Sanding carvings

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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 09-11-2017 07:22 PM 1647 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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117901 posts in 4178 days

09-11-2017 07:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi everyone
I’ve been working on a pie crust tilt top table for years part of the problem is that This was my first project with what I consider a good amount of carved details. After many hours of sanding, I’m still doing one more sanding before I start the finishing process but I’m finding it hard to sand around smaller details.
Over the many months of sanding, I have use jewelers files, trimmed emery boards, sanding cords and small burrs.

Now I’m still searching for more sanding tools to make it easier for the small details. I’ve ordered these ,let me know if you’ve used these or if you have a better Idea.
Thanks for your help


13 replies so far

View Texcaster's profile


1286 posts in 2275 days

#1 posted 09-11-2017 09:45 PM

Jim, generally, in good carving, the job is right off the tool. Sanding blunts all the crisp edges. Sanding is a four letter word. lol

I usually sand my archtops but I’m moving to a primitivo look for awhile.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2805 days

#2 posted 09-11-2017 09:55 PM


I saw Nick Agar of King Arthurs tools, KA Tools using a bristle brush on some driftwood, it may be of help,

its at about 3:35 or so, mind you the whole video is interesting if you are not familiar with the KAT series.

Camelot and King Arthurs Tools is actually a USA not a UK product, very odd!!

No doubt you have a die grinder already.

-- Regards Rob

View a1Jim's profile


117901 posts in 4178 days

#3 posted 09-11-2017 09:55 PM

I’m afraid it’s it’s a little late for that on this project Earl but I really would like to carve the proper way. I have signed up for Mary May’s online emails but started this project years before with a power carver.


View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4580 days

#4 posted 09-11-2017 09:58 PM

Hey Jim, not trying to be a stick in the mud but if you’re sanding the carving, your chisels need to be sharpened. Sandpaper won’t give you the polished surface a chisel will.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View a1Jim's profile


117901 posts in 4178 days

#5 posted 09-11-2017 10:02 PM

Thanks Rob Iook own a Arbortech cutter for my side grinder but this project took a little more refined tools ,at least for me.


View mpounders's profile


946 posts in 3496 days

#6 posted 09-11-2017 10:03 PM

I have used all of these except for the last one. The split mandrel is really handy and easy to use with different grits of cloth backed paper. The paper sanding cones are very useful for me. They are not overly aggressive and I use them in this size and the smaller ones on my carvings. Use both of these on something with variable speed or foot pedal control. The fuzzy wheels are ok, but can discolor lighter woods, so I don’t use them as much. You might look at the 3m scotch-brite radial bristle discs that are also available in various grits. How aggressive they are also depends on how you use them, but they might be useful for you.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4249 days

#7 posted 09-11-2017 10:15 PM

I have some “tadpole” shaped sanding pads
that are pretty useful.

Like these, though that’s not the set I have.

View a1Jim's profile


117901 posts in 4178 days

#8 posted 09-11-2017 10:26 PM

Good to hear from you Lee ,I understand that now actual carving chisels would have been the way to go. but I was using a power carver on this project I can see after this experience I realized all that sanding would not have been necessary.Remember this is my first real carving,


View a1Jim's profile


117901 posts in 4178 days

#9 posted 09-11-2017 10:30 PM

Those look very interesting Mike thanks alot.

Thanks, Loren I forgot to mention I had a bunch of tadpoles, they do come in very handy.


View ClaudeF's profile


1054 posts in 2308 days

#10 posted 09-11-2017 11:15 PM

Like Mike P., I often use the 3M bristle disks in my Dremel. I don’t sand with them, per se, but use them to get the fuzzies out of the cut lines. A single disk on the arbor will get most of the fuzzies out. Where it’s too confined for the disk, I use one of several small diamond burrs, such as



View a1Jim's profile


117901 posts in 4178 days

#11 posted 09-11-2017 11:49 PM

Thanks for your help Claude, I do have a boat load of burrs but for the small pearl beads they are either too big or I don’t have a steady enough hand for use with my Foredom


View Phil32's profile


838 posts in 504 days

#12 posted 10-07-2018 07:35 PM

A1Jim – I recommend that you consider using cabinet scrapers. They remove a thin shaving of wood, much the way really sharp carving tools would. They come in various sizes, including these finger scrapers in various shapes for working details of your pie-crust table.

This is a skill rarely taught in woodworking classes today. I was taught how to sharpen and use a cabinet scraper in Junior High wood shop 70 years ago. It is similar to sharpening a plane blade, but you roll the cutting edge with a hard steel rod. The ones available now come sharpened.

I’ve used the finger scrapers recently to work the surface of old relief carvings where I need to get in & around raised features.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View a1Jim's profile


117901 posts in 4178 days

#13 posted 10-07-2018 08:40 PM

Thanks for the tip Phil but #1 I finished this table some time ago and #2 the areas I wanted help sand were too small for most scrapers, but you are right scrapers are great tools and can save tons of sanding.


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