Hand Tools

Re: Clarifying a point
Response To:
Re: Clarifying a point ()

Warren in Lancaster, PA
Being able to avoid sanding has saved a great deal of time in my business. When I read about someone sanding a planed surface with 120 grit paper, it is pretty easy to conclude that their plane is not working anywhere close to par. When I stopped sanding many years ago, it was because 400 grit paper would have degraded the surface.

About 15 years ago, for a demonstration, I got a 6X12 piece of curly maple, Acer rubrum, rough sawn. I worked the face with a jack plane, flattened it with trying plane, straight edge and winding sticks, and took off a one shaving layer with my smoothing plane. Next I stained it with a water stain and dried it with a hair dryer. I then applied shellac and then wax. Total elapsed time: nine and a half minutes.

With this type of finish there is great clarity, depth, and liveliness because there is no sanding and mud stain to cloud and dull the surface. And there is time saved by not having to sand the wood or the various coats of finish.

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