Smoothing a maple curve - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-30-2013, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Smoothing a maple curve

Hello everyone,

I'm working on a small free-standing bookcase with maple wood arches at the top, outer curve radius approximately 15cm or 6" and inner curve radius about 5cm or 2.5".

I'm trying to figure out how best to smooth these curves. I bandsaw cut the curve then used a flat-soled spokeshave to smooth the surface. The result was not as good as i expected. Granted, i'm a beginner with spokeshaves, and maple is of course a very hard wood...still i'd like to get a better surface without resorting to sanding.

Any thoughts, suggestions or similar experiences would be very welcome!

Best wishes,

Last edited by gatortrial; 12-30-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-30-2013, 12:41 PM
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welcome to the forum. depending on you tool selection. spoke shave would have to be darn sharp to navigate curves in hard wood, but doable, try to skew the blade while working it. power sanding would be a fair clean-up method. sanding blocks? start with maybe 60 gr then proceed finer.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-30-2013, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, TimPa!

I think with the surface i've already achieved using the spokeshave, i may skip the 60 grit and go straight to 200 or higher...
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-30-2013, 09:38 PM
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To sand it, use the cutoffs from the bandsaw as your sanding blocks and they'll fit the curve just right.

ACer
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-30-2013, 11:07 PM
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Just don't try to go back to the spokeshave from any efforts with sandpaper. The sandgrains embedded in the wood will phuque up you spokeshave edges right quick.

I'd run a sanding drum in my drill press fairly hot (2k rpm). I want some pencil lines on the curves to show me where the bumps are. Gently touch them first. Then, like peeling a log, a long, slow, gentle pass to even things out. Who cares if you have to go back 3x or 4x? That final pass to smooth it off and you look like a magician. Keep this a secret, OK?
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-31-2013, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
Just don't try to go back to the spokeshave from any efforts with sandpaper. The sandgrains embedded in the wood will phuque up you spokeshave edges right quick.

I'd run a sanding drum in my drill press fairly hot (2k rpm). I want some pencil lines on the curves to show me where the bumps are. Gently touch them first. Then, like peeling a log, a long, slow, gentle pass to even things out. Who cares if you have to go back 3x or 4x? That final pass to smooth it off and you look like a magician. Keep this a secret, OK?
+1 for sanding drum in drill press.

George
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-31-2013, 08:33 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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drum sander, OSS, or belt sander

I made a hollow box/table with a dust port and a hole for the sanding drum. If you leave about 1/4" space around the drum the dust will get sucked down into the box. Use a coarse grit sleeve, 100 or less and keep the RPMs about 1000 or you will overheat and burn rather than sand.



The best option is a Oscillating Splindle Sander (OSS), which moves up and down while it turns. It has an insert that allows the dust to get sucked downward also:




Last choice would be to mount a belt sander in a block or clamp it to the bench:





OR on it's side:


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-31-2013 at 08:40 AM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-31-2013, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all very much for your helpful replies!

I ended up using 100 grit on a random orbital sander, curve clamped in a vice.

It's a compromise i know. Don't have a spindle sander and don't have patience to order in drum sander (i'm based in Saudi, so any half-decent or even semi-specialised tools, accessories and so on have to be shipped in) or do it by hand.

It came out alright :) Tomorrow i'll hit it with a 220 grit and then 400 gr ...edges a little rounded, but not a big deal as i'm going to break/bevel them anyway.

As a matter of interest, i sanded the inner curve of the arch by nailing sandpaper to a dowel and mounting it in the lathe. It worked pretty well, but setting up and changing the paper was really time-consuming.
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