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  • Finishing without sanding?

    How many of you guys finish right from smooth plane and/or scraper?

    I wanted to try... and got a decently flat and scratch free surface (it seemed) but it was nowhere near as smooth feeling as when I sand to 220.

    Because of this, and time considerations, I just ended up sanding, but the scraped surface seemed to have more pronounced curl on the walnut, so I was a bit sad to revert back to me old ways.

    Looking for suggestions/etc, as I'll try again on a practice piece some day.

    Also; I found I couldn't eliminate scratches with a scraper plane (lv) so had to do a final manual step with a card scraper, so any tips on using the scraper plane more effectively would be appreciated as well.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

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  • #2

    Re: Finishing without sanding?

    Sanding might just trick you into thinking its smoother - try wiping it down with mineral spirits to remove the sanding dust and see if it still feels as smooth, I've found the dust is what gives it that silky smooth feel.

    John
    Shut up, wretched cricket of doom...

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    • #3

      Re: Finishing without sanding?

      Originally posted by carbonBased View Post
      How many of you guys finish right from smooth plane and/or scraper?

      I wanted to try... and got a decently flat and scratch free surface (it seemed) but it was nowhere near as smooth feeling as when I sand to 220.

      Because of this, and time considerations, I just ended up sanding, but the scraped surface seemed to have more pronounced curl on the walnut, so I was a bit sad to revert back to me old ways.

      Looking for suggestions/etc, as I'll try again on a practice piece some day.

      Also; I found I couldn't eliminate scratches with a scraper plane (lv) so had to do a final manual step with a card scraper, so any tips on using the scraper plane more effectively would be appreciated as well.

      Thanks,
      Jeff

      Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
      Might be you need to tune up your handplane, or get a supersurfacer.
      Don Burch likes this.
      www.solidwoodmachinery.com

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Finishing without sanding?

        Originally posted by carbonBased View Post
        How many of you guys finish right from smooth plane and/or scraper?

        I wanted to try... and got a decently flat and scratch free surface (it seemed) but it was nowhere near as smooth feeling as when I sand to 220.

        Because of this, and time considerations, I just ended up sanding, but the scraped surface seemed to have more pronounced curl on the walnut, so I was a bit sad to revert back to me old ways.

        Looking for suggestions/etc, as I'll try again on a practice piece some day.

        Also; I found I couldn't eliminate scratches with a scraper plane (lv) so had to do a final manual step with a card scraper, so any tips on using the scraper plane more effectively would be appreciated as well.

        Thanks,
        Jeff

        Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
        I do believe that the cabinet scraper should be followed by a hand scraping.
        Full disclosure : I donít own a cabinet scraper but I do use a card scraper a lot.

        How are you sharpening your scraper?
        Are you stoning it or just filing it?

        If Iím just trying to tame tear out I will file the scraper and then finish afterward with 220 sanding.

        However with proper sharpening and forming a burr you should get a finish ready surface.
        If you are getting scratches something is wrong - Are the corners digging in?

        Nathan

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        • #5

          Re: Finishing without sanding?

          You don't sand to make wood smooth before staining. You sand to open the grain of the piece so it is all even and you can get a even color on the full piece once you apply the stain. 220 is much to fine to use on raw wood before staining.

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          • #6

            Re: Finishing without sanding?

            Originally posted by RV Sam View Post
            You don't sand to make wood smooth before staining. You sand to open the grain of the piece so it is all even and you can get a even color on the full piece once you apply the stain. 220 is much to fine to use on raw wood before staining.
            Sam, many of us have preached nothing more than 150 grit for years but only some folks accept it.
            "Do it Right!"

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            • #7

              Re: Finishing without sanding?



              Originally posted by nnieman

              I do believe that the cabinet scraper should be followed by a hand scraping.
              Full disclosure : I don�t own a cabinet scraper but I do use a card scraper a lot.

              How are you sharpening your scraper?
              Are you stoning it or just filing it?

              If I�m just trying to tame tear out I will file the scraper and then finish afterward with 220 sanding.

              However with proper sharpening and forming a burr you should get a finish ready surface.
              If you are getting scratches something is wrong - Are the corners digging in?

              Nathan
              Just filing: I could try a waterstone on it.
              After filing a create a burr with a screwdriver (eyeballing).

              Possibly my scraper prep is just too crude then?

              -Jeff

              Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Finishing without sanding?

                Originally posted by John in Calgary
                Sanding might just trick you into thinking its smoother - try wiping it down with mineral spirits to remove the sanding dust and see if it still feels as smooth, I've found the dust is what gives it that silky smooth feel.

                John
                Good point; I'll try that.

                -Jeff

                Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Finishing without sanding?

                  Originally posted by Rusty

                  Sam, many of us have preached nothing more than 150 grit for years but only some folks accept it.
                  I often only go to 150... for walnut, for some reason, I've always went to 220. I think I felt it gave me a brighter finish, but I haven't retested that theory.

                  -Jeff

                  Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Finishing without sanding?

