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Sanding contrasting woods

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Kalia Kliban, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. Kalia Kliban

    Kalia Kliban

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
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    Location (City & State):
    Sebastopol, California
    Hi all,
    I've been making some pieces using laminated blocks of contrasting woods and am running into problems when the ebony dust works into the pores of adjacent lighter woods (usually maple or sycamore) causing a grimy look. You can see that in the attached photo if you look at the hairstick that's roughly in the center of the "bouquet." I've tried compressed air, tack cloths and a wipe with mineral spirits but without success. Any suggestions for preventing this kind of color contamination between adjacent contrasting woods? I'm sanding to 400 grit, finishing with flaxseed oil, so the ebony dust is very, very fine.
     

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  2. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Location (City & State):
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    Been there done that but it was Padauk and maple. You have coat.with sanding sealer. Sand and then blow it off and dust it off af tdd er every grit. Then put a coat of sanding sealer on. Sand the next grit and repeat. The sanding sealer helps fill the pores and makes it easier to.blow out the sanding grit
     
    Dennis Weiner likes this.
  3. Kalia Kliban

    Kalia Kliban

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
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    Location (City & State):
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    Hoo boy, that's going to add a ton of time to these little beads, especially since I can't re-chuck them without introducing wobble (I'm using an efficient little home-made mandrel but repeatability is not great). I'll experiment with the sealer and see if the difference it makes is worth the vastly increased time per bead.
     

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  4. Ron Solfest

    Ron Solfest

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    Jan 22, 2009
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    Location (City & State):
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    I’ve found padauk/maple to be worst for this, LOTS of red dust. Surprisingly hard maple seemed to pick up this red color more than soft maple in my experience. I don’t have any experience with ebony.

    As a general rule, after dealing with this I’ve tried not to place padauk immediately next to white maple in a glue up. If not immediately next to the other the color pickup hasn’t been much of an issue. Virtually all of my sanding is with discs, most with lathe running ~200rpm. Usually to 400grit. I’ve found when I have had some pickup I can quickly sand with finest grit drill disk (lathe stopped) being careful that sanding arc doesn’t bring red into white and can clean up the white. Still I tend to avoid glueing padauk immediately next to maple, haven’t experienced that issue with most (of a dozen or more) species I work with.

    pic below shows dish on right with lots of padauk/maple interface where I had to deal with this. Plate in middle didn’t have any issue with padauk/oak. Bowl on left you can see I surrounded padauk with non-white species. 9BB28CC5-C4EB-4517-BF74-F0E5B8024C6A.jpeg
     
  5. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Location (City & State):
    Newberg, OR: 20mi SW of Portland: AAW #21058
    It's a hit and miss endeavor but your light colored wood needs to be as closely grained as possible. Eastern hard maple would be a good example. Woods with any sort of open end-grain are going to collect the colored dust from adjacent woods.

    You could also consider a slightly darker second wood like cherry where you wouldn't notice the contamination so readily.
     
  6. Compressed air to clear light wood pores followed by sanding sealer (Mylands Cellulose Sanding Sealer) between grits works for me. - John
     
  7. Ric Williams

    Ric Williams

    Joined:
    May 31, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
    Highland, MI
    I ran into a somewhat similar problem on a maple goblet with a bloodwood stem, but not from sanding dust. When I was ready to start finishing I wiped it down from top to bottom with DNA. What I didn't realize until it was too late was that the DNA picked up a little of the oil from the bloodwood and left it on the maple base, giving it enough of a light pink tint that it didn't match the maple of the cup portion. Pretty sure it wasn't just sanding dust after I noticed a red stain from an uncut bloodwood pen blank on a piece of paper towel dampened with DNA just sat on the blank for a minute. Ah well, another lesson learned...
     
  8. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2018
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    Location (City & State):
    Ponsford, MN
    9121Bowlbdetail.jpg
    This is a detail of a pedestal bowl made of juniper with poplar accent pieces. The pedestal in the center is staved and shows up as end grain and it is plain to see that the dust from the juniper got into the end grain poplar and I of course did not catch it.
     

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