Thursday, October 3, 2013

Instead of Sand Paper

  As we all know the smoother the surface the better the finish will be.  A smooth surface makes gloss varnish shine and oil or wax finishes soft to the touch.  Getting our projects smooth is one of the great challenges a wood worker faces, and as with all wood work challenges there are several solutions.

  Lots of folks have a whole stable filled with hand planes.  Scrub planes, fore planes, smoothing planes, scraping planes etc. etc.  This is a wonderful way to get a wonderfully smooth finish on your projects.  I have a bunch of planes and often reach for one, I couldn't have a shop without a block plane.

  Another route to smoothness is sand paper and the related sanders.  I have them too, I have shown my set up for making cutting boards, using both belt sanders and random orbitals.  I like my sanders but they are noisy and do kick up a heck of a mess.

  A few years ago I added another tool to my shop, cabinet scrapers.  They are very useful for smoothing projects and I also have one that is thick and pretty brutal for removing paints and stains.  The Wood Whisper has an excellent video here on sharpening your cabinets scrapers, in less than 10 minutes he covers all the bases.  I serious recommend this video for you attention.  

Samona 6 Pc Wood Scraper Set 70380

   A further bonus, cabinet scrapers aren't expensive and require no special tools to maintain.

   As a further foot note, I use my heavy duty scraper to clean away crud and check for nails etc in reclaimed wood.  If I ding the scraper, no big deal.  I can't make the same claim if I ding a plane.

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