Sanding wood is a process that seems like it can take a long time, but with the right techniques and the right equipment, it is possible to sand wood more efficiently. If speed is essential, such as if you own a business and must sand products at a high volume, it may make sense to use both hand sanders and orbital sanders.
The Right Grit
You will want to use at least three sandpaper grits to be able to remove different degrees of coarseness more efficiently. You will want to begin with the coarsest sandpaper and use it to remove the worst defects of the wood very easily. Then, you will want to gradually move to the finest types of sandpaper that will be able to remove the smallest imperfections. You will not want to sue sand paper that is too fine starting off because it will take too long to remove the rougher parts of the wood. Wood might need grit that is as fine as 400 grit to remove small scratches. If you are not sure of whether you should drop down to a finer grit, draw an S on the wood with a pencil. When the S has been sanded away, it is time to switch to a finer grit. Also, it is not necessary to use every grit. Consider using every other grit.
The Right Sander
Power sanders are more effective at handing than doing so by hand. However, both can be used, with the power sander removing the majority of the roughness and sandpaper being used to remove fine details. When sanding by hand, place a piece of sandpaper in each hand and treat both pieces of sandpaper as if they are one machine. Try to keep both pieces of sandpaper together so that you do not miss spots.
It is easier to sand more rapidly if you use suction. A vacuum will remove sand from the sanded wood and will make it easier to and by having less of a barrier between the piece to be sanded and the sander.
Sanding More Quickly With Orbital Sanders
Random orbit sanders are the easiest to use. Make sure to have a light touch to avoid producing squiggles. You will not need to push down on the sander because the weight of the sander will generate all the weight you will need. The speed at which you should sand is based on the type of stroke sander, with hand sanders requiring more elbow grease and speed. For orbital sanders, though, moving more slowly will achieve faster results.