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Finish Sanding Cabinet Doors

Aug 18, 2007
As a cabinet door is manufactured a special steep comes in before stain and sealer is applied this step is called finishing sanding.

This steep is so important because the stain color and the sealer sanding are determined this steep but what is done in this step? Let me explain, how this all will work out.

If finishing sanding is not done in a uniform manor the stain color will become lighter in some spots and darker in other spots, let call it a blotchy stain color on the door. It is the direct effect of uneven sanding on the door, by sanding the door by hand and sanding more in some areas that in others.

So what is the solution you ask, well if hand sanding cannot create a uniform sanding on a 5 piece kitchen cabinet door, we have to look at machines to do it.

In the past 4 years many new companies has come on the sceen selling machines that will do a brush sanding for the final sanding before stain and sealer is applied. When selecting a machine for sanding your 3 dimensional 5 piece doors remember a few things.

First as your work piece is 3 dimensional do not get a machine that only sands in 2 dimensions like a machine with straight brushes across the belt. It will do a good job for you in one direction but will not do anything for you in the other direction. So look at machines with rotating spindles and turning carrousel this will give you all the dimensions of your 5 piece door and it will sand all of it the same. These machine rotates in a circle to get all the angles of the door.

The second thing you want to remember is that finishing sanding is normally done with a grit 220 or grit 180. Sealer sanding is done in grit 320, so make sure that the machine you select can change grit very fast as you want to be able to use the machine for both finishing sanding and sealer sanding.

Some machine can change rotation of their spindles and sand with a different grit this means you can change from one thing to the other in a matter of seconds.

So now your door has come though the Automatic finishing sander and is ready for stain and sealer, the door should have the following things done to it by the finishing sander. Broken all the sharp edges around the edges of the door and removed fibers from the surface of the door and from the profile.

This will make the sanding of the door even and the door will come out with even stain color and a good sealer coat on the edge of the door.

Sealer sanding with an automatic finishing sanding machine is easy as long as the edge is broken in the white wood when the door was finish sanded, if the edge is not sanded in the white wood, sealer sanding is almost impossible as white lining of the edges are very easy to do if the edges are not broken in the white wood.

So finishing sanding prior to staining and sealing is so very important and if not done right you final product will suffer from uneven color in the stain and uneven finished quality as the fibers in the wood will raise up if not removed before in the finish sanding.

Good luck with the finish sanding on cabinet doors I hope what you have read here will help you.
About the Author
Jacob Malherbe has been working with QuickWood finishing sanders for the last 15 years and have extensive knowledge of the subject. The automatic machines found in this article can be seen at http://www.quickwood.com
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