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Sanding Sealer?

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I just finished applying stain to my mahogany SG. It has been grain filled and sanded to 400 grit before i applied the stain. It was a red stain concentrate from Stewmac that I reduced with 99% alcohol. First of all, I assume that it will do no harm to sand the entire thing with 400 or 600 grit now. But I have been reading that some people apply a sanding sealer. Is this really nessicary and If so, what is the best stuff to use.

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Based on other posts we've had about this, I feel safe in saying that the use of sanding sealer is a personal choice. On something of a clear finish, or something where I'm mixing finishes (like stain and lacquer) - I will use a few thin coats of sanding sealer just to make sure the original color doesn't go anywhere and to further prevent sand through. Keep in mind that most sanding sealers are 1-5% varnish mixed with a remainder of alcohol and water - VERY THIN. Deft makes one, as does Valspar that I have no complaints with, both available at most Lowe's/Home Depot type places.

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KP is dead on: it is 100% optional, and mostly un-necessary. That being said, I sometimes use it.

1) Each and every protective finish, that is one which builds a hard film on top, will act as it's own sealer just fine. You could even use a thinned down coat of the finish as a sealer.

2) Many products labled 'sanding sealer', in addition to being thinned down clear coats, contain a lubricant, usually some kind of soap. This makes the product powder when sanding, thus reducing the clogging of the sandpaper, this making the sanding easier. The drawback is that this lubricant CAN interfere with the finish bonding to the wood. If it' sused, make sure to sand very well and to clean the wood thoroughly before applying the finish.

3) If you're using a penetrating finish like oil, you'll be setting yourself up for failure if you use a sealing coat. This will seat the wood, preventing the oil from penetrating, thus rendering it all but useless.

4) Get Bob Flexner's book. Read it from cover to cover. Lather, rinse, repeat. :D

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