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I am new to woodworking, so this may sound like a dumb question… I have a couple large walnut slabs that that I am making into a kitchen table. The shop teacher at the local high school allowed me run the slabs through their planer and giant belt sander. I only took off as much as he recommended each pass, but the knots and and couple other spots have burn marks from the process. His parting comment was "Have fun sanding those out!" I have been sanding them for hours with 100 grit sand paper, but haven't reached much progress, if any at all…

Is there something that I am missing, or are those burned knots pretty much there for good? Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks
 

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Resurface and a little faster, Sanding out of the knot good luck. remember knots are harder than the rest of the wood. Going to to slow you will get burn marks. Shop teacher being a lot of help I see.
 

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Try some mineral spirit on the surface and see if the burn marks blend in with the rest of the wood. If it doesn't, apply some water over the area to raise the grain and either use a scrape card or hand-sand it off.
 

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It's always possible that the equipment isn't kept in optimal maintenance so running the boards again may not help at all. Planer knives can be dull and belts can get clogged. That's especially likely to be the case in a high school shop where budgets are tight and well-tuned equipment doesn't pay for itself.

I'd second the advice given by Mr. Jinx. Card scrapers are much faster than sandpaper.
 

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Another suggestion is, if you have any cabinet making shops in your area, usually the will run something through their big belt sanders for a few bucks. Their equipment would most likely be in much better shape than a high school shop.
 

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Was talking to a young guy the other day who graduated high school about 5 years ago, he said they now have a widebelt sander at the local high school. He told about the thickness gauge was not set correctly, and kids would run their panels into the sander, where they would stop and it would cut a deep burn in the surface. So, what was said about school shops is probably true.
 

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Knots are essentially end grain, and of you put the end grain on a disc sander it burns very quickly. I assume that drum sander it the culprit. My guess, be patient and sand on!

I think the fibers get burned deep, so it may take awhile
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I called a few cabinet shops, but no luck yet. I will keep trying. Patience is a virtue, especially with sanding. Here are a couple pics of where I am at now. They look better, but not quite where I was hoping they would be.

Brown Wood Flooring Natural material Tree


Wood Hardwood Trunk Wood stain Flooring
 

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If you don't have much more burn as to what's is shown in the photos,try using a random orbital sander start with 60 grit and see if that will get rid of the burn marks.
 
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