Woodworking Q&A

This page is setup to post many of the woodworking questions I receive from those reading my books, magazine articles, my blog or any topic classified as woodworking. Over time, as the page grows, I hope to categorize the questions. But for now, you send them, I’ll give you my best answer then post them here. To begin, I’ll post my blog entry from May 13, 2012. I have a couple others to add. New Q&A will be at the top of the page.

 

Cope & Stick Routed Arch

Glen,
I am building a Pennsylvania style secretary desk which includes a small tombstone door in the center of the gallery. For this small door I am going to stray from the traditional mortise & tenon joinery and use a set of cope & stick router bits made for this type of small door.
I would like your advice on the best way to safely rout the top arched portion of the rail using the cope & stick router bits on a router table.

Thanks in advance

Gary

Gary,

There are couple of ways to safely make the profile for small arches when using cope-and-stick router bits. My first suggestion is to use router bits that are bearing-guided. Given that, I would either employ a carrier that has a couple of handles that I could grab as I work and it has a couple of hold-downs to secure the workpiece as the previously arched edge is cut. I use a carrier when I rout handles for my brass-head mallets. This allows me to keep my hands far away from the cutting action. And while this does not concern me when I’m routing with small profiles such as round-over bits and chamfer bits, it is a concern when spinning bits the size of most cope-and-stick router bits.

If you do not want to make a carrier, then I would suggest that you make the profile on a board that is wide enough to hold securely as you work. After the arch cut is profiled using the cope-and-stick bit setup, slice the usable rail from the wide board, sometimes referred to as a “motherboard.”

Each of the above is accomplished only after the end profiles are first cut. Great Question.

Build Something Great!

Glen

 

Square Pegs

Glen,

Can I get your advice on pegging a frame and panel door for a cherry spice box? I want square pegs.  Would you recommend rounds pegs with square ends, as I recall reading somewhere?   As I’m almost done the box, and I worry about splitting.   I suppose I’ll want cherry pegs.   I was thinking that maybe it’s best to make the peg hole square, to be on the safe side, but I believe that traditionally they used square pegs in round holes (?). 

Bill
Hey Bill,I do put the proverbial square peg in a round hole. The reason is that as you drive a square peg into your hole, the corners of the pegs grab or slice into the wood surrounding your hole and that keeps the peg in place. Interestingly, if you study old pegs you notice that the peg appears round on the side opposite from where it was driven. This is due to the hole mashing the peg corners as it slices the hole square. (I have an antique corner cupboard in which one of the door pegs was driven from the wrong door face.) The biggest tip I can give you is to try and drive a sized peg through a sized hole before you actually work on your project. in other words, practice.It is easy to get the sizes off a small amount, but that amount may be enough to cause problems. Also, it is best to drive a peg that is made from a harder piece of wood than your project, if possible. I make many of my pegs from oak.

Here is the what and how. Begin with a square section of peg that is twice as long as the thickness of the material through which it is to be driven – for a 3/4″ thick door, begin with a 1 1/2″ peg.) Size your peg and hole to the same size. If I use a 1/4″ hole, then I also prepare a 1/4″ square peg. Begin by paring one end of your peg to a round shape – I often use a pencil sharpener for this step. The reason I round the end is to facilitate an easier start and to better guide the peg into and through the hole.

To install your peg, add a bit of glue to the hole, then drive the peg through. If you are working on a peg that you do not wish to glue throughout the hole (think breadboard ends), then drive it into the hole leaving a 1/4″ of peg standing above the surface, add glue to the outstanding 1/4″ then finish driving the peg flush. Also, work with a backer board so as not to blow out the back face.

Build Something Great!

Glen

Desk Lid Hinges

Glen,

After a short break, I am back to working on my slant front desk. The reply you sent several months ago really helped me out. I am hoping for some more help. In the placement of the desk lid hinges, how should the barrel be placed in reference to the writing surface edge? Hinge Barrel completely out and allow the other leaf to lay against the edge or should half of the barrel stick out?

John

John,

Here is how I take on the hinge placement. A leaf should be cut into the writing surface and the lid with no amount of barrel buried. When you get the hinges installed, close the lid and look at the lid’s fit. If you need to snug the lid a bit tighter to the angled case side, move the writing surface leaf inward a small amount. If you have a nice fit where your lid meets the case side, then you need to access the fit of the gap between the writing surface and lid. If that gap is minimal, you’re finished.

If, however, you have a gap that is larger than needed, you can adjust the leaf that fits into the lid – slide it in slightly to lessen the gap. If your gap is too tight – this you would have noticed as you attempted to close the lid the first time – you can slip the hinge out of the leaf a small amount. This results in a small gap at the back edge of the hinge and could be filled if unsightly. This adjustment is seldom needed.

