Sanding to refinish veneer

Question:
Hello All,

Great Workshop!

I am a beginning woodworker and have some questions about refinishing a piece that I made. It’s mahogany fibre-core veneer stock. I want to reshoot it with lacquer for some photographs.

Any suggestions on how much I should sand it? What type of grit ? Any help is greatly greatly appreciated.

Thanks much, D

Answer:
The way it sounds, it currently has some type of finish on it so I would suggest a chemical strip first.

Once the finish is removed, I’m confident that you can sand per normal sanding practices, starting with a random orbital sander and 120 grit paper and progressing up to 180 grit or so. Just keep in mind that the random orbital sander is very aggressive so you will have to move in a quick but controlled pattern.

Once you’ve progressed through the finer grit with the orbital sander, you can use a pad sander (1/4 or 1/2 sheet) with 220 grit moving with the direction of the grain to finish it out. Just remember when sanding veneer to keep moving, watch your edges and be aware of any high spots in the veneer as you’re likely to sand through in a high spot. We hope this helps.

Oakwood Veneer Tech Support
Your source for veneering information

Follow-up question:
Hey, Thanks for the great tips. I was wondering if i could go to 220 with the orbital sander? The cabinet maker I was working with always hand sanded the 220. I’m pretty good with it and I know it can be aggressive with new pads. I’ve learned the hard way, but would really like to decrease the workload.

Answer:
Be careful…..even the best of us shoot through every now and again, as they say “the sign of a good woodworker is not how few mistakes we make, its how well we hide them” the problem is you can’t hide a sand-through.

Oakwood Veneer Tech Support
Your source for veneering information

 

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