Issue 599

Smooth Operator

Getting a project ready for its first coat of finish is a task that many of us look at with a resigned determination. It’s not exactly fun and neither is it difficult, but it can be tedious. On the other hand, few things are as satisfying as seeing the beauty of a lovely piece of wood appear, as if by magic, from a proper finish. (There is a life metaphor in there someplace, but I will leave that to you.)

Sanding is a task like any other: you can do it well or give it short shrift. But there are some tools that can make the process more effective and less tedious. Our two videos in this issue of the Weekly address that specifically. First, Chris Marshall gives you a few tips to keep your sanding machines working at their best. Second, I build a little walnut table with some ash inlay, and I use a new benchtop drum sander from JET that I found really useful.

Sanding will never be something I jump out of bed to do, but the results are certainly worth the effort.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

Featured Videos

How to Maintain Your Benchtop Sander

Chris Marshall presents his four best tips for utilizing your benchtop sanders‘ abrasives. They include: getting the most out of your sanding sleeves, cleaning sanding discs, making sure your sanding belts are set up correctly and choosing a better grit.

Walnut Live Edge Table

Watch Rob transform a slab of walnut into a coffee table, featuring a continuous live edge, ash inlay, glass panel and metal legs. You’ll learn how templates were used to lay out the four mitered top pieces. The templates made it possible to keep the grain and live edges running continuously around the mitered top.

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  • Spending Less Time and Effort on Sanding

    The author’s tips on improving your sanding technique are applicable whether you are sanding by hand or using a random orbit sander. When you use these techniques, it will be easy to see — and get rid of — your previous sanding scratches. (And you’ll know when to stop!)