Recomendations for a hot plate for sand shading veneer ?

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Forum topic by Bigkahunaranch posted 06-22-2015 06:05 PM 2175 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bigkahunaranch's profile


137 posts in 2021 days

06-22-2015 06:05 PM

I am looking for a decently priced hot plate to do sand shading.
After doing a google search it seems as though a 1500 watt model is the one to get the job done.
I tried a 1000 watt model and it takes forever.
I did notice some people using gas/propane burners, but I would really not like to go down that road.
And has anybody tried an induction hot plate ?

So are there any recommendations ??


-- Living the american dream in central Texas !

5 replies so far

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3847 days

#1 posted 06-22-2015 09:43 PM

My electric hotplate does’t get hot enough, but I can’t remember the wattage. I’ll have to check that, but I like the electric ones because I feel it is safer to use than an open flame in my crowded shop.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Kazooman's profile


1362 posts in 2465 days

#2 posted 06-22-2015 10:31 PM

I have never tried this technique, but I do understand what is involved. My contribution is from a laboratory scientist’s experience. I don’t know just how much input energy (heater wattage) is required, but I do know that you can go a long way toward improving your setup by insulating your sand bath. An open pot of sand on a hot plate is radiating (losing) heat in all directions. I would try to find a container with upright sides. I would then wrap the “sand pot” with some fiberglass insulation (no paper!) to help hold the heat in. I would then put an insulated lid on the pot while it is heating and take it off just when I was ready to treat the workpiece. There is no reason to heat your shop with your hot sand pot. Keep the heat in until you need it. You can get by with a smaller heat source.

View justoneofme's profile


798 posts in 2993 days

#3 posted 06-23-2015 12:57 AM

Hi Dave … you do realize how quickly sand shading turns to badly scorched, eh?!

I’ve used this method for … well, way too long! Electric hot plate 1000 watts … but never have it set higher than medium heat. Notice where the gage is set. A modified cooling rack sits over the burner to keep the (everyday cake pan) slightly up from the heat … with just a bit more than 1/4” layer of silica sand in the pan. Wooden slats (at each side) hold the hot plate up and away from the protective board. When I’m ready to use it, the whole thing comes out of the cupboard assembled as is below, and plunked down on my workbench.

Check out my blog if you want to see how sand shading is applied to the Marquetry art I do.

My way of (applied) thinking is that too much heat can easily turn a required delicate touch into an over done affect. All that’s needed is a bit of patience!! But that’s just me … Thinking

-- Elaine in Duncan

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3311 days

#4 posted 06-23-2015 01:12 AM

Pretty much the same here as Elaine except I use more sand and higher heat. I am also sometimes using thicker veneer and actually want to overshade somewhat to make up for what gets sanded off during cleanup.
My 1000 watt hot plate takes maybe twenty minutes to get to heat (600+ degrees) and stays there at just below high heat. The surface sand is not as hot as the deep sand so spoon sanding can get you very hot sand while sticking pieces in the surface will be more gentle. I too use a cake pan and most of the time prefer using the spoon technique.

But do be careful. Sand at this temperature will cause third degree burns in an instant.
Don’t ask how I know. :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Bigkahunaranch's profile


137 posts in 2021 days

#5 posted 06-23-2015 03:16 AM

Mike- I agree with you about the open flame.

I am using a electric burner, cast Iron skillet and sand from Home Depot.
I tried some hobby sand and it did not do much.

After reading Paul’s reply, I tested the temp of my sand. I turned the hot plate to high, let it heat for
a half an hour and the temp of the sand registered right around 355 degrees.
The depth of the sand in the skillet is approx 1/2 inch.

Should I try “Silica Sand” ?? Would it make that much of a difference ?

Thanks to all for the replies.

BTW-Elaine, I am going to read your blog, looks interesting. Thanks

-- Living the american dream in central Texas !

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