Was listening to an Jim Heavey (WW-Shows) say that he "knocked down" all
corners/edges with a router--because finishes don't adhere to them very
well. He also routes around inset cabinet doors (frames?) to help
allow for wood movement while preserving the appearence. Are both of
these approaches SOP? Thank you for further clarification! I'm sorry
if this is on topic! ; )
True, but 220 sandpaper works just as well to "break the edges", and it
allows the discerning craftsman an opportunity to go over the entire
project up close and personal.
He also routes around inset cabinet doors (frames?) to help
How on earth could that be off topic, and what does it matter anyway?? ;)
I wouldn't call it SOP, but it is not unheard of ... although I doubt
for the reason
On the outside of the doors (and drawer fronts?, the practice used to be
called "Hollywood" style, and Sam Maloof might have been the instigator,
although I seriously doubt that it was because of wood movement that he
did it ... more likely because it makes it easier to fit and inset door.
I did it on these doors a few years back, mainly because I liked the
look when the frame of a door is made out of contrasting material:
Yes Bill finishes tend to not adhere to a sharp edge. The finish will
pull away from a sharp edge while applying. Using a router could be
very time consuming, don't get into corners well, and very well may
change the look of the project.
I use my finish sander to very lightly go over the edge a pass or two to
ease the edge and often use a piece of foam backed 4.5"x 4.5" sand paper
and break the edge manually. Softening the edge so that it is not
likely to cut you if you run your finger against it is typically enough.
Unless you are really wanting to change the profile of the edge vs.
making the sharp corner/edge not so sharp, a router is going to take you
4 times longer.
Well knocking down the corners is SOP, with a router ??? well you don't
have to use a router. Many times I use a block plane, I like the edge
better. But I do have a 1/8 radius bit in my old 1/4 " Craftsman (45-50
year old router).
An edge is too sharp, it will wear off quickly since it does not hold a
lot of finish.
Relieving them allows them to survive longer, and decreases the pain
when one runs into a sharp edge.
As others have commented, at least the minimum w/ a sanding block and/or
block plane or scraper is quite common...on some pieces for a purpose
finish I'll use the router (a laminate trimmer is far more convenient
btw) but with a chamfer rather than roundover--you can make it anywhere
from nearly invisible to a "feature".
FWIW I considered the original OP's comment to " knock down" the corners
so that the finish would adhere better to mean simply make the edge less
sharp, not to add any kind of profile to the edge. There was no mention
of adding a profile in the original post.
And if that were the case you might as well sand everything, the edges,
lightly rather than use a tool for the same purpose and still have to
hand sand the corners.
But if you are changing the profile then you would truly and obviously
have to touch up by hand.
Well, the discussion at the point I entered centered on using a router
for the job and I commented that instead of a roundover I more often use
a chamfer with a very small cut instead. End result is about the same
as a single stroke of a block plane which barely noticeable -- the
disadvantage is it takes a little to set up, the advantage is that if
there's any grain variation the router doesn't have to worry about the
direction as may have to with the plane.
Start a book in the middle and you miss a lot. ;~)
But, the beginning comment did mention a router to knock down the edges
but no mention of doing anything past knocking down the edges.
And concerning a router not having issue with grain direction, yours
must be magical. ;~)
To amplify just one last little bit, I like it because a) I have a very
nice, small laminate trimmer so it isn't futzing w/ the big router to
set it up, and b) it produces a crisp, consistently angle edge that is
virtually identical to that obtained by a block plane set to take a
minute shaving excepting the angle is automagically fixed without effort
to ensure don't switch your wrist angle a little during a pass and it
gets to within a hair of the corners that the block plane can't.
A scraper blade mounted at a 45 or other chosen angle in a 90-degree
guide block can be set to make the same cut at a fixed depth and while
it works well, it's more maintenance to sharpen/set than the trimmer so
unless it's really high-end, handwork-only kind of project I've
relegated it to the rarely used pile.
Veritas and others make roundover tools that work well; I've seen the
same idea with a flat edge instead of round but don't know of anybody
making them commercially at the moment...
I just think it's faster and particularly more consistent overall than
trying to breakover an edge with paper when doing a whole set of
cabinets or the like...for a "one-off" I'd go back to the scraper or
plane unless it's already still set which since I do so little laminate
work itself any more is a fairly like case...it may have been two year
now since it's been touched given what I've been at recently--farm shop
clean up w/ the idea of getting enough area to be able to get to the
windows again before spring planting. Of course, this has been the
target winter's project for this being the third winter now and progress
is minimal given the interruptions of "real world" farm operation in
imo, ymmv, $0.01, etc., etc., etc., ...
I have yet to meet a cutter that leaves a finish-ready surface.
You're sanding, anyway... just ease the edge during that process.
Heck, it's difficult to sand a sharp edge *without* rounding it over. :-)
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