Wavy Results when Sanding Pine

Alternating hard and soft grain structure in pine can cause waves to form from sanding that's why you use a hard sanding block. July 29, 2007

When sanding a pine table top, I noticed that when finished, the grain was very pronounced and wavy looking. Is there any way to prevent this? Was I using too much pressure, too heavy a grit, too fine a grit?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor B:
Quite possibly too heavy of a grit. What size are you using now?

From contributor R:
Simply put, pine has soft and hard areas. To eliminate the wave, it's necessary to wrap the paper around a hard block. This will allow the sanding of the harder areas to become level with the softer areas.

From the original questioner:
I was using 120 grit. It's a dining room table and really looks bad. I hate to redo it since I got the color perfect. But every time I look at it I cringe. I know what you're saying about the soft and hard areas, just not sure how to eliminate the high spots. I guess I'll try again.

From contributor J:
That's why you don't see high end furniture in pine.

From contributor E:
If you can take the table to a cabinet shop that has a wide belt sander, that should help and create a nice surface.