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Thread: Finishing a planed surface

  1. #1
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    Finishing a planed surface

    Hi. I can get a pretty nice surface off of a hand plane. While it is not as smooth to the touch as a high-grit sanded surface it does appear brighter and more lively. If I have to wet the wood to raise the grain and then sand the raised grain fuzz off of it I will lose the beautiful surface. I like using water based finishes. Any solution to this problem? Thanks -Howard

  2. #2
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    Dec 2016
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    Could you not just smooth out the raised grain with the hand plane?

  3. #3
    Even when I hand plane or scrape a surface, I usually go over it with sand paper, both to remove any ridges, but also to ensure an even absorption of the finish. A hand planed finish looks nice and has a neat tactile feel, but if you are using a film finish, like a water base one, it won't matter after you put a coat or two on whether you hand planed or sanded the finish. Might as well do the grain raise-sand thing then and solve that problem.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2017
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    Howard, I also love the look of a hand planed surface, but I have seen a few articles saying that once the finish is on it is very hard to tell wether the surface was hand planed or sanded. I do not know a solution to your problem. Some say a hand planed surface, when wetted, will result in less grain raising because the fibers are cut and not abraded. But if you want to get rid of the grain raising, sandpaper is the answer.

  5. #5
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    To preserve those hand-planed marks, don't use water-based film-forming finish. Use an oil-based finish which does not form a film. Like Osmo Polyx, or Tried & True Original.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Inkerman, Ontario, Canada
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    Below is some information from the Swiss website advertising the benefits of a surfaced that has been planed with a supersurfacer, which is basically a handplane with a power feeder.


    http://www.arco-baleno.ch/English/

    Surfacing is
    THE alternative to regular finishing



    With the "Super Surfacer" smoothing machine, one achieves a surface quality that no sanding system equal. Normal and difficult woods will shimmer as you have never seen them before. Additionally, the surfaces will shine in a way that they look like they have already been treated.

    Because the wood fibers are perfectly cut (not pressed and abraded), they become naturally water and dirt repellent which results in a natural wood protection. Due to this quality, finishing with varnishes becomes largely unnecessary lending a more healthy and environmentally friend y living space. If the surfaced wood must be treated with a (Hydro) -varnish, oil or wax, the usual sanding between coats is not necessary because through "Surfacing", contrary to sanding, the wood fibers are cut off by the knives and will not "roughen" upon application of the finish. By omitting this sanding step, a large amount of time is saved.

    If, in case, the wood becomes soiled or if staining is necessary, lightly sanding of the surface with 240 (or finer) sandpaper is required. This subtly sanded surface should again meet the same standards as the surfaced wood, so only little differences will be seen. Surfacing is especially suitable for wall and ceiling paneling, massive cabinetry, wood construction, visible beams, window construction, floors, organ building, etc. Small, difficult to sand, strips are a breeze with the "Super Surfacer"!



    • Optimal surface quality
    • A time reduction of 30 to 50% compared to traditional sanding
    • Best adherence of varnish or wax
      (tested by the German Institute for Wood Research in Brunswick)
    • High precision
    • High through-feed rate
    • Quick changing and adjusting of the knife blades
    • Nearly free of dust
    • Small space required (mobile type on request)
    • Very quiet, thus employee- and environment- friendly!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    To preserve those hand-planed marks, don't use water-based film-forming finish. Use an oil-based finish which does not form a film. Like Osmo Polyx, or Tried & True Original.
    This is very good advice. That plus only using abrasive to break sharp edges will result in a silky smooth and noticeably "nice" surface.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    Mar 2003
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    I've thought about oil based finishes, but for me they present 2 problems 1) smell 2) they darken the wood (some say 'pop the grain') but I tend to like the subtle changes in color that unfinished wood has and the water based finishes are closer to neutrally clear. I suppose I could leave things unfinished, but the first spill of red wine would be the cause of deep sorrow. Thanks, -Howard

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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    In violin making, a surface fresh from the plane is visually preferred to anything done with sandpaper, as sandpaper tears the wood fibers, rather than cutting them. After raising the grain, follow with a very sharp scraper.
    If you want to pop the grain, mix a up a linseed oil / turpentine solution, 1 part linseed to perhaps 50 parts turpentine, and apply this to your wood surface and let it cure well in the sun or a UV light source for a few days. Follow up sealing with shellac, and then a finish of your choice.
    Last edited by Bill Yacey; 10-10-2020 at 1:37 PM.

  10. #10
    When you get into waterbased finishes they are almost always film forming. A hand planed vs a properly sanded surface will be indistinguishable.

    The trick is to sand up to a high grit. Go to 600 or 1000.

    After the first coat of the wb finish, resand it with 600 or 1000.

    If you really donít want to raise the grain, seal the planed or sanded surface with shellac.

    The planed vs sanded surface debate is misleading. People learn to properly plane, but never learn to properly sand. They stop too soon.

    Last, beware that many waterbased top coats will impart a blue cast. If you really want a raw Wood look, use a flat wb finish.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Sand the finish, not the wood. A planed surface shouldn't need any sanding. I can plane a surface to reflect light, but can't with sandpaper.

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