Preparing a Surface

No matter what type of finish you choose to put on a project, the end result will depend upon the degree to which the surface was properly prepared. The Basics: • Planing: Hand planes offer a nice surface, while machines are rough • Scraping: A well-tuned
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  • Using a Card ScraperVideo: Using a Card Scraper

    with Brian Boggs

    Forget sanding -- a properly used scraper will create a mirror surface

  • Sanding BasicsSanding Basics

    by David Sorg

    Proper sanding is a crucial part of woodworking, whether the goal is to remove marks left by the planer and jointer, eliminate tiny imperfections after handplaning, ...

  • Steel Wool vs. Abrasive PadsSteel Wool vs. Abrasive Pads

    by Jeff Jewitt

    Jeff Jewitt, a furniture finisher and restorer, does detective work to determine whether steel wool or abrasive pads products work best for the various steps of ...

  • Surface Prep: Why Sanding Isn't EnoughSurface Prep: Why Sanding Isn't Enough

    by Philip C. Lowe

    Jointer and planer knives go dull after just a few board feet, heating the surface of your wood and pounding it into compressed fibers. In this article, Philip ...

  • Paste Wood FillersPaste Wood Fillers

    by Jeff Jewitt

    When finishing open-grained woods, you can fill the pores with paste wood filler if your goal is to achieve a refined, elegant, glass-smooth look, according to ...

  • Tips for Better SandingTips for Better Sanding

    by Lon Schleining

    With thoughtful planning and the right tools, sanding doesn’t have to be tedious. Lon Schleining actually enjoys sanding! He approaches it in two stages: shaping ...

  • From Rough to FinishFrom Rough to Finish

    by Gary Rogowski

    Sometimes you have to take the lumber you can get, even if it has defects; just have faith in your machines. Gary Rogowski explains different milling strategies ...

  • Making Sense of SandpaperMaking Sense of Sandpaper

    by Strother Purdy

    As Strother Purdy of Fine Woodworking learned, you can’t go right buying cheap sandpaper, but it’s still easy to go wrong with the best sandpaper that’s available. ...

  • Working Highly Figured WoodWorking Highly Figured Wood

    by Peter Tischler

    Until Peter Tischler became familiar with the underlying structure and reasons behind beautiful grain and figure, he had difficulties working the surfaces of such ...

  • Sanding in StagesSanding in Stages

    by Gary Straub

    No matter how much time and care go into the making of a piece, its overall beauty is partly determined by how well it has been sanded. No finish can cover up a ...

  • Surfacing Stock with a RouterSurfacing Stock with a Router

    by Tim Hanson

    Tim Hanson built a router/planer that holds boards without clamping out twists or bends, while showing him where the plane is in relation to the board. It’s made ...

  • Learning How to Read the GrainLearning How to Read the Grain

    by R. Bruce Hoadley

    R. Bruce Hoadley has a useful tip for reading boards quickly; his memory crutch goes like this: pith side, plane with the points; bark side, backwards. However, ...

  • Build a Better Sanding BlockEditors PickVideo: Build a Better Sanding Block

    with Asa Christiana

    This simple addition to shopmade sanding blocks makes a big difference

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