How to Get Better Sanding Results – Five Incredible Tips

In the always lively and incredible world of crafting, wood sanding is one of the staples. After taking care of the base of your developing project, the process of sanding with a sander (is it an orbital or a sheet one) provides the finishing touch to your masterpiece.

Your goal should be having better sanding results as each project passes. Many experienced craftsmen and woodworkers claim that you can never master wood sanding and that you can learn new tricks and techniques even after decades of being in the profession.

If you’re already a good craftsman, why not use your orbital sander in the best way possible and take your sanding to the next level? You should be able to craft real beauties after some extra knowledge. We’re here to help with these five simple, but crucial tips on how to conquer the world of wood sanding.

Helpful tips on how to get better sanding results with your orbital sander

1. Choose the right sanding pad

When sanding, you have to have in mind the texture that you want the wood to have. With that in mind, you have an array of different ones to choose from. Choosing the right sanding pad is very important. Nothing is as bad as a lousy, underperforming pad that is visibly damaged. You would want to have a flat, firm and tight one that can withstand hours and hours of work.

If you see that your existing sanding pad is damaged, don’t hesitate to change it! Keeping an old one won’t save you any money; it will only make the damage worse. When changing pads, it’s important to keep the dust holes aligned and to watch out for debris or dust between the pad and the paper.

2. Only turn the sander on when you apply it to the material, not before!

Some of us get eager to sand the wood as fast as possible and we apply an already turned-on sander to the wood. Don’t do that! Applying an already functioning sander to the surface results in gouges and scratches and that will require more valuable time to fix. If you’re nearing a deadline, time is something you can’t afford to lose.

Be smart and first push the sander against the wood before you turn it on. You will get a much more balanced beginning and you won’t have any nasty spots to fix afterward. This works for the end of the sanding process, too. Don’t turn the sander off in the midst of a glide, first, take it off the surface and then turn it off. This way, you won’t have any uneven spots in the end, too.

3. Don’t damage or round the edges

Every workpiece requires absolute precision and nothing else except excellence is valued in the crafting business. This is especially important when sanding a piece that involves sharp edges. Those edges have to be carefully sanded in order to preserve the sharpness and the 90-degree angles. A classic mistake when it comes to sanding those parts is accidentally rounding them and damaging the whole shape. You cannot expect better sanding results this way.

This can be avoided easily, by clamping your material between something of the same thickness. A move like this one will not only stabilise your sander, but it will keep the edges safe from too much exposure to the sander. You will be able to do your job much more easily, as you won’t have to worry about setting yourself back by accidentally damaging the sharp edges.

4. Avoid putting pressure on the sander

Many people think that the wood sanding process might be a little dull, so they pressure the sander like crazy, thinking they will somehow finish the job faster because of that. The truth can’t be much further than that. Pushing the sander too hard against the surface will only create an uneven pattern and might even damage the sander motor, too.

If you exert too much force, you will be left with marks that will either create a mediocre piece or leave you with many hours of time spent on fixing your mistakes. You can easily avoid those mistakes by just keeping a firm grip and letting the sander do the process. Try for yourself to results will both amaze you and save you valuable time. No need to stress and push too hard, the sander will do its job and you will get better sanding results.

5. Clean the surface often during work

Some will argue and say cleaning in the midst of the sanding process will lose you time and that it only makes sense to clean in the end. Well, they can’t be more wrong. Cleaning the surfaces once in a while will rid it of dust, wood particles and other unwanted material that can damage both the pad and the paper. Not to mention it can cause scratches and dents that will take hours to fix.

The sanding process requires precision and that’s why you would want to get rid of all the particles at once. A regular cloth won’t do and thus, you will need a compressed air blower or special wipes. Don’t worry; they aren’t expensive of out of reach.

We sincerely hope that these tips not only make the sanding more efficient but also make you realise that wood sanding is an art in itself. You should implement them to get better sanding results while crafting new workpieces with your orbital sander. You should both perform it and enjoy it to the max!


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Hey there, I’m John, the Founder of Orbital Sanders Australia. We believe in empowering people with insanely detailed information to make woodworking a happier, safer, and more productive hobby.

I and a team of woodworkers have made it our mission to make our followers feel comfortable and happier without confusing or misleading information.



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