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Front Porch Rail #5453606 06/14/20 09:51 AM
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BISCUT Offline OP
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I built my house 15 years ago. I have a 35 foot front porch that I build the rail system using Philippine Mahogany, pocket screw and Gorilla glue joinery. It is solid! The spindles are square cut and straight and the top cap is easily sanded. Love it. I originally had used Australian Oil but subsequently went with Helmsman urethane. I have a mahogany door that I also have Helmsman on. I kept up with the door and it's a ok. I am guilty of not taking care of the rail system and now have to sand it down and re-apply Helmsman.

My question is....what is the best way to sand the spindles? Is there a power tool that can make easy(ier) work of this? Time is really precious. I'd like to be able to do it myself and but if hand sanding is the only option...ugh. Looking for suggestions.

Thanks in advance.


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Re: Front Porch Rail [Re: BISCUT] #5453630 06/14/20 10:16 AM
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samven Offline
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I dont know of a power tool that will do spindles and depending on the damage I would not recommend sandpaper. Try using a 00 steel wool to get the bad stuff off and if you need a smoother finish follow with a 0000 steel wool. Less chance of rounding corners and gets into tight spaces easier, it cuts the shine and leaves a good surface for recoat to bind to. Might even find its more work but faster than a power tool with sandpaper.

Re: Front Porch Rail [Re: samven] #5453644 06/14/20 10:38 AM
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BISCUT Offline OP
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Originally Posted by samven
I dont know of a power tool that will do spindles and depending on the damage I would not recommend sandpaper. Try using a 00 steel wool to get the bad stuff off and if you need a smoother finish follow with a 0000 steel wool. Less chance of rounding corners and gets into tight spaces easier, it cuts the shine and leaves a good surface for recoat to bind to. Might even find its more work but faster than a power tool with sandpaper.


Frankly I've been a hobbyist woodworker for years. I mix some of my own finishes to hand rub and use steel wool for the very reason you state. Yet for some reason I did NOT make this connection to the rail.

Thanks for the suggestion.


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Re: Front Porch Rail [Re: BISCUT] #5453713 06/14/20 12:25 PM
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spasm3 Offline
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There are 3m sanding pads that work well by hand, some aggressive , some finer. I use them a lot.

Buff down with these, light coat of stain to get any areas that went through, and to stain the dust in the joints, then re-polyurethane.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-3-7-...-Hand-Sanding-Pads-2-Pack-7448/301118025






https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-3-7-...-Hand-Sanding-Pads-2-Pack-7447/301117170
[Linked Image from images.homedepot-static.com][img]https://images.homedepot-static.com[img]

[Linked Image from images.homedepot-static.com]

Last edited by spasm3; 06/14/20 12:29 PM.

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Re: Front Porch Rail [Re: BISCUT] #5453718 06/14/20 12:46 PM
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Danno Offline
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I would consider something like this.

https://www.amazon.com/Oscillating-...ool+sander&qid=1592156693&sr=8-9

Had to replace part of a shed door jamb that rotted, worked great to match the new and old pieces and sand off the old paint.


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Re: Front Porch Rail [Re: BISCUT] #5453891 06/14/20 05:13 PM
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MasterSolenoid Offline
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I have recently started hating Steel-Wool.
Makes a mess by leaving dust.

For my (interior) wood projects, I will used a Foam-Brush to apply Polyurethane and lightly sand with
400 grit paper to remove any bumps followed by a final coat of Poly.

My suggestion: Go to Home Depot and look thru their sandpaper section.
I believe they have various grits with a 'soft' backing pad (about 1 inch think).
This would give you the ability to follow the contour of the spindles.

Enjoy your porch.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by MasterSolenoid; 06/14/20 05:17 PM.

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