From Ben Jones’ Benblog, February 2003:
Prepare. Sand down the roughest parts. Vacuum. Gaze. Gaze again. Sand a level finer, starting to expose more of the grain, slowly in parts, lightly. Stopping frequently, when the machine is strained. Changing the pad. Vacuum. Clean. Assess. Gaze. Gaze again.
This time is the first touch.
There are some rough spots. Some you know you can’t get out. But it’s beautiful still, all the same. More so even, with character I didn’t know was there before.
And then another round. This time is not so rough, not so much dust. On some spots, the sander seems to polish more than cut. Wait for what dust there is to settle again. The pads don’t need to be changed so much now. I know where the sander will catch.
I’ve made some gouges here and there, impatient with rough spots, stains. I’m more careful, more accepting now of the others I find. They will come out with a finer hand, or they will stay, part of the wood’s character, that I’m growing to love even more.
Vacuum. Clean. Assess. Gaze. Gaze again.
This time I stroke, grasping the wood as fully as I can. Knowing the rough spots especially.
And then once again, now the 100 grit. Smooth now, with enough teeth to hold a polishing coat. To last a while. Shining through. With a touch up here and there.