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Copyright 2009 Dale Clark
The question of whether or not to sand gouged cane before profiling can be answered by the type of process used to gouge your cane. If the cane was gouged dry, as by an electric machine, or gouged wet and then sanded when dry, you may not need to sand. However, if not, then you probably need to sand yourself. If you’re in doubt then sand the cane. I use a three-step sanding process whether sanding the gouged side or surface of the profiled cane: wet or sandpaper in the order of 320, 400, and 800 grit. If there are very rough places I start sanding with 220 grit. If you cut the sandpaper in 1 1/2 squares you can wrap it around the index finger and feel the operation of the sandpaper on the cane. I always sand in the direction of the grain. I have never seen the value of purposely leaving the sanding dust on your cane between sandings, or sanding with the paper side of the sandpaper. I have sandpaper up to 2000 grit if I choose to use it but find little value using that type of fine grit on cane.
I know that others use a variety of sanding techniques and I welcome your comments.