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So I seem to not be able to get a bowl sanded nicely. Made a little one yesterday, had some tear out from the cutters so I made some lighter passes and got it all cleaned up nicely. Then I started to sand and it just looks like crap, don't know how the heck to get it to sand right. I used the little sanding attachment on my drill with still crappy results, I think I got better results just using my hand with sand paper. Don't know if it's the sandpaper I'm using or if I'm starting at the wrong grit or what, been using the arbernet(spelling?), seems to work fine most of the time but could be the problem on the drill attachment for bowl sanding. The streaks from the second pic looks like I just held sand paper against it when I didn't.

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Two questions , which tool did you turn the outer part of the bowl with and what grit sand paper are you sanding with?
if you used a carbide tipped turning tool, try a round nose scraper. for you sand paper i would not start any lower than 150 grit. use a partial sheet with a piece of steel wool as a insulator between it and you hand. where the end grain has that tear out look to it, reverse the direction of the lathe. If you dont have reverse, stop the lathe and sand in the opposite direction and that will cut the flattend down end grain for a nicer out come
 

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I think the problem is your tool technique … those lines you see are tool marks and the tear-out is in the end grain of the blank. If your lathe is reversible, try sanding in reverse (make sure your chuck, face plate or whatever you use to hold the work can be used in reverse).

I assume you are using carbide tools?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Used a circle carbide cutter, couldn't see the lines until I started sanding. I think I started at 180grit with this, but depending on how it looks, sometimes start with 80. The thing was I made some light cuts and it looked fine so I sanded and it didn't have the marks but the one tear out spot. Then I had turned it around on the lathe from faceplate to glue block and cut the outside again because it was kinda wobbly. I think that's where I messed up with that part but would that have anything to do with the sanding tear out?
 

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I love carbide cutters for hollowing but not for shaping of vessels for this exact reason, if you use a sharp bowl gouge cutting in the proper direction you won't get this kind of tearout.
 

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I, by no means, consider myself to be a "great" turner but what I do is turn with carbide tools then when I get it to the point you have I use a round nose side scraper like this one. http://www.amazon.com/Crown-265W-4-Inch-Cutting-Scraper/dp/B001C04G7K/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407600581&sr=8-2-fkmr1&keywords=round+nose+side+scraper. Then I will sand with 120 or 180. Then i will put on a coat of DEFT sanding sealer and let it dry overnight. The next day I will start with whatever grit I left off with, to save a bit of sandpaper start sanding with used sandpaper because it will clog easily. When the sandpaper stops clogging, sand progressively down to 400 with fresh paper. At this point I will take a look at the bowl in bright light moving the bowl around to try to see all the different ways the light will reflect off of it. At this point I will decide if I need another coat of sanding sealer, if so the process starts all over, if not then I progressively sand down to 1000 grit and finish it with a homemade friction polish.
I know this sounds like a long process but it really isn't. I have what I consider successful results.
 

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I've overcome this problem by using my DeWalt screw gun with a 2" rotary sander on it. I keep the work on the lathe to do it on low speed. The circular motion of the sander won't leave lines like just holding sand paper on the spinning bowl. The kits aren't very expensive and you can use regular disks you cut yourself from hook and loop sandpaper.
Here is what I'm talking about.
http://www.abrasiveresource.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=AC22V-2&click=1098&utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=shoppingengine&gclid=Cj0KEQjwjZefBRDfsY28oNjbgeABEiQA8kVt3fxb8qQy4qDZV3nuqaqdWNJbhCKY6cCxeuY7pC1tsXgaAv738P8HAQ
 

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you must start with the grit that will take off the worst you have. Looking at this I'd say 80-100. Holding it by hand is fine. Us old folks have done that for years & it still works!! :) then go 120-150-180-240 etc. don't skip grits. as you get up in grits the time between is lessened. being a good sander/finisher is a skill all it's own.
 

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Gixxerjoe04-Before I start sanding, I often run over the piece with a paper towel dipped in mineral spirits. That shows me what the finished piece will look like and also reveals any tool marks. Often, the tool marks are more like compressed fibers, which sanding does not get out. My lathe reverses and I have reversible chucks, so I always sand in reverse … sometimes I will alternate between forward and reverse between the grits.

dirtycurty mentioned sanding sealer. On just about everything I turn, I use Deft lacquer-based sanding sealer, diluted 50/50 with lacquer thinner. It seals the surface nicely, flashes off in a few minutes (read: short drying time) and doesn't load up the sandpaper as bad as full strength sealer does.

I don't wet sand much (personal preference … I don't like the mess it makes), but on especially difficult pieces I do a bit of wet sanding which seems to improve results.
 

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dirtycurty-That would be O.B. Lacoste of Lafayette, LA, one of Eddie's mentors. The
product he used was a mixture of shellac, boiled linseed oil and alcohol … Eddie calls this
concoction "O.B.'s Shine Juice".
 

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End grain is a bugger sometimes anyway…. The mineral spirit step is an excellent start, 80 grit, if your lathe will go in reverse that is an option also when sanding, but *beware * make sure the set screw is tight on your chuck or it will just spin off….. Personally I would not use carbide cutter on end grain, Freshly sharpened tool would be my first choice. I am not expert by any means….
 

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I've had good luck with using either sanding sealer, or just plan water sprayed from a bottle onto the piece. It is a bit messy, but if you are using Abranet mesh sanding discs they easily rinse out (or just blow them out with compressed air) and they can be used over and over.

Ron
 
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