Sanding tree rings for viewing under a microscope

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On Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 9:27:10 PM UTC-4, MOP CAP wrote:

I have thought of this but realized that it would require an excessive amount sharpening and money to be worth the effort.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Really? Once you do the intial sharpening where the appropriate surfaces are made flat the edge only needs to be refreshed every now and again. If it takes more than 5 minutes, you've got bigger problems.
You can invest a couple grand in sharpening systems, or spend less than $100 on jigs and sandpaper. $15 extra for Leonard Lee's The Complete Guide to Sharpening.
Puckdropper
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On 15/06/2016 7:29 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

slices for examination. The blades on old models were steel that had to be honed to cut-throat razor standard. Abrasives would just clog up the pores, which I would imagine you are trying to avoid. Graham
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On Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 6:29:38 PM UTC-7, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Have no fear. While you can't just buy a cheap plane and use it out-of-the-box, a variety of useful planes are available, and a simple whetstone (maybe an angle guide, too) is all it takes to put a fine edge on it. The small amount of wood you want to remove (a few cubic centimeters) will make crumbs if your edge is too dull, shavings if it's sharp enough. And clean enough (gotta keep the sole and edge free of sap).
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On Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 3:49:41 AM UTC-5, whit3rd wrote:

Agreed. A reasonable, yet not terribly expensive, plane is likely all you need. It's not that hard to hone the iron (after initial sharpening), wit h 1000, 2000, 3000 grit sand paper.
I assume your core sample is greem wood, or has some higher moisture conten t, than "typical(?) dried wood", hence that moisture is contributing to the clogging of your sand paper. If this is the case, then, yeah, 'most any s and paper will likely clog up.
As Karl mentioned, on the other thread, try a card/cabinet scraper. For th at small of surface width, a well honed (hunting, Buck, butcher's) knife bl ade can be used as a card scraper.
I don't want to sound rude, but it seems you've been dealing with this issu e for some time. Another option is to find a woodworker, with some decent hand planes, in your area, and ask for some assistance. Most woodworkers I know (as posters, here) would be happy to help, probably at no cost.
Sonny
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On Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 6:45:42 AM UTC-4, Sonny wrote:

ith 1000, 2000, 3000 grit sand paper.

he clogging of your sand paper. If this is the case, then, yeah, 'most any sand paper will likely clog up.

blade can be used as a card scraper.

nt hand planes, in your area, and ask for some assistance. Most woodworker s I know (as posters, here) would be happy to help, probably at no cost.

My core samples are all dry wood. None of the universities use planers but use sandpaper instead which suggests that maybe a planer would not work as well on surfacing the cores to provide a smooth enough surface to count the tree rings.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Not a planer, a plane. A planer is a power tool for surfacing wood, a plane is a hand tool.
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On Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 12:33:21 PM UTC-4, Doug Miller wrote:

I meant the hand tool.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

After you have sanded to a fine grit, what did you do to remove the residual dust? Try washing with mineral spirits and - when dry - wiping with a microfiber cloth.
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On Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 6:45:42 AM UTC-4, Sonny wrote:

ith 1000, 2000, 3000 grit sand paper.

he clogging of your sand paper. If this is the case, then, yeah, 'most any sand paper will likely clog up.

blade can be used as a card scraper.

nt hand planes, in your area, and ask for some assistance. Most woodworker s I know (as posters, here) would be happy to help, probably at no cost.

There is an organization that uses a "core microtome" to surface cores usin g BA-50 NT cutter blades. The only problem is that they can only surface on e or two samples before the blade becomes dull and they have to replace it. Would not the same thing happen with a hand plane or is the steel of a bet ter quality?
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On Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 10:10:09 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

one or two samples before the blade becomes dull and they have to replace i t. Would not the same thing happen with a hand plane or is the steel of a b etter quality?
A sharp hand plane should do well. That's what planes are for, slicing woo d.
Those NT cutter blades are cheap. Replacing them should be no problem. Ev en surgical scalpel blades need to be changed now and then. A straight ed ged carving chisel blade or a paring chisel is (or can be) razor sharp, als o, and might be cheaper than a hand plane.
Sonny
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On 6/16/2016 5:45 AM, Sonny wrote:

I have actually used a Hyde scraper (with a new blade) to make half round stock out of off-the-shelf, wooden dowel rods.
Amazing how quickly it worked.
While the grain direction is different with a tree ring core, and as long as it has been dried, I would at least try a careful application of a properly scrapper, it might now work with some woods.
If that didn't work, a sharp razor/exacto blade.
AMMOF, in a botany course in college 50 years ago, I used a sharp knife to do the same thing the OP is agonizing over.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes:

There is a whole field of study (dendrochronology) that create and analyze cores. Why not call up the local university and ask them? Or stop by the university library and check out a book on dendrochronology and read up on how the professionals analyze cores.
http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/principles.htm http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/supplies.htm
I would expect that a sufficiently sharp coring tool will create a burnished surface sufficient to count the rings, no sanding required.
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On Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 9:08:25 AM UTC-4, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Almost every university uses sanpaper to surface the cores. The surface must be flat in order to count the rings; an increment borer produces a rounded surface.
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On 6/16/2016 10:01 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I don't mind being rude at all. Have you actually tried any of the solutions offered here?
Seems like you have a comeback for every suggestion ... here's another:
If you haven't done so, do what academic research is supposedly about ... "experiment".
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wrote in message

The "wood experts" in my club either use a plane or chisel to clean up end grain as part of the wood identification process. They use a loupe in their work and look at the cell structure to help make a determination as to species.
Unless you are trying to clean up the whole end of a log, for example, I'd think that a half-way decent 1/2" chisel, properly sharpened, would suffice for your purposes. If the wood is smooth to begin with, and relatively large, even a properly prepared card scrapper may suffice as all you need to do is remove the oxidized surface.
Quite frankly, crosscuts of dried wood made with my freshly sharpened Forrest WWII are very clean. Under magnification I can generally see the cells of most species without any further preparation effort...
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