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Sanding vs planing

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Unib

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I was just wondering, what people thoughts were regarding sanding a piece of work prior to finishing as opposed to finishing with a smoothing plane or scraper?

I know that better results are had by planing but I must admit to only planing smaller items, leaving larger surfaces like table tops to the ROS. I'm thinking I should really be planing these too.

Are there occasions when sanding is preferable to planing or is it really a matter of , if there's time, get the plane out? I'm not sure I'd get a plane out on a veneered surface for example.
 

Jonzjob

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I prefere sanding if the item is on my lathe :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Seriously, if I were ever to attack veneer I think that I would turn to my cabinet scraper before thinking of sanding. It also depends on the state of the surface? If it is rough sawn then planing is the obvious first thing, but as I find it very difficult to push a hand plane and dislike power planes then a belt sander would be my choice. Mine has a depth setting in the form of an adjustable brush frame, so it is possible to do even a table top with it. Then finish with a cabinet scraper. I can pull, but not push :( :(
 

Sawyer

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It depends on a lot of factors: the wood, the nature of the project, time, &c.
In my view, planing, where practicable gives a lovely finish and I like to see a few subtle plane marks on a piece. But then again, I'm a fan of old work, and traditional methods and do a lot of repro. work. A lot of old furniture and joinery, especially pre-18th century has a beautiful finish, straight off the plane and is untouched by sandpaper. Add a few generations of patination too, and nothing looks better to me.

The humble cabinet scraper is excellent and underrated in my view, albeit hard work. Rarely any grain tears and capable of heavy removal, or great finesse. It's not always easy to distinguish a scraped finish from an abraded one. They have another advantage: they develop extra-strong thumbs, which are great for uncorking sparkling wine, too. :)

The belt sander is also a superb tool, but can quickly spoil work if not used judiciously.

Orbital sanders, I'm not so keen on as I don't like the circular scratch marks, however fine, but again, on contemporary work they are good. For repro. work, they can leave a very un-authentic looking finish.

Modern veneers are normally only 0.6mm thick and I wouldn't even consider using a plane, or indeed a belt sander. Here, cabinet scrapers are brilliant, followed by gentle sanding.
 

Jonzjob

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Saywer me awd mate! If you are using your thumbs to open sparkling wine then you walk a fine and dangerous path me-thinks :shock:

One should always get a bleedin good grip on the cork with one hand and turn the bottle with the other thus avoiding the explosion of the cork leaving the bottle and the tragic aftermath of loads of the said wine chasing it! :shock: :shock: Never ever let go of that cork #-o #-o :mrgreen:

I speak as a connin-sewer 8)
 

woodbloke

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Sawyer":217qn89m said:
It depends on a lot of factors: the wood, the nature of the project, time, &c.
Absolutely...if I'm banging out a bit of laminated pine furniture for a bedroom, then the ROS (or similar) is invaluable. Anything requiring a bit more finesse needs a different technique...finely set smoother, scraper plane, card scraper, fine sanding etc. Horses for whatnots really - Rob
 

Sawyer

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Jonzjob":4e4334us said:
Saywer me awd mate! If you are using your thumbs to open sparkling wine then you walk a fine and dangerous path me-thinks :shock:

One should always get a bleedin good grip on the cork with one hand and turn the bottle with the other thus avoiding the explosion of the cork leaving the bottle and the tragic aftermath of loads of the said wine chasing it! :shock: :shock: Never ever let go of that cork #-o #-o :mrgreen:

I speak as a connin-sewer 8)
Fear not, John, I never let go of that cork! The techique is to ease it halfway out with the cabinet scraper-developed thumbs, then as it starts to go, hold down with the index fingers and ease it out completely. In case of frothing emergency: discard cork and place mouth over bottle. Do not let champagne come down you nose though!
 

Jonzjob

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I don't drink champoo mate. Our version is about 100 years older than that. Blanquette de Limoux, the original, better than champoo unless you get the mortgage price stuff and about 1/3 the price 8) 8) 8)

Glad you're careful though! A flying missle can be dangerous :shock:

Sorry about the hijack. Over now.. :oops:

I have a bit of kit that holds a rectangular scraper. It don't arf save me poor thumbs. I have managed to get arthritis in both of them :( :( It wasn't this price though even though I got it from Axminster..

http://www.axminster.co.uk/veritas-veri ... prod22455/
 

Unib

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Thanks for the relies chaps. Personally I prefer to fire my sparking wine tops down the garden in an attempt to get them on the workshop roof – doesn't happen often though as I prefer the flat red wine!
 

Argus

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Along with the dreaded onset of arthritis - in the hands of all places - I went off abrasives, routers and all other things that make dust long ago in the interests of my chest and incipient asthma, so as long as I can hold a plane or a scraper, it's blades for me every time.

A far superior finish, too, with just good ol' shavings and very little floating in the air.

.
 

Unib

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Yes I take your point about dust Argus - I've just spent days trying to remove 8 years of accumulated dust from the extremities of my workshop, not good. And shavings work much better in the woodburner!
 

Jacob

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Unib":gtc5odb8 said:
Yes I take your point about dust Argus - I've just spent days trying to remove 8 years of accumulated dust from the extremities of my workshop, not good. ...
What you need is a good blow job.
I do it with an old vacuum cleaner- quite a lot of them blow as well as suck. If you take the bag out and connect on the blow side you have an electric feather duster. Open the windows while you do it, ideally on a windy day, and a lot of it just goes off into the neighbourhood. The rest settles on the floor eventually and can be swept up.

Re: Sanding vs planing - plane. But if necessary sand. The main thing is to not overdo it. Under finished often looks better than over finished. In fact some over finished stuff ends up looking like plastic and needs roughing up to bring it back to reality!
 

Unib

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Jacob":2ecjacl5 said:
What you need is a good blow job.
Urm, yes :shock:
I didn't think of blowing the dust away, I could have used my air line, I opted for general vac'ing and a bucket of water and sponge.

Jacob":2ecjacl5 said:
Re: Sanding vs planing - plane. But if necessary sand. The main thing is to not overdo it. Under finished often looks better than over finished. In fact some over finished stuff ends up looking like plastic and needs roughing up to bring it back to reality!
Interesting thought – I've never really considered over doing it – I s'pose it very much depends on the type of furniture being produced. I never really agreed with filling the grain which is the same sort of thing – I like to have some connection with the grain.
 

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