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Expert's Corner — molding

TIP: Soften Sharp Edges

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It’s very important that you soften all machined or hand-planed wood edges before applying any film-building finish. The finish will peel away from sharp edges (as is shown in the example) if they aren’t rounded over a little. It’s also a good idea to soften edges when using non-film-building oil finishes. Sharp edges dent easier than softened edges. You can easily remove the sharpness from edges with several light passes using medium-grit sandpaper.

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Preparing Wood for a Finish

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Preparing Wood for a Finish

The reason you have to sand wood before applying a finish is to remove machine marks. All machine tools leave cuts or impressions in wood that are highlighted by stains and finishes, especially by stains. Before machine tools appeared in the mid-nineteenth century no sanding was needed. Indeed, there was no sandpaper. Wood was smoothed with hand planes and scrapers. You can still use hand planes and scrapers to smooth wood; you don’t have to use sandpaper. You can hand plane or scrape the wood straight from the saw, or you can begin the smoothing with a jointer and planer...

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