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Expert's Corner — scratch stocks

Preparing Wood for a Finish

efficient effort finish finishes hand tools molding prep prepare preperation sand wood sanding sandpaper scraper scratch stocks stain stains the finishing store wood woodworkers

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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