khill

Softening edges

Recommended Posts

How does everyone go about softening the edges of their projects? I find if I try and sand them, I do it uneven? Am I doing it wrong. On larger pieces I use a roundover bit, but my current project has 1/2 inch slats and an 1/8 inch round over seems to much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't create anything uniform, but I love the look of chamfering the edges with a block plane. There's just something cool about taking those tiny, tiny shavings with the plane. Before I got into hand tools I'd use a sanding block with 180 grit paper. It quiet and effective. If you want uniform you'll need to go with a router.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My general rule for easing edges is, just don't let the wood bite - In other words, someone running their hand on the piece should never get cut by a sharp edge. But after that, really look at the style of the piece - Perhaps a Shaker, or Mission piece wouldn't want an 1/8" round over on a 1/2 inch slat, but a Maloof inspired piece may benefit from even a 1/4" round over on that same 1/2" piece.

As mentioned already, chamfers are a nice way to break an edge, and can be accomplished quickly with a block plane or a trim router. Follow that chamfer with a light pass with 180 grit paper, and the edge will retain definition, while still being pleasing to the touch.

Sorry - But I'm not sure this question will get a black and white answer

Hope this helps

Gregory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I vary between block plane and 180 sandpaper. Will only do sandpaper if it is very minor, just to protect fingers and a bit of protection against a grain break developing into a rip. I enjoy using the block plane, usually for rather small round overs, but on occasion for a shaped corner. Looks different than a uniform router bit edge, but more pleasing to my eye. Larger round overs or miters are sometimes done with router bits, but not very often these days except on shop furniture and jigs.

Sometimes I'll do larger profiles with combo of block plane and spokeshave. Usually you don't see parallel edges side by side so there is some variation that will not be noticed. A light pass to clean up the resulting edges. You can scribe lines to assist visually, though I don't bother very often. On occasion I maybe even come in with heavier sanding or sanding strip for curves, especially concave ones.

Many roads to happiness. Try as many as you can and see what works for your taste and style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My two methods are a block plane and sandpaper. I used the block plane if I need a little larger edge and sandpaper if I'm just trying to cut the sharp edge. No one ever can see the inconsistencies with either method.

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to use sandpaper with a block of wood. I find it kind of fun to knock down the edges this way. I use the router roundover when I need a more serious edge rounding usually for design reasons. I'm kind of a perfectionist, so I really try to make my edges as uniform as I can. It all depends on the piece too and it's final look. Like another member said, it's important to make sure the edge doesn't bite someone running their hands over it. I think the look is personal preference and you should try different options. I've even used my scraper on the edges and that works nice too...but you really have to almost "sculpt" the edges with this technique.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This could be the only situation in woodworking where sandpaper is actually my preferred method. I think sandpaper gives the best control and also represents one of the more risk-averse options. Nothing like accidentally running your scraper or block plane against the grain and tearing out a corner as the last step before finishing. I also happen to think that hand sanding the edges gives the piece more of a hand-built look. While there may not be perfect consistency on every single corner or edge, that's a sign that the piece is hand crafted and something that people subtly pick up on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Japanese Wooden Chamfer Plane then a sanding sponge.

I've also got a Japanese Round-over Plane with two different size radii, but it must be used before assembly.

Lee Valley has some nifty Cornering Tools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I use sandpaper on a hard block, sometimes I use an edge tool, but I always strive for a consistent flat champher with crisp edges. Doing this creates a micro facet that will reflect light like any other flat plane. You don't see the effect of it often, but every once in a while the light will be just right, tracing around the edges of the piece and highlighting its form. Using 180 grit or higher will help keep it fairly even, the sharp edge is quick, but it takes effort to sand past 1/16" wide. Using a router to break edges is kind of pointless, since then you need to sand the chatter out anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Who's Online   2 Members, 0 Anonymous, 100 Guests (See full list)

  • Forum Statistics

    28956
    Total Topics
    391560
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    21866
    Total Members
    1529
    Most Online
    Naomi
    Newest Member
    Naomi
    Joined