Addressing stuff that doesn’t look awesome
It’s now time to deal with gaps, cracks, and anything else that may be wrong. Remember all that saw dust you collected? It’s time to put it to use.
Science! Things react! Certain woods, glue, weird chemicals on things I didn’t know were on them, metal – it can have unexpected results. I’ve had my fair share of things turn black on me as they dried. Test this out before applying to your actual enclosure.
To fix a crack/gap, throw some wood glue at it. A lot, so there is a good pool of it on top. Take your saw dust, which should be relatively fine but doesn’t have to be suuuuper fine and sprinkle some on top. Using your finger (see above PROTIP on why I don’t recommend using something else like a metal putty knife or dust from a sander) mash it with the wood glue and into the crack. Really mix it up and get it in there. Using a damp cloth wipe the excess off. Do this for all the cracks or gaps. Even though it may look weird now, it’ll all come off when sanded and look pretty decent.
If you have a significant gap anywhere you can try to create a putty with wood glue and saw dust to fill the gap or hole. The larger the space you’re trying to fill, the less it’s gonna look awesome in the end. Generally, you’ll want to add more saw dust to this sort of putty so the consistency is more like a modeling clay. Again, if you’ve got significant gaps or holes, especially that are going to be visible once everything is assembled, you may want to re-think whether it’s better to just start over.
Let everything dry for a few more hours.
Assuming all is well, it’s time to sand your box. Take your orbital sander and start with the outside. You’ll want to to sand so that everything is smooth and if any wood glue that didn’t get wiped up is gone. Start with something like 150 grit and move to 220 grit or so. You can go finer after that if needed. Generally, I’ll use my orbit sander to get 90% and the last 10% of the sanding, especially the finer stuff, is done using a sanding block or my hand. Don’t skimp here, get that wood baby smooth. It takes times.
You can use a small wood block as a sanding block. Just cut the sandpaper the same width as the block, about 2x the length, and wrap it around the block. Boom shakalaka y’all.
After everything is smooth like a baby’s booty, admire your work. Nice job. Use a wet cloth to wipe the entire thing down so it’s clean. Then wipe it down two more times. Again, we’re aiming for smooth like a baby’s booty. If it’s not, sand and wipe more.
It’s now time to finish it.