So, I am getting better at gluing up boards but still have some that don't
match perfectly which means I sand. I have a random orbital sander, would a
belt sander be better until I get to the point where my boards match better?
or you could plane them. I just got back from Borders today after taking
a loooong look at a very interesting book on planes; history, tuning;
usage, all very well explained. Might go on my X-mas wish list...oh,
hell, I already got my X-mas toys! I've got the nagging feeling I'm
gonna be Neandering before too long. My resolve not to is slipping.
I trued and tuned and futzed and fiddled, and my POS saw isn't going to get
any better than this. To do a multi-board glue-up, I have to doctor up the
I originally used my combination 36" belt/6" disc sander for this sort of
stuff. With the fence removed, it's possible to sand long boards. The
problem is keeping it perfectly even, since you can't get the whole thing
onto the belt at once. There are bigger sanders, but they're expensive.
I get *much* better results now that I'm a burgeoning Neander. A few quick
swipes with a plane, and I get perfect edges every time. I'm cheating and
using a jointing fence to reduce my chances of screwing it up.
The thing about planes is that you really can't just go out and buy one and
use it. You have to sharpen it, tune it up, and then there's the question
of outfitting your workbench for that sort of work. It's a slippery slope,
but I don't regret any of it.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Belt sanders have a terrifying appetite for digging divots by accident
(never let them tilt, so they become a drum sander). Although they
would do the job, I'd hazard that it's easier to learn to plane than
to learn to belt sand.
Why don't your boards align ? Does the thickness vary, or is it just
an alignment problem ? Some careful biscuit jointing can make
alignment less troublesome.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Everyone keeps saying how hard it is to use a belt sander. Why? I always
found it to be one of the easiest things to do. The problem probably has a
lot to do with those two big handles they put on them. People try to
overpower them. Just like a floor buffer, try to overpower it and you will
be sorry. Just guide it around. Let it do the work. That said, I will plane
and scrape before I ever sand. Faster and cleaner.
I always seem to get some misalignment too no matter how carefully I
go even with panel clamps.
What I use to rectify matters is a no.80 Stanley scraper plane.
They're cheap tools but with a bit of fettling they're good for all
sorts of purposes including removing glue ooze on your panels.
A few strokes with the scraper plane, maybe a bit of mucking around
with a hand scraper and a bit of light sanding will do the trick. Your
panel probably wont be dead flat but it will be good enough.
If the misalignment is much greater then you'll have to get a bench
I'm doing a built-in desk ATM with which I used that technique & the
results are acceptable. Unfinished pics at:
So to answer your question; I think you can get away without a belt
sander, I'm quite happy with my ROS and if I wasn't lazy I could
probably get away without that too.
There's a sort of gallery with a couple of drawers there now. I'm
going to the job today to start building some shelves above the desk.
I'm hoping to have it all finished in a couple of weeks time. I'll
then take some more pictures & post a link on the wreck.
I'm really fond of my Stanley #80 (Is it the only Stanley tool worth
I honed the edge of mine before turning a burr and I also lapped the
sole & put a bit of wax on it. It's invaluable for panels IMO:
For hand scrapers I like Cliftons:
If you live the other side of the pond, I'm afraid I don't know where
you get them from.
There's a bit of an art to fettling and using them. Hopefully,
somebody could provide you with a relevant link.
You'll need a burnisher too - loads of different makes of those but I
believe Veritas make one; pretty sure they make card scrapers too but
I haven't tried them. My impression of Veritas gear is that it's
pretty good though & worth the bit extra.
IMO, no. I've got a belt-sander...it would be one of my last choices for
jointing. If that's your only option...I'd take it over a ROS.
Do you have a router? A router, a flush-trimming bit and a straight-edge
will give you a much 'straighter' edge than a sander.
After than...I'd pick a jointer-plane and do it by hand.
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