Home Skills Hand sanding how to do for example, wood

Hand sanding how to do for example, wood


Hand Sanding – for example, wood

Especially with small, curved surfaces, many craftsmen quickly reach for abrasives and work on the workpiece surface by hand. Due to the better handling, hand sanding with a sanding block or a sanding sponge is recommended. These are made of either cork, wood, or even plastic. To do this, the hand sanding block is simply wrapped with abrasive material that has been cut to size. So that the abrasive does not slip, there are special blocks that allow the abrasive to be clamped on the upper side. If it is a hand sanding block made of cork, the abrasive can be attached with the help of a thumbtack.


Before you start grinding, we recommend that you fix the workpiece well (e.g. with a screw clamp). It is, therefore, best to use a stable workbench with a vice. If the material is solid wood, you should always sand in the direction of the grain. Otherwise, scratches may occur.

The right abrasive

Rule of thumb: Always grind from coarse to fine. Coarse abrasive chips are the surface more than fine abrasive. Coarse abrasive thus achieves a higher removal of the material. After the coarse sanding, the sanding follows with a finer abrasive. The finer sandpaper sands away the traces of the coarser abrasive and visibly refines the surface.


For the beginning, i.e. for the coarse sanding, sandpaper (colloquially emery paper or sandpaper) with a grain size of P-60 or P-40 is suitable. If you are unfamiliar with abrasives, avoid abrasives coarser than P-80. The sanding takes longer, but you avoid unsightly marks on the wood that are difficult to level out with finer “sandpaper”.

After the rough grinding, the so-called medium grind. It is best to use abrasives with a P-120 or, depending on the hardness of the wood, P-180 grit. The traces of the coarse sanding can already be leveled out in the medium sanding, thus preparing the wood for the fine sanding.

Fine sanding is done with grit from P-240 or P-320. During fine sanding, the fiber structure of the wood is smoothed and prepared for possible rework, such as painting.

When buying the right abrasive, what matters most is the service life of the respective material. The service life indicates how long the grinding tool can be used before it no longer has any cutting effect. Corundum (usually reddish-brown) or sharper abrasives with silicon carbide are suitable for wood. However, the latter type of grain is significantly more expensive.

Grinding by hand – a summary

The rough cut

It is best to use abrasives with a grit of P-60 to P-80 for coarse sanding. Sand along the grain with light pressure. In this way, you eliminate rough bumps and protruding fibers.

The middle cut

Moisten the wood or the workpiece with a sponge during the middle sanding. In this way, you bind the sanding dust and the moist wood fibers stand up for better processing. Use P-120 to P-140 grit abrasives for medium sanding. The benefit of humidification:


Curves on the workpiece can usually only be sanded by hand. Use abrasive sponges for this. These adapt to all contours of the workpiece. Another advantage is that the sponge can be used as a water reservoir when sanding wet.


For successful woodworking projects, you should work on hard-to-reach areas by hand. All areas should be sanded evenly before pickling and finishing. The effort is reflected in the quality of your finished work.

  • The hand grind
  • However, manual sanding is only suitable for sanding wood. The following areas are now done by hand:
  • Fine grinding of fillers, for example for bodywork repairs
  • Removal of tarnish on metal with abrasive fleece
  • Removal of old paint, for example on window frames or doors
  • grinding furniture
  • Sanding wood and plastic surfaces
  • Surface treatment before applying for anti-corrosion protection
  • Contour grinding of free forms

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Hand sanding how to do, for example, wood