When working with a soft wood is it always a good idea to ease the
exterior corners just a bit?
I'm always worried that sharp corners will bruise, dent, splinter more
easily than rounded (even if only slightly) corners. I doubt you can
apply enough coats of poly to make any difference. But sometimes I'd
like a sharp corner for the looks alone.
It really is somewhat of a personal preference. One thing that has
influenced edges is veneered and laminate covered tops. In the case of
either you have to leave a sharp edge.
I think a slightly hand broken edge is a thing of beauty. It adds that
natural feel to a piece. It does add in lessening the possibility of
splintering (in some woods) and will lessen the apperance of dents and
dings. It is also crucial for film finishes to help them stand up
better, a sharp edge will wear trough almost immediately with use. I
pretty much break every edge that will get touched.
If I am in production mode, I put some 220 on a palm sander. The finer
grit slows the removal process so I can control just how much to break
it. If I am using a hand block then go with 150. I'll usually run one
pass at a 45 to the corner to break it, then two more pases to round of
the edges of that chamfer. Keep in mind this is hopefully on a very
small scale. I also try to be consistent so I get the same feel all
over the piece.
All sharp corners SHOW dings/dents/etc more visibly than rounded/eased
edges, soft woods MORE than harder woods, but they ALL will show the
dings/dents of life MORE when you have a sharp edge to look at
Sharp corners vs rounded/eased corners, with the same IMPACT over the
same AREA in the same wood species will deform/ding the SAME. With
harder woods, the depth of the ding/dent will be less than in softer
speacies, but for all but the most gentle bump will ding/dent when
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