steel wool vs. sanding paper

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Old 01-16-04, 06:50 PM
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steel wool vs. sanding paper

Usually i sand with sandpaper for my wood work. But lately ive been seeing steel wool around the lumber stores. Have any of you had experiences with steel wool for wood. Is it better or is it different than regular sand paper??
 
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Old 01-16-04, 07:08 PM
Tom_J
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Tommy,

Steel wool has been highly touted, but I've never much cared for it. My experience hasn't been as great as some of the others who will respond but I, personally, prefer sandpaper.

Frankly, I've found that steel wool loads up very quickly. I also don't like dealing with the inevitable fibers that break off and love to embed themselves into the finish.

Again, a personal observation...

Tom
 
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Old 01-16-04, 07:08 PM
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In some instances, steel wool is used to rub out finishes. It is also used to clean light rust from tools. Of course, you can use it to start a fire to burn the scraps in your wood stove.
 
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Old 01-16-04, 07:08 PM
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Steel wool is generally used to smooth out surfaces between finish coats of polyurethane and such. It won't replace sandpaper on unfinished wood...
 
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Old 01-16-04, 09:49 PM
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I quit using steel wool on wood years ago after I saw dark spots that turned out to be tiny steel particles that had rusted.

Now, I use pads by 3M. They come in several "grits", the finest being approximately the same as 220 grit sand paper.
 
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Old 01-17-04, 09:03 AM
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For profile edges, you can buy a sanding sponge which can be found at home depot. Use the 320 grit or the one that says for sanding inbetween coats. I hate steel wool and will never use it.

Especially on Oak, the fibers will get caught in the finish and sometimes in the wood if there's a little spliter sticking out. Stick with 320 grit sand paper between each coat
 

Last edited by Furniture Bldr; 01-17-04 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 01-17-04, 12:14 PM
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its unanimous ..............no steel wool for me. I glad i asked you guys before i screwed up thanks for the responses.
 
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Old 01-17-04, 12:29 PM
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I'm sorry, but what is your name Tommy? It wasn't large enough in your signature.

Ya, stay away from steel wool. I work closely with a refinishing company and they very rarely use it. I manufacture furniture from scratch and I think the last thing one of my clients would want to see are little fibers from the steel wool in their Custom Furniture
 
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Old 01-19-04, 10:09 PM
dandb
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I too build furniture and cabinetry. I use Benjamin Moore products for stain and finish. For a while I used sanding pads, but wasn't very happy with the results, for the work required. I started using a 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper (using it dry). At a very fast rate I can go over layers of finish and have a very smooth finish. I use a damp cloth after the sanding to remove dust. I'm now happy with my finish.
 
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Old 01-20-04, 10:27 AM
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DandB

If you're manufacturing cabinetry as a profession, you can buy M.L. Campbell products. I would switch from BJM to ML Campbell. I use their MagnaMax. It's a 2 coat process 25% solids and typically doesn't need to be thinned. I use the Mach 1 HVLP gun with a 2.5 gal Binks Pot, attached with 25' of hose. I love it. For doing anile-n-dye work, I use my quart gun.

With MagnaMax, spray one coat, wait 10-15 mins in 80 deg temps and sand with 320, apply 2nd coat and you're done. It's that simple. Cherry needs 3 Coats, because it just wants to absorb the finish
 
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Old 01-20-04, 09:37 PM
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Im building a simple coffee table out of 2x4 and 2x6 , is it senseless to use 220 grit sand paper before i apply preconditoner and stain. I went up to 180 grit and its very smooth.
 
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Old 01-20-04, 10:20 PM
dandb
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The highest grit I ever use before finish is 120. I was taught that if you go any higher than that your stain actually can't soak in right. The trick then is to make sure your finish is smooth. The 400 grit between coats does that trick.
 
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Old 01-20-04, 11:06 PM
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Tommy,

May i ask why you're making a coffee table out of 2x4"s and not "Real Wood"?

It's not "necessary" to sand up to 220. I do, because it makes it easier to end up with a smoother finish. Technically speaking, 150 is high enough. Anything lower than 150 leaves too many scratches which can be visable during the finishing process.

Never use just a random orbital sander, because the R.O.S actually leaves what looks like "Little C's" in the finish. They are formed from the R.O.S.

Always follow up with a 1/4 or 1/2 sheet sander
 
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Old 01-21-04, 05:06 PM
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Actually it can be used as a coffee table or a bench. I got the idea in a magazine and i liked the way it looked so i built one for my mother and she flipped. but i didnt like the way finish came out to many "C's' as you would call it I just didnt take the time to do it the right way. Frankly its cheaper and sturdier than "real wood". But when i get money ill invest in "real wood" . Thanks for the responses!!
 
 

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