Build Something Great!

Glen

Shaker Counter (PWM June 2012)

Glen,
Really liked the counter in the June popular woodworking. Could you explain how the vertical stile in the front is fit into or attaches to the bottom rail?

Thanks,

Scott

Scott,

Sometimes woodworkers over-think joinery. Myself, I like to keep it simple. In this case, I attached the vertical divider to the bottom rail using a mortise-and-tenon joint. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. This is also why I strongly suggest that readers of Popular Woodworking Magazine learn the basics of Google SketchUp. Each project featured in the magazine is drawn in SketchUp and the model is loaded into the magazine’s 3D warehouse (click here). The program is free to download as is the models. And the models have so much information. (Remember to click on the photo to open a larger view.)

Build Something Great!

Glen

That Tricky Rabbet

Glen,
I have started on a slant front desk based on the New England Secretary in one of your books. I have one question as I prepare the sides; what is the distance from the top of the writing surface to the start of the slant? It looks to be somewhere between 3/4″ and 1″, but I am not sure and it is not shown in the book.

Thanks
John S

John,
That’s a question I get a lot. The answer depends on the thickness of your lid – more exactly, on the thickness of its rabbeted edge.

Take a look at the photo. You need to start with your writing surface laid in, then determine the rabbeted area of your lid which would be 1/2″ on a 3/4″-thick lid if you are using a 1/4″ lip. Create a setup similar to the one shown in the photo to determine your length. My longer rule is attached at the edge of the desk top. The two rules are set to form a 90 degree corner with the 6″ rule measuring the thickness of my rabbet. (You can see how this figure could change based on your rabbet, lid and lip dimensions.) 

Another method is to figure the distance algebraically using A squared + B squared = C squared where the measurement you’re searching for is C and the rabbet of your lid is both A and B. Using 1/2″ as the rabbet thickness results in a slightly under 3/4″ measurement. (Again,  you can see how the size shifts given the thickness of your rabbet.)

Build Something Great!
Glen

Tall Clock Dial Size
Hi Glen,

I have a year old copy of your “Building Period Furniture” that now looks like 10 year old copy (well used). I have two block fronts about 90% complete, two secretary bottoms about 50% complete. I like to build two at a time. While I am waiting for some more mahogany I am drawing the bench rod for the Pennsylvania tall case clock.

To keep proportions as perfect as they look, I am wondering what is the dial size you used in this clock and who is the supplier. Looking at suppliers here in the UK the the largest dial seems to be 280mm x 395mm. which seems too small. I bought your “Finishes that Pop” DVD just before Christmas. Great informative DVD.

Thank You,
Alan
Northern Ireland

Greetings Alan,

I’m glad to see your book getting such use. You are taking on very nice projects. I enjoyed building them, as well.

You are correct on your assessment of the dial sizes. Your dials are undersized as to what I use and what is a common size here in the States. The dial for my clock was 12.5″ wide (317.5mm, if my conversion is correct) by 17.625″ tall (447.675mm).

The movement  I used for the clock in the book was produced by David Lindow (Click here to visit his web site). You can get more information, movements and dials  from Mike Siemsen’s web site (Click  here).

Best of luck on your projects and …

Build Something Great!
Glen D. Huey

What is That Finish?
Hi Glen,

I am familiar with your aniline dye/shellac finish for a deeper tiger maple finish.  I always seem to get  a finish that is too shiny. I noticed that you recommend a ” dull-rubbed” lacquer. Is that the name of the kind of lacquer, a rubbed out lacquer or what?

Thanks,
Bob

Hey Bob,

When using shellac, I generally use either of two options to knock down the sheen. I either rub-out the finish using #0000 steel wool (sometimes I use wool lube to make the work a little easier), or I topcoat my project with a pre-cat lacquer from Sherwin Williams with a dull-rubbed effect sheen. The low sheen finish is made so by adding flattening agents to the lacquer. Sherwin Williams sells this product through its commercial divisions, not in the regular paint stores.

Another option that I am just beginning to explore is to use a water-based urethane in a satin finish, such as General Finishes Enduro-Var Satin. With this product, you apply a single coat, then after it’s dry lightly rub with steel wool.

Build Something Great!
Glen

Small Diameter Router Bits
Glen,

I am a home shop woodworker who makes reproductions of American Colonial furniture.  I am having trouble finding a way to make 1/16” vein line for string inlay.  Is there a 1/16″ router bit available or how else does one prepare for a 1/16” string inlay.  I have previously used a 1/8” bit to inlay 1/8” string inlay and that worked very well, but in some pieces a 1/8” string inlay is too thick for the piece at hand.

I bought two of your books and have enjoyed studying them and using some of the demonstrated techniques on the pieces I have reproduced.

