Rules for Sanding
Use a bright incandescent light to see the scratch pattern on the wood.
Keep the sandpaper sharp and clean
Remove all tool damage with coarser grit before moving to finer grits
Reasons to move to higher grits
Remove all sanding dust before going to the next finer grit
Sanding approaches and when to use them
Wet sanding is a very effective way of dealing with dust and eliminating difficult grain patterns. The slurry can also be used to fill microscopic cracks that would be impossible to fill any other way. This is done when applying oil finishes. Put a coat of your chosen oil finish on the turning (the finish can be cut with mineral spirits or turpentine). Turn the lathe on slow and sand. Work your way up through the grits, removing slurry and adding fresh oil. At the end, wipe out the bowl and coat with your chosen oil. It is a good idea to keep the lathe running slowly, as well as covering the bed of the lathe, to reduce any spray.
Sanding with Wax. is also a very effective in dealing with difficult grain patterns. It also keeps dust down. Mix 15 per cent sheet beeswax with 85 per cent mineral oil. Melt together in a double boiler. Slop the mixture on the turning and sand. Add more of the mix if necessary. As you reach 320 grit, you should be beginning to dry sand. This works with oil finishes and varnish but not with water finishes unless you get all the wax off.