Confession & Redemption

I’ve a palm-grip random-orbit sander that I’ve used for a lot of
years on family initiatives that might not be planed as a result of
they had been too massive, reminiscent of 16’-long runs of base moulding
nailed to a wall,  or weren’t designed for handplaning,
reminiscent of plywood that’s lined in paper-thin veneer.

A pair years in the past, the pad on the sander disintegrated as I
was sanding some paint on a moulding. I shrugged my shoulders,
put the sander away and completed the job with a sanding block.

Till this week, I’d nearly forgotten that I owned a damaged

Then I began planing the “roey” mahogany grain on the drawer
fronts of this Marketing campaign chest I’m constructing. What’s roey grain?
It’s a determine within the wooden that’s brought on by repeated cycles of
spiral progress in a tree that reverse left after which proper,
in response to Bruce Hoadley’s “Understanding Wooden.”

Right here’s how I visualize it: Spiral grain is the place the fibers of
the wooden spiral up the tree, just like the stripes on a barber pole.
Spiral grain is dangerous sufficient when it happens in a gentle home
tree. The result’s the grain will run a method on one facet of
the board’s cathedral and the opposite manner on the opposite facet of
the cathedral.

Roey grain is an entire circle of hell worse. In a tree with a
dangerous case of roe, the grain wraps across the tree clockwise for
a 12 months, then wraps round counter clockwise the following, again and

The result’s that the wooden has a pretty striped determine
when mild displays off it. It additionally makes the wooden tough to
handplane. It makes you keep in mind damaged sanders and – after a
couple beers – order a alternative pad on your sander.

My alternative pad got here yesterday. I put in it on the sander
after which put the little blue beastie again in its deep drawer.
Why? The handplane of final resort.

I feel each woodworker has a instrument that was meant for him or
her. It could possibly be a junker, an infill or one thing between. However
it’s the airplane that doesn’t allow you to down. For me, that airplane
is a bit of infill smoother I bought from Wayne Anderson in 2006.

So far as I do know I’ve by no means measured the bedding angle of the
iron or the throat opening. The angle is kinda excessive and the
mouth is kinda tight. It’s a small instrument, about the identical measurement
as a block airplane, and it matches my palms prefer it was made for me.

However most of all, I can not keep in mind this airplane letting me down.
It all the time appears to have the ability to airplane curly, roey, interlocked,
no matter grain. Why? Was it anointed with the balms of
forbidden bushes? Did Wayne promote his sole/soul to the satan?
Don’t know. However I maintain its iron sharp and trot it out once I
get backed right into a nook.

Sleep tight little sander. This isn’t your day.

— Christopher Schwarz

For an in depth dialogue of tear-out and its treatments, see our
e book “Handplane
,” which covers it intimately. It additionally discusses
infills — their realities and myths. The e book is on the market in

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