Finishing Edges without using a Router - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Finishing Edges without using a Router

How did woodworkers finish edges before electricity and power routers? Aside from sandpaper, were/are other tools used to finish board edges?

Thanks very much,
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 09:58 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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It's plane to see

Remember the old block and smoothing planes. They still make 'em.
bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Should I assume that you only get a good results with the old block and smoothing planes with good quality lumber? that knots and irregularities will bugger up the work? Where can you find a good selection of hand tools (to buy)?
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 10:29 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Find quality hand tools here

http://www.leevalley.com/us/
and here: http://www.woodcraft.com/ bill
BTW yard sales are good if you are knowledgeable or just luck out....

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 10:41 PM
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Two good sources, also Highland Woodworking. Edges have been done with planes and spokeshaves for a long time - low angle tools can take shavings from end grain. Need to have super sharp edges for the best results.

I'll take planes and scrapers over sandpaper anytime. Cleanly cut fibers, not scratches and dust and grit ground into the wood!
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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What's the difference between a block plane and a bench plane? Are you saying that if you use planes you don't need to sand at all?
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 11:17 PM
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A modern block plane is generally a one-hand low angle metal plane. They originated for butchers to level and smooth the end grain of their chopping blocks - hence the name. They also make really low angle block planes. If you are buying, get one with an adjustable mouth. A bench plane is any plane used to straighten or flatten wood. Fore, jointer, jack, smoother is the progression. If you are just going to have square edges they will do the job. Block, smooth or maybe jack planes will ease edges, and if you don't demand absolutely round edges they will round over, as well. A concave scraper will get you closer to perfection.

Molding or moulding planes will put any shape you want on an edge. They are getting a bit hard to come by and collectors are driving the prices to DOD contract-like levels. But a few matched hollows and rounds can do an amazing range of compound moldings, especially if you incline to the Shaker style.

I think that you may be able to avoid sandpaper, but it has it's uses. The stuff goes back to the 1600's when they used crushed glass. The Brits still call it "glasspaper". I prefer to avoid scratching my work.

Last edited by MuseumWood; 05-28-2010 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Additional comment
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-29-2010, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Wow thank you--I had no idea. Are you saying that if you had a raw board from Home Depot, for use say as a shelf, with these other tools you wouldn't need sandpaper at all to make it smooth?
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-29-2010, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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and how do you keep these planes sharp? Can you take the blade out to sharpen it?
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-29-2010, 09:49 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Sharpening plane blades/irons

bill
BTW almost any woodworking operation, skill, machine, jig etc can be found here. And there is a piece within the plane body called a "frog"!

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-29-2010 at 09:54 AM.
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-29-2010, 11:24 AM
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I often get a better finish using my spoke shave and card scraper than with sanding. I have never tried this myself but have read that they used to use the edge of a fresh cut piece of glass as a scraper, when it gets dull just recut the glass so you have a fresh edge.

As for router you can use a molding plane or just take a piece of thin metal and shape to the profile you want. Make a jig to ride the edge of the board and slowly advance the profile forward as you remove material until you get the shape you want.
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-29-2010, 04:07 PM
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Quality planes, scrapers, chisels, and gouges often cost more than their equivalent power tools... to a certain extent.

I still use my power tools, but in some instances, hand planes and scrapers are quicker and easier.

Back when people use to do this all by hand, they would not have used home depot quality lumber. They went through an enoromous amount of work to make somethine exceptionally beautiful, so they would have started out with quality lumber. I have never seen any quality antique furniture with big nasty knotts or unscrupulous grain. Not to say, they didn't use this type of lumber back then to build things, but the guys who went through the effort to craft fine furniture were not doing so with cheap lumber. Just like professionals now a days don't.
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-29-2010, 08:52 PM
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Are you saying that if you had a raw board from Home Depot, for use say as a shelf, with these other tools you wouldn't need sandpaper at all to make it smooth?

I am! I have taken boards from the sawmill - nothing but saw marks - and made them table top smooth with plane and scraper. As someone mentioned, broken glass can be used, but I would suggest Kevlar gloves! Besides, you don't have to deal with dust and that can be very bad to inhale.

how do you keep these planes sharp? Can you take the blade out to sharpen it?
You have to learn to sharpen your tools. A teacher is easiest, but there are books, magazine articles and CDs galore. I use 4 or 5 grades of oil stones and a 1900's razor hone to sharpen and maintain (hone) my edged tools. A plane iron is removable and needs sharpening right from the box and periodic honing as you use the plane. The sharper the better. Your work is easier, the finish better and the tool safer.

Welcome to the journey! Remember that the craft is long, life is short! You will never learn it all, so keep learning.

Knotty stuff might be used, but we aren't talking about gnarley pine 2x4s. We are talking about walnut, oak, mahogany, etc. A good pine with straight grain can be used and some slow=growth southern yellow pine can be harder than seasoned oak! If what you want is shelving, use hardwood for strength - softwoods sag too soon unless the span is short!

Last edited by MuseumWood; 05-29-2010 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Additional comment
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