Hand Tools Archive
Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Somewhere in the discussions of edge life it gets asked, where is the need? The question comes from someone attracted to planing a show surface, on what, is not revealed. I faced two planing tasks today and avoided a third.
The reveal between these doors still needs to be refined and the intersections of the stiles and rails needs to be leveled in some cases. Both tasks I accomplish with a hand plane. The rails and stiles have been machine planed to thickness before assembly. I will sand them with 120 and 180 grit before applying a finish that has yet to be decided. The carving presents a staining problem I have not thought about solving yet. If the plane picks up a shaving and doesn't cause tear-out I'm satisfied. I'll sand the door faces with 120/180 and the planed edge of the door with 180- done. This task is not a finishing planing task nor does it seem necessary to approach it as one. Therefore, the most important attribute of the blade is does it remove wood and whether I need to sharpen it before I'm done. Yes/no?
Next I faced removing the home made(thick) veneer overhang from the edges of these shelves for the corner cupboard. These are not show edges. They will be finished but not stained. They won't even be faced; the plywood substrate edge will show. I just need the overhang to go away as quickly as possible. Planing seemed to be the most reliable way to accomplish the goal; the jointer was risky as the shelf size of the substrate was already fit. Therefore, the most important attribute of the blade is does it remove wood and whether I need to sharpen it before I'm done. Yes/no?
Finally, I need to smooth the sawn surface of the veneered shelves. Could be hand plane job for the skilled planer with time on their hands. I used junk for the least obvious side of the shelves and grain is going every which way. Too risky in my hands to even rough hand plane. This is thick veneer. I am going to see if I can send it through the thickness planer. Whether I can or not an air driven ROS will be employed to take the shelves to 180 then hand sand 180 out of habit and finish, no stain. Even if I hand planed these shelves, I would have no need to plane them to the standards David speaks of, nor have any need of a blade capable of delivering this standard. I would just want wood to go away and not have tear-out.
I have had a plane on the bench for most of this build , taking a shaving off here and there with none of it benefiting from a show surface of high refinement. If I had hand planed the stiles to some high degree I am sure they would have acquired scuffs along the way. How do you fix this highly refined surface if the scuff is next to the base molding, if not by sanding. Can anyone scrape to the refinement David speaks of?
For what I do I do not see an opportunity to need, or benefit from, the degree of refinement David asks of his plane blades. Which, it would seem, to ask if one of the steels that failed the refined surface metric was significantly better in the will it plane wood metric. Somewhat better is not worth the purchase of something different than what I have. Lacking data I believe, and waiting on David's data that I will believe, I have stuck with carbon steel. I think I here opportunity knocking.