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Thread: Card Scraper Question

  1. #16
    I used to be one of those never-sandpaper people. Planes only, then maybe a scraper if absolutely necessary. Then my arthritis informed me that I was no longer going to be a handplane snob, and I made this wonderful rediscovery of my random orbit sanders. Now I tend to hand plane surfaces to get out the mill marks if I can do it without too much tear out. After that a quick scraping to knock off any ridges and then it gets the random orbit. After that a quick hand sanding in the direction of the grain. I generally don't sand beyond 150. Going beyond that may make the raw wood feel tactilely different, but I usually use film finishes so anything more is a waste of time and sandpaper.

    There will always be people that will say sandpaper is cheating, lazy, poor workmanship etc, even though abrasives have been used on wood for hundreds (thousands?) of years. The fact is the only people that are impressed with not using sandpaper are the very small minority of woodworkers that don't use sandpaper. Using planes only doesn't make something better, it just means you just used planes. The whole bit about trying to make something look like it was done on a Timesaver with hand planes kind of baffles me. If you want something perfectly flat like a Timesaver did it, just run it through a Timesaver. It a whole lot faster and easier.

    Hobbyist woodworkers (and some professionals even) tend to have a romantic view of woodworking and seem to have this viewpoint that the more difficult or time-consuming way to do something is, the better it is. That if most people go to 220 grit, going to 300 is somehow better; that if planing or sanding or sharpening for 15 minutes is good, planing/sharpening/sanding for 30 minutes is twice as good. If that is what makes you happy, then go for it, but remember it isn't always necessary to make a good product.
    Last edited by Andrew Seemann; 04-17-2019 at 4:22 PM.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Nashville, TN
    Thanks for all the responses! I got some time to play around with it all this evening and here's what I ended up doing:

    I first wiped some mineral spirits on the table top and realized that I could no longer see the difference between the planed and scraped surfaces at all. I also tried sanding some scraps and found that surface came out fairly similar to what I had scraped (not the glassy planed surface I had on most of the table top). So I decided to go ahead with the Waterlox and brushed one coat on the undersides / insides of everything. I think it should look good and we will see if I can feel a difference once all the coats are on. Probably will take me a couple of weeks before I have it all done but I'll report back then.

    Thanks again!

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