Hand Tools

Clarifying a point

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I will repeat Wiley's post that posed a question that did not get answered.

Now am looking for a sort of bottom line comparison, with respect to planing ordinary cherry wood:

1. sharpen your current favorite (non-chipping 26c3, 52100 or whatever) plane blade to your normal working level.

2. Sharpen XHP or V11 also to your normal working level.

3. Use each in turn to smooth plane a stick of cherry.

4. Put the two sticks of cherry side by side: What surface difference do you see in the raw planed cherry?

5. Apply BLO and a bit of shellac to each stick—what surface difference do you see between the two sticks of cherry? OK, not a bit of shellac but an amount that most would regard as finishing the piece.

The question I posed had nothing to do with planing vs sanding in general. It was the same question Wiley posed. Are these appearance differences described by David of any practical importance to someone building something?

The answer to this question hinges on whether these differences can be preserved during the construction of what it is someone constructs, including the application of finish. Would anyone be able to notice a difference in the finished product?

Obviously, the answer could depend on what one is making, or whether the goal is even to make a piece of furniture, or whatever. What I can say is that the longer edge life of PMV11 is relevant to what I do and the appearance issues David is concerned with are not. (However, these investigations are of considerable intellectual interest )

Other's conclusions will differ. But to any looker-on that is learning to build a place to store their socks...... You will have a hell of a lot of things to master more important than the things David is concerned with. Don't get distracted or discouraged by details that may not turn out to be important to you. I could expand this wisdom to a lot of the advice and instruction offered about woodworking.

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