                          Hello all,
                          I am looking for advice on sanding/finishing cottonwood carvings. Usually I am too impatient to spend much time sanding/finishing a carving - I'd rather move on to the next carving than sit and sand.…. I am trying to change that...


                          http://antonkew.weebly.com/carvings-etc
                          I don't use any sandpaper sheets. I use fingernail file emery boards to sand the windows and make wheels from the brown and green scrub pads. These will remove the carving knife marks and smooth it up. I am posting a PDF link to a Bark carving tutorial that may help you with finishing bark carvings. It's 36 pages or so and free.

                          Pete

                          http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j..._Lg32R_TOJvVgA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

                            thanks much for that link. very very informative !
                            Denny

                            photos at........ http://wiscoden.jimdo.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sanding cottonwood carving

                              Take a long hard look at the "stick-sander" from Lee Valley. Together with a crepe block, changed my poor attitude to sanding carvings.
                              Brian T

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