Power Sanding Lessons

As I mentioned in my last post I recently purchased a power sander.

Because I live in an apartment building I was really concerned about how much noise it would generate. I ran a few tests by turning it on, and then standing in the hallway to listen for any noise. Thankfully the sander was quiet enough that I’m pretty sure no one will complain as long as I don’t sand very late at night.

With that in mind a few days ago I decided to continue working on my first project, and sand the boards smooth.

As usual I did the work in my bathroom, and I learned a few things.

  • Sanding is now so much easier
  • I should probably wear a mask since I’m in a small enclosed space
  • The dust was pretty well contained.

After a few minutes I was finished and very happy with the end result. It wasn’t until about an hour later, when I walked back into the bathroom to wash my hands, that I realized how wrong I was about that last point.

You can’t see it very well in the picture (i was mid way through cleaning), but there was a very fine layer of wood dust on EVERYTHING: the walls, the floor, the shower head, the mirror, the toothpaste tube… everything. I frantically started scrubbing the bathroom. My wife and roommate are pretty understanding about me doing work in there, but even they have limits.

Since then, I’ve decided sanding is best done on the balcony.

Sanding No Longer Sucks

Sanding gives you a lot of time to reflect on life. My most recent reflection involves how long and tedious hand sanding is.

Which means, I present to you my very own random orbital hand sander.

 

I decided to buy the DeWALT D26453K. It had great reviews on Amazon, and fit all of my criteria; small, good dust collection, variable speed, and easy to change sanding pads.

Homemade Wood Polish and Sealant

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I may still be practicing dovetails joints, and not yet ready to make any fancy, but I was curious and started looking into how to finish my eventual (amazing) work.

A lot of videos I watched mention sealing the wood with various types of oil, linseed oil being a common choice. I had no idea where to buy anyone, and I didn’t want a giant bottle of it anyway. Instead I found a rather handy blog post with a detailed how to about making a beeswax and olive oil polish and sealant. (Both items you can easily purchase at Wholefoods)

I won’t reiterate his steps here since he already wrote a great tutorial with pictures of each step. Instead here are two of my dovetail practice pieces before and after the finish was applied.

Check after the jump to see the test pieces.

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