Hand Tools Archive

Re: Planed vs. Sanded
Response To:
Planed vs. Sanded ()

TM Stock
I think Warren's comment on another thread is accurate - photos are problematic for this sort of stuff (but better than nothing, IMO). I applaud the effort, but even minor changes in lighting angle, etc. will skew the results. How to address?

A good test would be same wood, same lighting temp/, etc, in raw, oiled/padded, or other minimalist quick finish, unfilled film satin, filled film satin, and filled film gloss.

For hardwoods, plain figure flat, plain figure vertical, mild figure flat & vert, high figure flat/vert (not always available in same species). Def mix it up with some tropicals (plain and curly anigre, Tassie and african backwoods to get some acacias and rosewoods in the mix).

For softwoods, flat and vertical in some common furniture woods, plus sitka, salvaged redwood (David Maize), and both light and dark WRC would cover the range, plus perhaps some larch.

Probably 3-5 samples of each config from several different pieces of stock would be desirable to eliminate issues with consistency within configs and species.

Then mail out the coded samples and set up a rotation (sender pays postage) to circulate to a hundred or so folks to get a bit more of a sample.

Rate on a rank order scale.

A couple of issues - some woods like spruce are exceptionally sensitive to very minor grain orientation changes...within a degree of pure VG the wood looks markedly different from just off vertical. Some woods and figure patterns seem quite insensitive - curly maple can show that fiddleback figure on all surfaces, while mild figured stuff changes with orientation. Pine needs careful planing to show much depth on the flat sawn faces, while spruce can be sanded cross-grain (as it should be up to the final scrape or sanding) and still show huge detail and chatoyance if close to vertical grain.

Filler matters for filled finishes - paste wood filler tends to flatten open-pored woods like mahogany, while epoxy with a 1.50-1.55 index will bounce enough light around to make even plain-figured mahogany look much more interesting. 'Clear' latex based fillers are closer to translucent, and don't do much for apparent depth.

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