                    Originally posted by carbonBased View Post



                    Just filing: I could try a waterstone on it.
                    After filing a create a burr with a screwdriver (eyeballing).

                    Possibly my scraper prep is just too crude then?

                    -Jeff

                    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
                    Yep thatís whatís going on.

                    Fine homebuilding used to have an article about the proper way to sharpen it but itís basically the same as a plane or chisel plate. Then turn a burr.

                    Filing, even draw filing, will not give you a finish ready surface.

                    Nathan

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Finishing without sanding?

                      The surface of a screwdriver is often not polished enough to give a nick-free scape edge if used as a burnisher. It's also often as soft as the scraper itself, so the scraper can groove the surface of the screwdriver shank, making it rough and not effectively burnishing the scraper. Burnishers should be harder than the scraper and totally smooth.

                      I sand to 220 before staining. I don't think the goal of sanding is to open pores, but the opposite, to partially and evenly close pores so the stain goes on evenly instead of being soaked up unevenly by the open pores running in different directions. That's why a planed surface (which leaves pores open) will usually not give as nice a stained finish as a sanded one.
                      Frank
                      SPCHT

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                      • #12

                        Re: Finishing without sanding?

                        Originally posted by John in Calgary View Post
                        - try wiping it down with mineral spirits to remove the sanding dust
                        John, that's excellent advice and also pretty standard practice in professional shops, although lacquer thinners is substituted for mineral spirits as it dries much faster.
                        FWIW I have never finished or refinished a piece without sanding it. I sand solid wood to 150 and veneer to 180. However a lot depends what one is applying to the wood and what "look" is the desired end product. Sanding to finer grits will, in my experience, generally give a lighter final colour to the stain, and sometimes this is what is needed. A lot depends on the stain one is using too. I only use ML Campbell Woodsong II stains, so can't really speak to other stains out there.
                        If I am trying to highlight highly figured grain, I will start out at 150, spray on the first dye, sand back to 180, apply second dye and if a third dye is needed for the desired effect then sand back to 220. the problem with going higher than 220 is that the sealer has very little to adhere to. But that's getting way past the OP's original question, to which my answer would be, give your sample a light scuff with 150 or 180, or both in separate areas,and see how you like the look of each compared to an unsanded area after you've finished them.
                        Good luck
                        Paul

                        Last edited by Paul O in Paris; 06-15-2018, 08:05 PM.
                        Wally in Calgary and Frank D. like this.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Finishing without sanding?

                          Frank D is right about the use of a screwdriver to create a hook on card scraper. I use a burnisher but for years I only used the back of chisel. Using firm but light pressure, a drop of oil and only 3 passes worked for me.
                          Chris
                          I only excel at fixing my my goof ups

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                          • #14

                            Re: Finishing without sanding?

                            Originally posted by eilliac View Post
                            Frank D is right about the use of a screwdriver to create a hook on card scraper. I use a burnisher but for years I only used the back of chisel. Using firm but light pressure, a drop of oil and only 3 passes worked for me.
                            But at what angle do you hold your chisel to create the burr?? how do you prepare the edge before you start to put the burr on you do have to eliminate the previous burr that is by now worn out.
                            I would guess this has all been explained before here but from reading some comments some people don't understand the theory or the practicalities of a scraper be it card or in a handle.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Finishing without sanding?

                              OK, so here it is once more. First, clamp the blade in a vise and file the long edge will a mill file holding the file in such a way that the filed edge is as close to 90 degrees to the sides of the scraper. I than remove the file marks with a carborundum stone. I use the edge of the stone so the face of the stone does not get damaged and move the stone around so there is always a new surface used. If you don't do that, you will round over the scraper. I will polish the edge with a few stroke of a water stone again making sure to use different areas of the stone. Start with giving the edge a few strokes, than do both faces keeping the stone flat on the scraper. give 2 or 3 strokes on the edge again and the same on the faces again. Now, you are ready to form the hook. I put a few drops of oil on the scraper edge and the burnisher and draw it toward me at about a 85 degree angle. Smooth, firm and even strokes, about 3 times. When I use the back of a chisel as a burnisher, the chisel is almost flat so that a 3/4" inch chisel is touching on the back and the space in the front is about 1/16" while maintaining the same 85 degree angle. You will feel a burr on the edge. Do the same to the other 3 edges and try it. If you are not happy with the cut, repeat the burnishing fo a couple more strokes. WHen it gets dull, burnish the old burr down and redress it again with burnisher or chisel in the same way than previously. Make sure the burnishing tool lays flat against the face of the scraper blade when burnishing it down or you will screw up the cutting edge. You can do this 5 or 6 times before having to file and hone. I have a dozen of scraper blades. some get honed for fine work, some goes from filing to burnishing for rougher work that will need sanding after.
                              THis is just what works for me... It takes a bit of practice, but the most important for the beginner is to take it easy and not use too much pressure.
                              Chris
                              I only excel at fixing my my goof ups

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