Rules when sanding timber and other woods
You should never use worn sandpaper when sanding timber as it is a cutting tool and it will not cut. Professionals say that most sandpapers are good for 4 minutes of continuous sanding. The abrasive on modern high quality sandpaper fractures as it is used. Coatings on these papers help prevent clogging of the abrasive with dust, therefore modern high quality sandpaper gives the best results.
You should always keep the sandpaper moving continuously on the wood, by holding the sandpaper stationary it will cause grooves to appear in the wood. It also changes the shape of the wood unintentionally. Dust will also buildup between the sandpaper and the wood, which prevents wood abrasion and generates more heat.
You should never use sandpaper to shape wood as different areas of wood abrade in different ways.
Sanding generates dust, which can build up between the sandpaper and the wood so you should clean the sandpaper frequently. Constantly move the sandpaper to free dust. You should occasionally clean it with a crepe block. Discard paper immediately if the dust caramelises. Remove the dust from the wood between each grit. You should also remove the dust from the wood after every grit as it can scratch the wood and prevent the effect of using a finer grit abrasive. The dust packed in the open grain often appears as fine white lines in the wood, you can be prevent this by using compressed air to remove dust rather than wiping away dust.
In order to get the results you are looking for, choosing the right sander for the job is fundamental. Manual sanding by hand is best for all small, intricate projects and hard-to-reach areas. Orbital or palm sanders are best for large, flat surface areas such as tables and benches. A powerful belt sander would be perfect for a basketball court or large-scale wood floor refinishing job