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Thread: Project update:smoothing tricky grain, almost finished

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Nova Scotia, 45N 64W
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    Project update:smoothing tricky grain, almost finished

    I'm working on a couple of little projects with the curly ash I've had up in the barn for a few years. Our younger son needed a tall, narrow bookcase for his dorm room and he chose a highly-figured piece for the backboard at the top.
    Here's the rough-cut board below.

    We smooothed up that piece using some fairly crude methods (beltsander) after jointing and thicknessing. The amount of tearout was really serious and unacceptable.

    What's your preferred method of smoothing wild grain? Any guidance on some handplane choices? What about LV's scraper plane? Cabinet scrapers? High angle? Low angle?

    Thanks guys. Enjoy the weekend.
    Peter
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails curly ash boards, figured grain 002.jpg  
    Last edited by Peter Rideout; 02-07-2011 at 07:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    I'd start with a high-angle smoother - maybe 55 or even 60. You'll likely have to build your own 'Krenov' style. Set it for a VERY slight cut. Actually, you'll have to set it light, because it'll be so hard to push with such a high angle.

    For really nasty spots, you'll likely end up using card scrapers, but be careful not to scrape furrows into the wood. Do that, and you'll be starting over again with the smoother. (DAMHIKT)
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Delton, Michigan
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    power method is to use a drum sander to get them out then hand sand after that or use a card scraper like jim said. just got done doing some very curly hard maple for tom,,it had at least 1/16 divots in it from the planer of someone. curly grain is nice to look at but it takes time to get it right.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Peter having just sharpened my no 80 Stanley and flattened the bottom properly and installed a new blade i would use something like that.

    It worked pretty well for me on some walnut i experimented with that had some tough grain.

    You can come by them on ebay for a few dollars and they clean up well and work fine. LV also has their own version.

    Of course if its a large area its going to be quiet the task and then Jims point would start to be one to be concerned with.



    Jim what about if Peter has a smoother that he just grinds a back bevel on the rear of the blade in a bevel down smoother to increase the angle of attack.

    Peter do you have any smoother planes like an old Stanley?
    cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    10,188
    curly maple dorm furniture...............kids got taste.

    My daughter got cinderblocks and old plywood with paint stains on them her first year away at school.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2007
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    Nova Scotia, 45N 64W
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    Thank you for the advice guys. I think I'll be going with more of the mechanical approach to get this project done. We don't have a drum sander, but I can take it to a friend nearby. I'll try the card scrapers for a light final step.
    It looks like I better get on board the handplane method in order to do this right in the longer run. I appreciate your comments Larry, Jim and Rob and will be putting them into action. We got a laugh out of your comment Allen, plywood won't do for this guy

    Now, back to the shop! Have a great day.
    Peter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Nova Scotia, 45N 64W
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    Hello Everyone
    Just wanted to post a couple of pics of the almost finished "Curly Ash Dorm Room Bookcase". The accent piece at the back of the top shelf turned out pretty good, I think.
    Just some Minwax "Golden Oak" stain on so far, several coats of oil-based satin poly to follow. It will have a back as well.
    Comments welcome. Thanks for looking.
    Peter
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails curly ash bookcase, Feb 2011 001.jpg   curly ash bookcase, Feb 2011 006.jpg  
    Last edited by Peter Rideout; 02-07-2011 at 07:51 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    I like the way it turned out.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  9. #9
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    May 2007
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    Orem, Utah
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    Love the curves ... and the curl.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2009
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    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    That came out great. The curves are really graceful. Some real pretty wood too.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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