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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sanding is not something you relish doing, but if you want a great final result, you'd better get over it. The awful part isn't the large flat areas because you can use a random orbital sander ROS to do much of the work for you. Just don't overdo it on the finished side of plywood.

The parts I hated sanding the most are the curves on rails and stiles, and especially the curves of picture frame stock. It's even been harder once it's assembled. At least it was, then I discovered two things. One is shaped sanding blocks.
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The second set with the curves are simple to use. Wrap the sanding medium around them and press them into the curve. Big curve, use the big sanding block. Corners, use the wedge shaped flat. Got mine on sale at Rockler's, but other sources have them. And there's always Amazon https://www.amazon.com/POWERTEC-71620-21-Profile-Contour-Sanding/dp/B091YK4645/ref=sr_1_38?crid=3TEEVOE1HGMV2&keywords=sanding+blocks+for+wood&qid=1644373001&sprefix=sanding+blocks,aps,782&sr=8-38

But what really changed things was discovery of 3M sanding medium
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But what really makes these blocks amazing is this stuff, It has a flexible semi transparent backing so it wraps beautifully around even the smallest of the blocks. It is also incredibly long lasting. Flex it a bit and the sawdust falls off and you're back to producing a great finish, and it also seems to do what paper back does, only in about half the time. I like very glossy finishes on some of my picture frames, and I've found using up to 220 is sufficient. I don't find any real improvement going above 220.

I also use a wood filler I found a number of years ago. It's an Aussie produce called Timber Mate. No matter how hard I try, I still get little tiny gaps in miter joints. This stuff gets pushed in, dries, sands and then stains and finishes like the original wood. Comes in many types of wood. Timbermate American Cherry/Brush Box Hardwood Wood Filler 8oz Jar - Wood Fill - Amazon.com
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I'm posting this for all newbies and anyone else who is not fond of sanding.
 

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Slightly more tolerable but still hate it. You will never find a silky smooth finish in my home. lol

I believe they call it rustic. :)

The 3M ultra flexible sanding medium with the rubber backing was amazing but I have been unable to find them anymore. Maybe too good??? They did last forever.
 

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Tom,
thanks for the three links, I’ve added them to my Amazon Wish List for my next project. I got into a some sanding trouble on my last Christmas present where I had marked an end piece with permanent marker and didn’t notice it until after glue up. It was on a small reveal and after trying to hand sand that small edge with little success I grabbed the electric orbital sander and ended up with gouged area that I ended up filling. Lesson learned, no more permanent marker for me. These items you listed would have saved the day.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tom,
thanks for the three links, I’ve added them to my Amazon Wish List for my next project. I got into a some sanding trouble on my last Christmas present where I had marked an end piece with permanent marker and didn’t notice it until after glue up. It was on a small reveal and after trying to hand sand that small edge with little success I grabbed the electric orbital sander and ended up with gouged area that I ended up filling. Lesson learned, no more permanent marker for me. These items you listed would have saved the day.
Thanks.
Hi Bryan. Don't get to hear from you very often these days. Hope all is well and everyone's healthy. I hope others will post little items like this. I love handy hints and sharing what have often been expensive lessons. My wish list is pretty empty these days, I bought so many things when I was flush, that I think I'll try to post over time. Glad to be helpful. I don't think the wood filler is good for large areas. I usually use a tiny amount at a time for what are really just hairline gaps. I did use it salvage some slightly twisted frame stock that didn't quite line up on the face at the mitered corner, but had to sand off the bottom side instead. That sanding medium is the best thing since popped corn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm surprised you need to sand the profiles of doors.
On picture frames. Using commercial stock for the most part, and to get the finish I like, light sanding makes a difference on coves and beads. Those sanding blocks really are nice and make it much easier to do, especially on the beads. The sanding medium has a great bite so it doesn't take all that many strokes to get it done. I love working with cherry and very dark stains. A deep and beautiful color, with a glossy finish. Neat.
 

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At the woodworking shows they once offered profiled sanders for shapers. You specified the profile or have them a sample and would make one for your shaper, this probably would help an above rage woodworker, but if he/she makes a lot of cabinet or picture frames it was designed to sand the edges and profiles at once. Saving hand sanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
At the woodworking shows they once offered profiled sanders for shapers. You specified the profile or have them a sample and would make one for your shaper, this probably would help an above rage woodworker, but if he/she makes a lot of cabinet or picture frames it was designed to sand the edges and profiles at once. Saving hand sanding.
I guess I could forego the sanding and get a nice look, but I still have to deal with the filler for the minute variations in the miter cuts. These are hairline and not the full length of the miter cut. The Timber Mate filler has to be sanded anyhow and as you know, I'm kind of a fuss budget about frame finishing. My artist wife, appreciates it.

I've milled a couple of frames on my table with nice results, including using a table saw to trim off excess, or to make a flat surface cut on a modern style frame. Flats are great for putting in decorative inlays (pix below). My TS has a Freud industrial glue line blade that doesn't require much sanding, but I always put on sanding sealer to raise the stray fibers and cut those away with sanding. For flat stuff, nothing beats a scraper, but they're not as easy for me to use as the sanding medium on one of these shaped blocks. Again, particularly for the beads.

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