The popular thing these days in high-end floors and furniture
seems to be the "hand finished" look where the surface looks
like somebody went to town with a scrub plane lengthwise
along the board.
Anyway, when I look at these things I notice that there's
no tearout and surface is pretty smooth like it was sanded
out normally. I was thinking about trying my hand at
something like that. If you've made this kind of stuff I'm
curious what the process is for avoiding tearout and sanding
the final surface, which is pretty wavy.
Use a scrub plane. :-) Seriously, if the wood is
straight-grained, you go with the grain and your scrub's iron is sharp
and not set for too deep a cut, you can get a scalloped look with
little or no tearout. I know when I'm scrubbing a board I'll
sometimes go more-or-less lengthwise (as opposed to diagonally, which
is the normal scrubbing technique) and it leaves a decent surface.
Anyhow, if you have a scrub plane, it wouldn't hurt to play around
with it. Though I can't imagine why anyone would want a final surface
like that. :-)
Nice look (not sure for floors though).
I don't know how it's done commercially, but I do this with a Japanese
spear plane (which looks more like an engineer's scraper than a
plane). Lee Valley sell them, or they're not a complex shape to forge
Hardest hand tool to learn to use that I have though. I suggest
starting with some thick lime and lots of practice. Run it back
through the planer after each attempt - by the time you've taken 1/2"
off the board, you're halfway there. The finish is all dependent on
subtle arm / hand movements and because it's the last operation you
perform on the surface, you have to get it right first time on every
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