sanding concerns

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mdwilliams999

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Joined
Apr 18, 2011
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73
Location
Glenville, NY
I have recently turned a pen using oak and yellow wood. In both situations I used the same standard pen turning sandpaper (150 - 600) and found that the grain on the wood kept getting a grayish or brownish dusting into the grain that made the pen look like crap. I have not noticed this problem on darker woods. It almost looked like maybe I was sanding to hard and to high a speed and was almost "burning" the saw dust which was then sanded back into the grain of the wood. I also noticed that the darkest areas was closer to the bushings and thought that maybe I was hitting it with the sandpaper and some of the metal dust was coming onto the wood and getting pushed into the grain. Anyone have this issue and a solution?
 
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ctubbs

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Sep 12, 2010
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Murray, Kentucky
The paper you are using is leaving abrasive particles in the wood. Most of the "pen turning" sandpaper offered use either red or black/dark gray abrasives. Norton's papers use a very light grit and also seem to stick better to the backing. That solved a very similar problem for me. No, that was not my idea. I posted the sme question and someone gave me this advice. For me, it worked. YMMV
Charles
 

thewishman

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Mar 9, 2006
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Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA.
You figured it out. It is the bushings. You can prevent it by sanding towards the bushings and not from them. You can put some thin CA on the blank before sanding, that will fill the pores in the wood and seal out the metal.
 

leehljp

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Feb 6, 2005
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Tunica, MS,
Another way to avoid the bushing dust is to turn between centers (TBC). Lots of great articles on this.

Another option is to cut some "washers" from a tub butter lid and turn them with the blank. This will give you a very small buffer zone but it does help.
 

Rangertrek

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Sep 10, 2008
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2,096
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana, USA
Yes, probably the bushings and metal dust. I did the same thing on my first few pens.
I now use delrin bushings for any sanding and CA finishes. My bushing is just a "cone" shaped piece at each end. I buy a stick of delrin and cut what I need.
 

Andrew_K99

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Feb 17, 2011
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Location
Waterdown, ON, Canada
I don't sand with the correct bushings on ... I use slim line bushing so I never contact the bushings while sanding. I use these thin spacers I got with my mandrel for slim lines. Just don't get carried away with sanding or you'll go too far.

AK
 

PenMan1

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Joined
Jul 8, 2009
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6,380
Location
Eatonton, Georgia
I like tape, too. I put it on before turning, as it also helps protect the bushings. This does, however require the use of calipers to get blanks to perfect size.
 
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