Sanding Methods for Face Frames
From contributor R:
I would suggest wide belt sanding when you can. At the very least, sand the stock with a wide belt before you assemble to minimize the sanding after assembly. To wide belt after assembly, sand down to 220 or 240 grit as your final wide belt grit, then backup to a 180 with the random orbital to finish sand.
From contributor J:
Have you thought about sanding the completed frame? The cross grain should sand out.
From contributor S:
Sand your pieces with a wide belt first, and then assemble and then sand with an orbital sander. It’s unnecessary to wide belt sand it after assembly, and it creates a lot more work.
From contributor A:
I used to work in a shop with a 37" Timesaver. I now have a small drum sander. I haven't sanded face frame stock in five years. I plane the stock; assemble with pocket screws, random orbit sand the joints lightly with 100 grit, and then the whole frame with 150 grit. I look back at the previous 5 years sanding out cross grain scratches which I introduced to the process as a fool's errand. These are mostly beaded face frames often with 1 1/2" parts yielding a 7/8" wide sanding area.
From contributor M:
We do it basically how Contributor A does it. It goes from the planer to the assembly table with a pocket screw, then we attach it to the carcass, sand the joints and finish sand the entire frame for stain or paint. We don't own any sort of large sanding device like a wide belt or big drum, just a Makita random-orbit and big P/C belt sander (hand-held) that's done us quite well the past year.
From contributor R:
Mahogany is a fairly soft wood and won’t require much sanding to level the joints. If you use a good Dynabrade air sander with 150 grit then you’re good to go.
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