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 Post subject: Identifying Scratches
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:59 pm
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Location: Detroit, MI
Hello All,

Now that I've gotten a few pipes under my belt I'm trying to identify specific parts of my technique to improve upon. The largest
of all is probably my ability to identify tool marks and scratches while I'm sanding. In just about every pipe I've made I tried my
level best to remove all tool marks and various scratches before I continue with the finishing process. No matter how closely I look
there seems to be scratches that I only notice in the staining phase. I typically use a bright light at an angle to try and catch the
shadows to examine the surface of the briar, but this doesn't seem to be enough.

Does anyone have tips or techniques to help ensure that scratches don't make it through the finishing process?

Thanks in advance, this place has been an invaluable resource. :notworthy:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:40 pm 
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Location: Zimmerman, MN
Water soaks in more where the area is less well sanded. If you wet the stummel with a damp rag and notice some spots are drying slower, those are going to be the spots to go over more. Wiping with water also removes dust stuck between pores and helps you see where you're at. Of course, if your briar is fully dried, the difference will be more noticeable.

If you notice scratches when staining, just go back and sand them off and sand the stain off evenly all around and reapply the same color again. A lot of guys stain early in the process just to see where they're at with sanding.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:34 pm 
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That's a great tip, I appreciate the response. *Crosses Fingers* Here's to no missed scratches on this next pipe.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:52 pm 
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Sanding tip (though not specifically scratch related:

Add a teaspoon or so of some natural-ish brown stain to a jar of denatured alcohol (enough to get a faint color on raw wood) and then wash the pipe with it before sanding, and again between each grit as you climb finer.

It will make things go faster because you won't have to keep guessing where you've been, AND it will help prevent mis-shaping that's the result OF lingering too long in some areas and skipping others.

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"Not once has a customer looked at one of my pipes and said, 'I like this pipe, but wish you had made the stem an hour faster'... I want every stem to be perfect" --- Adam Davidson


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:37 am 
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Buff lightly between sanding steps. You will see the scratches clearly.

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"I am going to defeat you with my left hand!" - Arvind Shamji Chheda


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:31 am 
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Speaking for myself, I still encounter some scratches late in the game and I do just what Jeremiah suggested, which is sand the scratches away and restain the area.

Try not to get too frustrated with the scratches. You'll get better at eliminating them with time and practice.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:27 am 
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All good ideas, thanks guys.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:57 am 
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I'm one of the guys that stain early on. When I finish with disc sanding, before starting by hand, I put a layer of stain on. That way you notice the scratches easily, as well as as high and low points. One other tip (maybe stupid to some): with every grit, make sure that you sand all surfaces and that all visible scratches are out.

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