Popular Woodworking 2006-02 № 153, страница 46

Popular Woodworking 2006-02 № 153, страница 46




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A drum sander (left) can level and true a panel much like a jointer plane. A random-orbit sander (above) is ideal for removing machining marks in a power-tool workshop.

sanders and pad sanders - the so-called pigtails you see on so many furniture-store pieces. In the power-tool world, these hand tools are the "fine" tools.

Once you classify your power tools, you can use them in conjunction with your hand tools. Let's say that the only bench plane you own is a smoothing plane. When should you use it? First joint and plane your stock (a coarse operation). Get it as true and flat as possible with your drum sander or belt sander (that's medium). And then finish things up with

the smoothing plane, scrapers and sandpaper (fine).

This information can also be used to guide your tool purchases. What plane should you buy at the flea market if you don't own a powered jointer or planer? (A fore plane.)

Here's how I personally blend power and hand tools in my shop. My coarse tools are my powered 8" jointer and 15" planer. Though I own two fore planes, I use them only when a board is too wide for my powered equipment.

Once the coarse stuff is over, I use my jointer plane to true my stock before cutting my joinery. This medium tool removes snipe and machine marks, and makes the boards flatter than my power equipment can. Finally, my smoothing plane is my primary fine tool, although I scrape and hand sand, too.

It's important to use the tools in the right order (start with coarse; end with fine) and that you don't skip any steps between. Skipping wastes time. It's frustrating to use a fine tool right after a coarse tool. Try using a smoothing plane on a larger board that's fresh from your powered planer. Then use a smoothing plane on a board that you first dre ssed with

your jointer plane. You'll notice a significant difference.

The other important idea is to work as long as you can with the coarse tool. You wouldn't remove 116" of a board's thickness with a random-orbit sander. So don't use your jointer or smoothing planes to do that, either. This is a common error and is one way hand tools get a reputation as slow.

One last thing: I don't use hand tools because of a romantic obsession with the past. Once I adopted this system of coarse, medium and fine, I became faster, my joinery became tighter (because my boards were perfectly true) and my

finished results looked better.

And once you understand how coarse, medium and fine works with surfacing lumber, you can apply the idea to other workshop processes. Here's a hint at the possibilities: When cutting curves, the coarse tool is the band saw, the medium tool is the rasp and the fine tool is the spokeshave. And there's more. A lot more. PW

Christopher will be teaching a class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking on May 8-12 that explores this principle and other forgotten hand-tool techniques. Visit marcadams.com or call 317-5354013 for more information.


Anderson Planes

763-241-0138 or andersonplanes.com

Clark & Williams

479-253-7416 or planemaker.com

Lie-Nielsen Toolworks

800-327-2520 or lie-nielsen.com

Powell Manufacturing


Veritas (Lee Valley Tools)

800-871-8158 or leevalley.com

The concept of coarse, medium and fine works with other operations as well. For cutting curves, think of your band saw as the coarse tool, your rasp as the medium tool and your spokeshave as the fine tool.


102 Popular Woodworking February 2006

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