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Sanding Walnut vs Maple

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Forum topic by Paul222 posted 07-23-2019 12:26 AM 345 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Paul222

2 posts in 34 days


07-23-2019 12:26 AM

Hi. Newbie question. 2 actually.

1. On an edge grain cutting board that has strips of walnut, maple, and padauk, the walnut doesn’t have the same smoothness to the touch as the other 2. I used a random orbital sander stepping through the grits up to 220. Any suggestions?

2. I’ve already applied mineral oil. If I want to go back and re-sand, any risk to just sanding and re-applying oil? Can I avoid stripping all the way to fix the problem above (and also sand the router bevels better)?

Thanks in advance


6 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3755 posts in 1843 days


#1 posted 07-23-2019 11:35 AM

It is a little hard to diagnose problem #1 without seeing it or even feeling it. Pictures might help.

Mineral oil as a finish doesn’t cure or harden like other finishes so it really just soaks into the wood. I’ve actually used MO as a lubricant on turnings to get a smoother finish when sanding. The problem you may have is that the saw dust might create a slurry with the MO and discolor the maple so you might want to try wiping it down with mineral spirits or even alcohol to try to remove some of the oil before more sanding to prevent the discoloration. I wouldn’t be a bad idea to glue up some scraps, putting some MO on it and sand it just to see how bad the discoloration might be.

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

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Robert

3486 posts in 1936 days


#2 posted 07-23-2019 02:04 PM

Generally you want to take endgrain up to a higher grit, like 400 or even 600.

This might be the issue, or it could just be the grain of the wood.

How about a pic?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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Paul222

2 posts in 34 days


#3 posted 07-23-2019 03:49 PM

Thanks for replies so far. Pic attached.

The difference in smoothness in maple vs walnut is not visible, but obvious to the touch.

I will try the sanding (with high grit) on an oiled scrap piece, good idea.

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Lazyman

3755 posts in 1843 days


#4 posted 07-23-2019 04:08 PM

I would try using a card scraper. You will get a much a better finish than with sandpaper.

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

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LesB

2154 posts in 3899 days


#5 posted 07-23-2019 07:45 PM

Over looked here is that Walnut usually has open pores and will therefore “feel” rougher than maple. You can use a grain filler to fill those pores, which is what I would do because on a cutting board the pores can accumulate bacteria. That said, the tannin in walnut will probably kill most bacteria that gets into the pores.

-- Les B, Oregon

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3402 posts in 1030 days


#6 posted 07-24-2019 03:07 AM


Over looked here is that Walnut usually has open pores and will therefore “feel” rougher than maple. You can use a grain filler to fill those pores, which is what I would do because on a cutting board the pores can accumulate bacteria. That said, the tannin in walnut will probably kill most bacteria that gets into the pores.

- LesB

Correct. Everyone was thinking end grain board. I have heard both good, and bad about using Walnut in cooking items. As a decoration, that wouldn’t apply. All of the bad centered on the open grain, and mostly associated with meat. This bad juju goes back to the 60’s, so I have always steered clear of it on food boards, just in case “they” were right.

I read what I typed, and should add that I heard about it in the 60’s, as a subject of concern I imagine it goes wayyyyyyy back.

-- Think safe, be safe

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