Well, I did some work on the bookcase today (first project for adult ed
class). And I found out a couple of things along the way.
1) I had glued together boards for the pieces, but the pieces weren't flat.
Rather than taking a chance on sanding to take out the uneven board joins, I
decided to plane them even. Problem was that I only have a block plane. So
I used it to plane 3' boards. I was successful in evening up the boards.
But it wasn't easy pushing that block plane along the boards. I put lots of
gouges in the board faces that took a lot of sanding (and a few still
remain). Lesson learned (I think), use the right tool (longer bed plane - I
2) For the first sanding, I tried 100 paper. It was taking forever to
smooth out some of the gouges I created with the block plane. So I went
down to 60, and found much greater success. So lesson learned here was to
not try to skip sanding steps.
Who knows what I'll discover next.
You'll discover that there a bunch of right ways to do things, and even
more wrong ways to do things.
You'll discover that a number of us will say: "Should have used (insert
favorite tool/method here) to accomplish that." You can learn from most of
us, and/or ignore most of us.
You'll discover the methods, eventually, that you are comfortable with,
from a tools/complexity/risk/space/physical exertion/financial perspective.
You'll discover that you can design & plan more projects in your head than
you can build in your lifetime, assuming you have any sort of life beyond
woodworking. You'll learn to choose, eventually.
You'll discover what you're good at, and enjoy doing - not necessarily the
I hope you're having fun.
Mostly you should discover how to sharpen that plane. Nothing wrong with a
block plane used for smoothing. Smaller blade makes for more strokes, but
if the smoother is marginal, I have no problem picking up the block.
As one who used to be one, can't say too little for your teacher. The order
of stock preparation is part of day one's machine familiarization.
"patriarch email@example.comDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message
Did you try planing from several different angles? I've taken a pretty
sharp plane to a glued-up panel, and I find that when the old timer's say
"Go WITH the grain", they mean it. When I sent that plane in one direction,
I got a lovely little ribbon off the wood. When I went in the opposit
direction, it hung up, gouged, and generally misbehaved.
I should also note that for some reason I have a lot of trouble "reading"
the grain. Seems like the only way I know the right direction to plane the
wood is to try it and if it resists, try another one. But once I find it,
it's a beautiful thing.
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