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I just finished my first big stain and poly job, and I didn't like all the scratches that the 220 sandpaper was creating on each layer of polyurethane. Instead of sandpaper I tried cardboard, and it worked great! Got rid of bumps, created a smooth surface, and no scratches.


Before doing anything else, give part of the new board a swipe with paint thinner. Dampening it gives you an idea of what it will look like under a clear varnish, and paint thinner evaporates quickly enough that it doesn't tend to raise grain or otherwise interfere with the rest of the finishing process. That'll give you some idea of how much the color ...

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