Foolproof Surface Prep
Working systematically, Bob Van Dyke demonstrates how to remove mill marks and tearout with a scraper, break sharp edges and corners with a block plane, and sand to an even finish with sandpaper.
Synopsis: There are a number of ways to achieve the flawless surfaces you need for any woodworking project, but this method is fast, reliable, and foolproof. All you need are a card scraper, a sharp block plane, and a few sheets of 320-grit paper. Working systematically, you’ll remove mill marks and tearout with the scraper, break sharp edges and corners with the block plane, and sand to an even finish with the paper.
Careful surfacing is critical to the final look of any project, as even minor defects, from mill marks to tearout, will jump out as soon as finish is applied. I typically start this work on a piece by using a finely set smoothing plane because it’s quick and leaves a flat surface. But I follow that with a card scraper where necessary and 320-grit sandpaper to blend and smooth the whole surface. A smoothing plane is…