Sanding epoxy

Prepping my Northeaster Dory for paint and/or varnish. Has anybody else thought, "Wow, this is really taking a lot of disks?" They fill up with epoxy fast.

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RE: Sanding epoxy

you will use a lot of sanding disks....that being said...a couple ideas to get the best mileage out of your sanding disks.

- make sure your epoxy is well cured...not still green.  if its not fully cured, you will fill up disks rapidly.

- make sure you use a vacume attached to your sander to pull the dust away from the disk surface.

- start with the right disk, rougher to start....then progressively higher numbers.  starting with too smooth (higher number) disk to start will simply fill it up rapidly while doing little work.

- keep the disk moving and don't apply to much pressure.  this prevents the temperature from getting too high in one place (between the disk and the hull) which softens the epoxy and makes the disk fill up prematurely.

RE: Sanding epoxy

After using Lots Of Disks, I actually switched to hand sanding. I made a foam-padded sanding block to take 1/2 sheet of paper, and finished by sanding by hand. I always use Norton 3x sandpaper, it really does cut faster, last longer, and resist clogging.I'm also a fan of the Cabinet Scraper, which works well even when the epoxy is a little "green". Believe it or not, I felt that I got more done, faster, than with the orbital sander.

RE: Sanding epoxy

Jim is right on the money.  Put the power sander somewhere where you can't find it.  Don't waste your money on cheap sandpaper.  Get a cabinet scraper and learn how to sharpen it.  It's very easy to do.

Here's what you get when you lose the power sander:

  • less dust
  • less noise
  • more control
  • a more pleasurable building experience

One point I should make is that the scraper leaves a very different surface on the wood than sand paper.  You can see the difference under varnish.  So, sand after scraping to get a uniform look.  Also, the scraper leaves a very smooth surface that adhesives don't like as much as a rough sanded surface.

RE: Sanding epoxy

Thanks, Woodys. I found that you can also make your own cabinet scraper from an old backsaw, by sliding the blade out of the frame, and filing & burnishing the back edge. All the cabinet scapers we buy are really just a piece of saw steel, on which you apply the cabinet scraper edge. I made a video, copy & paste this into your browser window;

RE: Sanding epoxy


Good video.  I'd like to add that you don't have to buy a burnishing tool.  I have seen old automotive exhaust valves used for burnishing tools and they work just as well.  Most auto repair shops have them laying around.

Also, in most of the pictures I see on this site and on other sites that show strip planking, I see that people leave the glue that squeezes out between the strips to dry in place and then sand it off later.  The scraper makes short work of this but I just wipe it off with a damp rag before it drys.  Saves a ton work and prevents discoloration under the glue.

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