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Sanding basswood in stages

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Cheeriobowls View Post
    I can't seem to get rid of the fuzziness on the other two.
    Have you tried raising the grain with either water, rubbing alcohol or sanding sealer?
    Raise the grain, let dry and then sand at a slight angle to the grain. This should cut/sand off the fuzzies.
    Success to you!


    • #17
      Cheerio, if you're going up to 2000 grit, you're not really sanding anymore, you're burnishing the wood. Consider sanding to 320 or maybe 400, then go over the entire carving with a crumpled grocery bag. This is a trick I learned when I was carving birds. Now, I never sand my carvings, I go over the entire piece with maroon scotch-brite, mounted in a mandrel and run my rotary machine at the slowest setting. This cleans and freshens the wood without losing your tool marks.
      Steve Reed - Carvin' in the flatlands!

      My fb page: 683&type=3


      • #18
        I believe for me basswood and some others it is the wood vs.. extreme humidity the grain will pores lift. Sanding and even stoning it ...will not produce that satin baby touch surface....even with a sanding sealer. Because sanding and even the finest cut will grab that pour and tear it upwards in a few areas. Is the wood too wet....from my environment.... perhaps. If I want a great surface that sands well... I will use a hardwood that produces such a surface. There are hardwoods that have an awesome sanding and tooling finish. I use basswood on a carving because it is fast carving wood....and it will produce a medium price finished product....never a high-end product with a wow factor. Sanding sealer helps hold down those wood cells somewhat...but if your looking for a perfect sanding job.....need a different wood. And that is just my opinion.


        • #19
          Hi all. I just signed up a second ago, and this thread immediately caught my attention. I’m a gilder’s apprentice, and most of our business is making traditional frames, so I’m doing some sort of carving most days. We do most of our frames in basswood, because it carved easily and takes gesso well. I second the suggestion of drhandrich. We usually water gild over the gesso, but gesso takes paint well, too. Surfacing gesso is a different animal, but it you want a perfectly smooth surface without any wood grain, it’s a good way to go.

          when I do a wood finish over basswood, I’ll usually sand with 150, maybe 220, and raise the grain with warm water. I’ll sand that down with the same grit, and then I’ll seal with a coat of shellac. I find this stiffens up the fuzzy grain, and takes sands much better with the finer grits. I generally don’t bother going beyond 320 or 400. This seems to get it sufficiently smooth to the touch. Then if I really want to go to town, I’ll polish/burnish it with a boars hair show shining brush, or a piece of burlap. I like the idea of brown paper, though. I’m going to try that out. But if I want to dye or stain the wood though, shellac and sand back through with 220. This helps with blochiness, and it seems like finish doesn’t like to penetrate if I sand much finer. The shellac also helps to stop the grain from raising when I use a water based dye. From here, I’ll start burnishing, or I’ll just start to build up the shellac.

          I didn’t really mean to write an essay, but that’s my process. It’s an interesting thread.