Hand Tools Archive

Re: Surface quality from the plane question

david weaver
I think most people would see the liveliness that I like as "blotch". Not sure how else to explain it. When you plane, the agreeable grain is dense, and the grain that runs out into the surface a little bit will soak in more finish.

without planing two pieces and placing them side by side, I couldn't tell you whether or not you'd ever see the difference through shellac.

I know I mentioned it on here before, but a planed or scraped and burnished surface will absorb less shellac and takes less time for me to move on from. If I am building finish on a guitar, like on the spruce telecaster I showed on here, I don't level finishes or sand out standing grain until there is enough such that I won't reach into the wood itself with abrasive. Actually, I think I did that guitar with varnish only, can't recall, but cherry telecaster types (I've made two)..

..ok diversion there, one of them was hand scraped on purpose

Never mind!!

I also think that if you're not chasing a certain look, then why change the method to try to achieve it? If sanding gives you what you want, then why do anything other than sand? There's a learning curve with everything. do you want to go through it? That curve pops up going forward on things like cabinet frames and door frames - you will mark a door panel or something at some point if you're learning to plane.

The value equation is simple for me. I like planed surfaces. Sometimes they probably don't look any different. I like planing. I don't like sanding. I'd rather plane and correct any issues with light scraper and burnishing than notice sanding swirls on a spot after finishing is complete.

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