ask this old house
Norm Abram replies: The short answer is, yes. In fact, I just restored one like yours. You’ll need a belt sander and a lot of patience, because sanding end grain is slow and tedious work. To erase the stains, bumps, gouges, and other imperfections, use coarse 80-grit sandpaper and be sure to keep the sander moving over the entire surface so that you don’t dig furrows in the wood.