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sanding walnut

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Forum topic by trsnider posted 06-06-2021 01:22 PM 586 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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trsnider

263 posts in 3173 days


06-06-2021 01:22 PM

I have some nicely figured walnut. However I can’t figure out how to get the surface to look uniform, or if it should be No amount of sanding, scraping, and planing haven’t seemed to touch it. It’s almost like the grain is completely different in places. Overall it looks like I didn’t finish it well. Maybe this is like quartersawn oak with rays. I like it but others may think it’s not finished well. I’m talking about the vertical “bands” in the image. Thoughts? Thanks!


18 replies so far

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Madmark2

2970 posts in 1751 days


#1 posted 06-06-2021 02:02 PM

They are part of the natural charm of wood. Nature isn’t neat.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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Tony_S

1534 posts in 4246 days


#2 posted 06-06-2021 02:20 PM

Looks like a bit of curl in the grain. You won’t be able to sand or plane it out.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

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Aj2

3953 posts in 2961 days


#3 posted 06-06-2021 02:38 PM

I’ve met that same grain character in quarter sawn walnut . It is difficult to plane usually can be tamed in one direction at a angle.
It will also look darker or lighter depending on the angle of light and eye balls.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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trsnider

263 posts in 3173 days


#4 posted 06-06-2021 03:41 PM

Yep – I think it’s the grain also. I like it but didn’tg know if it was “supposed” to be worked out or knot. :)

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SMP

4451 posts in 1068 days


#5 posted 06-06-2021 03:54 PM

Yep, it’s the grain. Same thing can happen with QS cherry. Best bet is to use a finish that accentuates it as a feature.

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Madmark2

2970 posts in 1751 days


#6 posted 06-06-2021 04:17 PM

You said the walnut was “nicely figured”, this is part of that.

If you really want even color there is a 100% effective solution — PAINT!

Quit trying to cover it and rejoice in the innate beauty of the wood.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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Robert

4641 posts in 2644 days


#7 posted 06-06-2021 05:01 PM

“Chatoyance”

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

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therealSteveN

8250 posts in 1737 days


#8 posted 06-06-2021 06:44 PM



Looks like a bit of curl in the grain. You won t be able to sand or plane it out.

- Tony_S

Yes. If it were saw marks they would be more uniform in spacing, and wouldn’t wiggle top to bottom. This is natural curl, and yep you should rejoice.

Progressive grits to at least 220, do a test finish with something that will dry naturally, either oil, or water based. I’d use oil myself. Try a test finish on some scrap first.

I think you’ll be ok.

-- Think safe, be safe

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gdaveg

241 posts in 365 days


#9 posted 06-06-2021 08:38 PM

The grain may trick you into thinking you left a puddle of finish when wet and you looking at the board at a flat angle. Had that happen when I was finishing my charcuterie board in the curly maple strips.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

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Bob Gnann

130 posts in 835 days


#10 posted 06-07-2021 01:46 AM

I made a dulcimer from walnut a few years back and it was very tricky getting the final smoothness right. Always seemed there was some spot that wouldn’t quite get right. Well I finally said just let it go. That’s the nature of wood after all. Just go with it!
And it’s a sweet sounding instrument so that’s what’s really important!

-- Bob Gnann. "Don't cloud the issue with facts.". Groucho Marx

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Madmark2

2970 posts in 1751 days


#11 posted 06-07-2021 02:25 AM

Great work. Love the inlay and the grain in the head.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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pottz

18844 posts in 2147 days


#12 posted 06-07-2021 02:37 AM

work with it and embrace natures beauty,why try to change it.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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CaptainKlutz

4681 posts in 2657 days


#13 posted 06-07-2021 04:43 AM

+1 Sort of looks like natural curly grain based on picture?

Try this test: Rub some mineral spirits on the surface.

Curl grain is similar to exposed end grain. The ‘curly’ parts will absorb more solvent, and take much longer to dry once use enough solvent to make it dark/wet.

If it is planing defect or surface level variation; it will be darker than surrounding surface with one wipe, but will dry out about same rate as rest of board as it does not soak in extra solvent.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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trsnider

263 posts in 3173 days


#14 posted 06-07-2021 06:24 PM

My point was to be sure I wasn’t sanding wrong. The final result was great.

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BigMig

639 posts in 3776 days


#15 posted 06-08-2021 02:40 PM

I agree with MadMark “rejoice in the innate beauty of the wood.” Does that make me MadMike? It came out great. Embrace the nature of the material. It’s a one-of-a-kind.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

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