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Sanding bubinga - am I doing something wrong?

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Forum topic by poihths posted 02-12-2019 10:33 PM 536 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poihths

9 posts in 808 days


02-12-2019 10:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bubinga sanding technique

I have zero experience with tropical woods. I found this nice little piece of bubinga which I’m finishing for use as a mount for a toilet paper holder. I’ve just started trying to send it smooth and I see in developing an odd sheen and rough spots that don’t seem to want to go away. I’m starting as I usually do with a quick hit with coarse grit, followed by a steady progression of finer grits (“Don’t skip any grits!”) until I get down to glossy snooth. All I’ve done so far is the coarsest grit.

Here’s a link to a shot of what I’m seeing:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xR7rL7yNctpICx54p1zZjHf24rOy4LfR/view?usp=drivesdk

What’s the best way to proceed here?

The holes are just for the mounting hardware.


11 replies so far

View BalsaWood's profile

BalsaWood

130 posts in 1486 days


#1 posted 02-13-2019 08:17 AM

Doesnt look bad. Last time I sanded down a Bubinga panel, it took quite some time sanding it from coarse to finer grits before it looked really nice.

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3096 posts in 2500 days


#2 posted 02-13-2019 01:57 PM

What grit do you consider coarse? The sheen you are getting is from the sandpaper doing it job and smoothin things out. The “rough spots” look like machining marks from the planer cutterhead and just need sanded out. Bubinga is a relatively hard wood it will take some more work sanding than most of the domestic hardwoods.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5323 posts in 2678 days


#3 posted 02-13-2019 02:47 PM

Those are machine marks, you haven’t sanded them out yet, just worked the high spots. What is your coarse grit? Bubinga is very hard.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2125 posts in 2125 days


#4 posted 02-13-2019 02:49 PM

I looked at you pic and I think your seeing marks left from a planer. This is something you would expect to see from a nasty hard wood like bulbinga. As it takes the edge from the knives the wood becomes burnished and fibers get compressed. Get a card scraper and attack those areas at a diagonal.
Be careful sanding bulbinga it can wreck you. Sneezing coughing eyes watering? Bad stuff

-- Aj

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3224 posts in 1714 days


#5 posted 02-13-2019 03:03 PM

I agree that it looks like planing marks and you need to keep going. If that’s your coarsest grit, you might need to step down one more. You are getting quite a sheen on the high spots with no visible scratches from the grit. You can keep going with this grit but it will go much faster if you step down at least one grit and then work your way up.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View pottz's profile

pottz

4681 posts in 1311 days


#6 posted 02-13-2019 03:11 PM

i agree with all said,id start over with a 80 grit and work your way down.use a mask bubinga dust is nasty and can cause problems.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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poihths

9 posts in 808 days


#7 posted 02-13-2019 03:54 PM

Thanks! I’ll just keep sanding. Though not today; the evil rhinoviruses have come in for the kill.

Are we talking mask and respirator here?

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3224 posts in 1714 days


#8 posted 02-13-2019 03:57 PM

Are you sure that isn’t a reaction to the bubinga dust. Make sure you use a good dust mask. It needs to be good enough to prevent you from breathing dust around the edges

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Richard's profile

Richard

11274 posts in 3360 days


#9 posted 02-16-2019 08:02 AM



Are you sure that isn t a reaction to the bubinga dust. Make sure you use a good dust mask. It needs to be good enough to prevent you from breathing dust around the edges

- Lazyman


YEP! The smartest way to go about it!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2348 posts in 901 days


#10 posted 02-16-2019 08:20 AM

Knowledge is power, knowing and understanding your wood will make your projects better because they all possess a different mix of properties.

While there click on the wood allergies, and toxicity link.

Something not in that link per se, is always sand Bubinga with the grain, which is the norm, but if you try to just ride those mill marks across the grain, you’ll create some valleys, and likely tear out if you get aggressive.

-- Think safe, be safe

View poihths's profile

poihths

9 posts in 808 days


#11 posted 02-16-2019 06:06 PM

Thanks for the concerns expressed but this cold was creeping up on me before I ever started sanding. I only spent a few minutes actually sanding.

The piece I’m working on is only about 8“ x 8“. It’s a $17 odd end from the bin at my local Rockler. We’re not talking a major investment here.

So, if I can get a little more advice —

i’m using a Festool RO 150 FEQ sander with the Rubin disks and the Festool dust collector. Grits run from 40 to 220. There are two modes, one is less aggressive, the other more aggressive. There’s also variable speeds.

What’s my best strategy here? Start it gentle and push the attack until I see results, or crank it up and whale away on it unless I see damage?

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