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Selecting pine

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RogerS

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What prompted this question was the following.

I had some pine that was twisted all over the place. No problem, I thought, just run it through the planer and thicknesser and we'll get it square. What I found was that the finish quality was rubbish. Even with the finest of cuts, the wood would still pick up (regardless which direction I planed) and leave a rough finish. In the end I simply gave up and used it for firewood.

My question is this..how do you choose pine timber? What do you look for? OK - not twisted I hear you say but the thing is I did have some other pine that was twisted and that planed down OK.

With this piece I did notice that the spacing between the harder bits of wood (no idea what the technical term is) and the softer bits was quite large (around 7-10mm). Perhaps this is the key? What do you look for?

On a slightly separate topic I notice that when you sand down pine the harder bits always seem to stand proud and are noticeable...or maybe it's just my duff sanding technique? Again, any suggestions?

Thanks guys.
 

Noel

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"On a slightly separate topic I notice that when you sand down pine the harder bits always seem to stand proud and are noticeable...or maybe it's just my duff sanding technique? Again, any suggestions? "

The soft pad on your sander and the grit used will have some effect.

Noel
 

Midnight

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the project I just finished used the cheapest, nastiest pine I could lay my hands on from B&Q. Although finish quality wasn't an issue, I'd to plane a few laminations to adjust their thickness... sharp blades in good planes made this easier than taking candy from a baby.. honestly.. even my auld Stanleys worked well with it...

Oh... the ummm.... "hard bits"?? Grain.. I think they call it.. there's a more lah di dah name for it but I dinna tant to bore you to tears.....
 

Sgian Dubh

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In part rsinden, it depends on the species of pine, where you purchased it from, and what market it was prepared for by the supplier.

For instance, if you bought one of those packs of pine from B&Q or other merchant of that type (including real builders merchants) it was almost certainly aimed at the home builder end of the market for whacking around door frames and general home bodging, i.e., secondary quality, cut down and planked and stickered into a kiln and dried to about 12% moisture content (MC.)

The MC element is important as is the expected buyer-- this stuff is not expected to really work well as furniture grade wood.

Pine can be, and is cut and converted, and kiln dried for furniture makers that require different performance from wood to house builders. Furniture makers need wood dried to about 8% MC (in the UK) if kilned, and furniture makers certainly need good quality reasonably knot free material if air dried-- and I'm not going to get too hung up on technical stuff here because I'd bore the pants off everyone if I really get into that.

rsinden":8u2y3kiw said:
With this piece I did notice that the spacing between the harder bits of wood (no idea what the technical term is) and the softer bits was quite large (around 7-10mm). Perhaps this is the key? What do you look for?
What you described are the difference between (dark) summer growth, and softer(light coloured) spring growth with wide growth rings. Those measurements indicate the wood came from a fast grown tree. In future look for tight growth rings indicating a slow grown tree, which usually means a colder climate and a less overcrowded environment. These factors alone will assist in find more stable wood.

Also try and find out what the wood was kilned down to in the first place, with 8% being a fair target for furniture wood. That should help a bit.

I've yapped enough for now. Slainte.
 

Noel

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All good advice but, I can imagine having a word with the bloke in my local yard -
"Do you know how dry this is?"
Bloke goes over to the wood and places a hand on it - "It's dry"
"But do you know what the moisture level is""
"Moisture? Everything's bone dry in this shed"
"Well has it been kiln dried?"
"What do you mean killed dried"?
"Don't worry, I'll take it, any straight ones?"

The guy's dead on but I doubt if there's ever been a meter in the place. Take no chances, buy as straight as you can find and keep it cosy for a few weeks.

Noel
 
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Anonymous

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i guess its what you will except from your local timber supplier check for timber cupping,warping, or splits any bananas i send back ,i am now at the point where the supplier will not supply sh*t it's just not worth the journey
 

RogerS

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Reading some of the other threads it seems to me that using a scraper plane might result in a much better finish than sanding?

If so, what size or type of scraper plane should I get? Area to scrape would be flat and quite large....say 2m x 600mm ?

If I was to start investing in decent handtools then which make would be best for a scraper plane for this purpose?

many thanks in advance

Roger
 
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Anonymous

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Roger

Scraping can leave a very nice finish that I personally prefer to a sanded finish - I don't much like using powered sanders in all honesty

I would strongly suggest that try a card scraper first as you'll only spend a couple of quid on one. Mine came from Axminster. To prepare it, you can turn the burr, at about 5 degrees, using an old 1/2" router bit shank.

As far as a scraper plane goes, I have the LN and it is superb (of course :lol: ) I get a perfectly flat and smooth surface very quickly and without any much effort when compared to sanding or planing for that matter. I have not sanded any surfaces that I finished with the LN :D

Note that I have only scraped hard woods though - mainly Ash, Mahogany and Oak
 

RogerS

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Tony":3v67xhb9 said:
To prepare it, you can turn the burr, at about 5 degrees, using an old 1/2" router bit shank.

As far as a scraper plane goes, I have the LN and it is superb (of course :lol: ) I get a perfectly flat and smooth surface very quickly and without any much effort when compared to sanding or planing for that matter. I have not sanded any surfaces that I finished with the LN :D
Tony, can you explain what you mean by 'turn the burr' etc?

Do LN make just the one scraper plane or are there several in their range? Any preferred suppliers in the UK? Everyone seems to rave over these planes and so maybe, just maybe, I'll ask for one as a birthday present. Mind you...double edged sword that - as it will start to make SWMBO wonder just how much have I been spending on tools recently :wink:
 

RogerS

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Excellent video. Thanks, Tony. I can see me now spending the rest of the day trying to work out how I can capture it and save it on my Mac :wink:
 

Alf

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Pine, and indeed all softwoods, does/do not scrape well I'm afraid. But scrapers are worth getting to know anyway; more than a few links and such in this thread. Stick <card scraper> or <scraper burnisher> in the search (and click <search for all terms>) and you'll find lots and lots of discussion on them. You'll see the same advice repeated again and again - get used to card scrapers first. Scraper planes don't work unless you have the right callouses on your thumbs... :wink:

Nope, sounds to me like a regular bench plane is what you need. See that Slope over there? Just throw yourself down it, and all will be well... :twisted:

Cheers, Alf
 

RogerS

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Hi GillD ...yes, I did start reading this thread and quickly came away again. Just too many variables and what if's for a newbie like me to understand. Fettling? Thought that was what you did to horses.

I was hoping that there was a very limited range (ie one) of planes to do this one very specific task. Don't want to shoot. Don't want to rabbet. Just clean the top of the largish surface 2m x 600mm !

Roger
 

Alf

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As Mike said, even old Stanleys can manage pine okay. Practically any plane can manage pine, as long as the blade is sharp. Which one? Well really you're looking at a smoothing job, but which number? #3 is a bit small for a large area, and more difficult to come by secondhand if you want to go that route. #4's are as common as mud, and would do a fine job. #4 1/2 is a bit wider and heavier than a #4, and many prefer them for their extra weight. For pine you don't really need that, and over a large area you might actually rather resent it! The only other thing you might want to consider is a longer plane for the job to ensure your panel is flat. But of course it'll also be heavier and more expensive. However a #5 or #5 1/2 is a more flexible all-rounder of a plane size, so... Aww, just pick one, sharpen it, put a bit of a crown on the blade to avoid the corners digging in and away you go. Well after a bit of practice anyway...

Cheers, Alf
 
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