Hand Tools Archive

My interpretation - let me know yours
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david weaver
I looked at these in person, which is a bit of an advantage.

Here's what i notice from the plane:
* Charlie's right, it would be hard to find a customer who cares
* Charlie's not right. I can see the difference in the planed surfaces. The middle two pictures are face on. There is a bit more figure with the planed surface, but the color variation is wider. That may not be desirable for some people, but I find it to look like it's more lively

What I gather from the sanding (which really takes a while if you're going to remove every imperfection from the coarse sanding or planer!) is that it's like a one-way vibrato. The figure gets dark, but there is no light coloring. You can see on the right board that the area that's tending toward sap is more uniform in color when it's sanded, and the color between the curls is more uniform, and just either middle or dark. When planed, the color between the curls is brighter and the variation with the rubbed shellac is better.

It's easy to see these things, and easier in person, to tell that the planed side is a bit more "pretty". If the boards weren't right next to each other, it would be a lot harder.

I found it kind of funny that Charlie noted that the tester in FWW had a phD in psychology when he spends a large amount of his time harrassing another one. (pardon me, Derek, if it's in psychiatry). If the tester was an actuary, I'd still question the results, but an actuary wouldn't contend that the test was valid for anything more than the specific circumstances of the test (the woods, the finish, the process, the lighting...).

The time difference to achieve the level of surface finish so so stark, though, that I could plane four panels in the time that it takes to sand one, and if I set up my two ROS sanders as a one-two, maybe I could halve the sanding time, but you still have to stop and check for hooks. The replacement for that planing (once you get to my lofty nobody level!!) is that you need to run your fingers laterally across the board to make sure the plane iron hasn't picked up a nick. If you were doing this as a system and time mattered, you'd do every dirty panel with the smoother and a heavy shaving, sharpen the iron and then make one or two finish passes.

All surfaces are glass smooth, and surprisingly after something like four padded coats of sanding sealer, no perceptible standing grain that needs attention.

I spray these and don't sand between coats, but instead knock the nibs off of the final coat of lacquer with a small card scraper. It's just another step (sanding something commodity like this while finishing) that just doesn't seem to be good use of time. It's not enjoyable, you get hand prints of dust all over everything and the shellac gums everything up if you don't wet sand.

Warren 1, Charlie 0 in a close contest. If this was wrestling, it would've been won on criteria.

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