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August 06, 2010

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Nice site Mark. I will be referencing it often. I've never heard about open and closed coat paper before. I can see where that will make a big difference when sanding different materials. Thanks for the info.

No problem and I am glad that you found the information useful.

What number of grit should you use on mahogany before the 1st coat of varnish?

Laurie

As I have mentioned before and as anyone will tell you the best finish can only be achieved if the wood is smooth to start with. I usually start smoothing the wood with 120 grit then switch to 240 which will give you a silky smooth wood on which you can start your varnishing. The first coats of varnish will lift the grain to a certain extent so I like to sand lightly between coats with a 320 grit paper. As the coats build up on the surface, after about 3 or 4 coats sand the surface with 400 grit wet and dry paper used wet. Make sure that after sanding you wipe the surface with solvent and clean rags, then go over the surface just before you apply the varnish with a tack rag. Dust is the enemy of a good finish. Work inside if you can where it is warm and out of any wind.
Good luck

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