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What Does Wet Sanding Do?


Mitch
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Guys help me out if this is not 100% correct.

The water mixed with the dust creates a slurry that acts like a lubricant that tends to lessen the scratching of the sandpaper making a more even finish.

Once you get down to 600+ paper, any wrinkle in the papaer or spec of grit or dirt that you may pick up can cause a deeper scratch that could stand out against the rest of the (now smooth) surface. Wetsanding will prevent this somewhat.

Just in Case... make sure you choose paper that can be used wet, it will say on the package.

Edited by Doeringer
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Yep. Lubricant, plus it can help stop the material being sanded loading up on the paper causing said scratches.

An additional (potential) benefit (which is completely personal to my own opinion) is that having a liquid buffer layer between the abrasive and the work surface helps distribute pressure over a slightly larger area preventing or at least reducing scrubbing, and providing a more even abrasion.

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wet sanding is typically done after your done clear coating a guitar and it has had enough time to fully cure. After clear is applied, you will usually get an "orange peel" effect which is exactly that, the surface of the guitar looks like the skin of an orange. Thinning your finish can lessen this but you will always need to wet sand to get that mirror finish. google it or search the forums because wet sanding is a very easy topic to research and you can find all the answers you need pretty easily :D

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wet sanding is typically done after your done clear coating a guitar and it has had enough time to fully cure. After clear is applied, you will usually get an "orange peel" effect which is exactly that, the surface of the guitar looks like the skin of an orange. Thinning your finish can lessen this but you will always need to wet sand to get that mirror finish. google it or search the forums because wet sanding is a very easy topic to research and you can find all the answers you need pretty easily :D

Just to add my 2 cents... at this point (wet sanding) you're trying to level the surface--eliminating the orange peel-- but especially to remove the sanding scratches. Because the mirror comes through when there are no scratches to deflect the light. Or better put, when the scratches are so small they no longer deflect the light.

You can achieve this without wet-sanding, it's just a lot more difficult.

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you guys are all correct , but i wonder if he isnt refering to wetting to raise the grain

if this is what your talking about mitch let us know , you dont wanna go slopping a wet

sanding block on the bare wood of your guitar

Yeah that was what I meant. Sorry everyone.

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in that case mitch sand the wood till its smooth then wipe it down with a damp rag ,towel whatever and let the wood dry

now the wood will feel fuzzy sand it smooth and repeat 1 more time for best results

now when the finish or stain is put on the wood the surface fibers will stay smoother

there are variation to the method but this will work , if your useing a waterbased stain and certain woods , like maple the process

can be done with the stain instead of water , that will allow the figure to to pick up more color

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you guys are all correct , but i wonder if he isnt refering to wetting to raise the grain

if this is what your talking about mitch let us know , you dont wanna go slopping a wet

sanding block on the bare wood of your guitar

Yeah that was what I meant. Sorry everyone.

Mitch

I can see no reason to raise the grain on a guitar unless you plan on using a water based product as a finish without a non water base seal coat like shellac.

Wet sanding is for sanding finishes, raising the grain is a technique for dry sanding bare wood, where you dampen the wood let it dry then sand. But this is always done dry never with the sandpaper being wet. You risk damage to the piece if you introduce too much moisture.

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As some one said above, once you get over 600 + you should be wet sanding?

So should you always wet and at 600 + ? Is there ever any reason not to? I didnt when I went to 2000 on a fretboard, should have I done?

You dont' have to wet sand with finer grit paper but the water helps keep the paper form loading up so fast. but no you don't have to wet sand you can dry sand but your gonna use a lot more paper especialy on a soft finish.

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Wetsanding a cured finish as opposed to dry sanding.

1. Water conveys sanded particles and grit away from the finish ensuring that striations do not occur.

2. Heat developed from friction is minimized by the coolness of the water. This allows your paper to last MUCH longer. When dry sanding the heat buildup literally melts the finish being sanded which will stick to the paper.

Edited by Southpa
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