I have built a frame as part of a chest of drawers. Two of the pieces
of wood are not level. Can anyone suggest a good way of levelling them?
I am thinking about using a planer (I am not very good with a hand one
- is a power planer harder to use?) or a belt sander to sand down the
protruding piece to the right height. Any suggestions would be greatly
It'd help if you gave a little more information. What is causing them
to be not even? Have you glued it already? If not and it's a mortice
and tenon type of joint you can tweak the alignment by adding a piece
of veneer to one side of the tenon and shaving a bit off the other
side. If it's already glued up then you don't have any choice but to
sand or plane it flush.
Unfortunatelt it is already glued - it was a biscuit join that I messed
up and didn't realize until after it was glued. I learnt my lesson
about dry assembly! Thanks everyone for all your advice - I am stuck
with sanding with an orbital sander as that is all I have. I guess it
will be a long afternoon!
It depends on how mych you are out. A ROS tends to round over an edge
because of the soft sanding pad. If the offending ledge is 1/32 or more it's
not going to work very well. What you really want to do is create a ramp
rather than a roundover. A card scraper it pretty effective for a small
ramp, A hand plane is really the right tool for a crating a large ramp.
What you really want to do here is shape you stock. Most sanders are best at
smoothing and actually do a poor job of flattening (the excepting being
something like a Performax thickness sander).
If you must sand, start at a high course grit and sand up to, but resist the
temptation to sand over the line. Only when you are done flattening and have
moved up to finer grits, should you cross over the line.
One technique I've found effective with the ROS is to hold the sander
at a slight angle. This takes some practice as it is really unstable
and wants to run off on you. But if you hold it with two hands and
keep your arms steady, and move side to side just by shifting your
weight from one leg to the other I've gotten good results. It avoids
the rounding over problem as you're making more contact at the center.
It does tend to leave more swirlies this way, so finish up with the
You're joking right? Tongue in cheek? I think knowing how to correct
things like this that distinguishes a real craftsman.
Dude, DON"T sand it. As C&S posted it will round your stock at the edges.
Woodcraft, Wood Workers Supply and Rockler (I have all three local to me,
G-L-O-A-T) all three sell cabinet scrapers. This IMHO is the tool for the
If you don't have a Woodcraft or Rockler near you. Order one and wait for
it to arrive.
maybe I'm not reading the message correctly, so, I'll put it this way
- If he has made an error that now leaves him in a position that he
must modify the work to compensate for the error, then I'd take it
apart, start over.
HA!......my two boys (28 & 26) would say "right Leuf, right"
I've learned that it is always better to start over. 45's that are no
longer 45. Square cuts that are no longer square. One screw-up can
have lingering consequences and require that out of spec adjustments.
Improvising is accepted.
I provide two examples; one which I consider acceptable improvising
and the other I feel is a "take apart"
A framer is building a gable dormer. The side wall height is 79" and
he builds the right hand wall first. When he goes to build the left
hand wall he messes up and cuts the studs 73" instead of 74.5".
In this case he can simply add an additional top plate to make up the
error. This is an acceptable course.
The same framer building a dormer messes up and has the left wall
forward of the right wall by 1.5". He finds his mistake that he went
to the wrong side of his mark when snapping a line. If this framer
continues his work, everything about the dormer will be wrong as it
will be out-of-square. It will cause other problems requiring
improviisation and maybe the dormer will never come together
I've built a lot of stairs and one thing that I've learned is that
exactness from the start makes everything else that much smoother. I
strive for perfection.
If it's real bad any chance you can use a thin pull saw (e.g., Japanese saw)
to cut all the joints apart on that side and then redo the biscuit joints?
If done carefully I'd think you could reuse the parts with little loss of
width to side grain piece. Worse case you make one new piece...
One reason I mention this is that you might end up with a gap between the
face frame and carcass if you simply flatten the face side...
Put a _chainsaw_ through it if you have to, and that's the best and
most accurate saw you have. If the piece is big, and you're making the
frame before you're making all the parts that fit around it, then you
can almost always afford to lose a saw kerf off the overall width.
Biscuiting tip - don't use the fence. If you can arrange this, and the
height adjustment is right, then lay both things face down on a flat
bench and use the big solid face of the biscuit jointer as the guide,
not the narrow wobbly fence.
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