Several of the pieces I have made were from Lester Margon’s 1949 book “Construction of American Furniture Treasures”.  It’s a great hobby!!

Henry
Montgomery, AL

Hey Henry,

I’m glad that you found a few ideas in my books to make woodworking better for you. I, too, have spent many hours looking through Mr. Margon’s book – it’s a great woodworking book.

There are 1/16″ router bits to be found. If you visit inlaybandings.com there is a section that has router bits used for inlay work. The site also sells inlay and banding in many different configurations. I especially like the router bits because they are longer than many other 1/16″ bits available – as such, they reach past patterns and get to the workpiece. These bits have an 1/8”-diameter shank, so you would also need to purchase a  sleeve (shown in the middle) unless you have an appropriate collet for your router or are working with a hand-held rotary tool such as a Dremel.

Bosch has 1/16″ bits, too. These bits have shorter cutting lengths which could require that you set-up differently in order to use them for inlay as it is more difficult to reach past patterns.  The Bosch bit has a  1/4”- diameter shank.

I would suggest that you pick up a couple bits when and if you order. Bits this small tend to break more easily than larger diameter bits.

If you have additional questions, please contact me again.

Build Something Great !
Glen Huey

How to Size Doors

Good Morning Glen,

My question is on your beautiful corner cabinet in the 100 best Shelving&Storage CD. (Ed. note: first published in Popular Woodworking Magazine in December 2002, issue #131, and is available now as a PDF, click here).  How did you cut the bead detail on the stile of the door? Also ,as a professional woodworker, when building your doors, do you make them a little over sized then trim them to fit? If so, how much over sized?

Thanks for your help,

Kenneth

Kenneth,

On the original corner cabinet as it sits here in my home, the right-hand door laps over the left-hand door and the bead is cut on the right door which is then rabbeted to fit over the second door. I cut the bead using a 1/4″ bead router bit set in a router table – you could also use a molding-head cutter if you have that available. As I look at that piece, it is because of the 1/2″ over 1/4″ lap that the bead works without weakening the detail.

A better technique would be to apply the bead to the rabbeted door just after your rabbet. That would require that you raise the bit out of your table by 5/16″ given a 3/8″ lap, or use a molding-head cutter in your table saw. A simple drawing of the two is included.

When I build door, such as the inset doors on the corner cabinet, I build to the exact size of the opening then trim to a 1/16″ reveal. If the doors are overlay doors, I build them similar to how I build drawer – over-sized by 5/8″ with rabbets of 3/8″. The difference provides me with a 1/16″ reveal, too.

Build Something Great!

Glen

Cherry Finish Idea

Dear Glen, 

I’m getting ready to finish a Chester County spice box I made in curly cherry.   I did some line and berry inlay with holly stringing.  I used holly and walnut for berries  (I had to remove the redwood berries because they did not contrast well against the cherry primary wood). 

Your spice box articles were excellent and very helpful. I am unsure if I should try to protect the holly inlay with shellac before I dye the piece. Would a coat of shellac over the entire piece work (which would be much easier than trying to cover just the inlay)  in order to prevent a smudged look from dye directly applied to the holly inlay?

Another option is not to dye the cherry at all, and just let it age naturally.  I’d just use shellac I think in that case.   I assume that blonde shellac alone would preserve the brightness of the white holly. How would you finish a piece like this?

Thanks very much for any advice,

Bill

Forest, VA

Bill,

You have reached the point in building Chester County (and Federal pieces for that matter) where decisions need to be made. Unfortunately, there is no way to protect your inlay from dyes and stains other than to cover it prior to further work. I also think that to cover each length of stringing is a particularly difficult task to be avoided by all means necessary, and to shellac the entire box minimizes the ability to add color to your cherry.

Here is what I would do. Apply a single coat of boiled linseed oil to your spice box then allow it to age in sunlight whenever possible. While oil will slightly change the holly white, sunlight, as you know, darkens your cherry without huge changes in holly and walnut. I believe that the oil helps quicken this process and builds a nice chestnut color. After a week or so of sunlight, decide if there is enough contrast between the cherry and inlay. If so, finish your box with blonde shellac. If not, allow more time for the contrast to build before applying a finish coat, or coats. Also remember that your cherry will continue to darken over time and the inlay will change little, so contrast will look better over time.

Build Something Great!

Glen

32 responses to “Woodworking Q&A

  1. Mitch Wilson

    Hey, Glen. How’s life? Does the shellac work well over an oil/varnish blend, rather just boiled linseed oil? I don’t mind popping the figure a bit more on some projects, but I do use a wipe-on blended finish. And I do use a lot of cherry. (Also walnut and sapele.) No sense in doing extra work, which I am willing to do, if it doesn’t make a difference.

    • Mitch, Shellac is a great finish choice, and it works when applied on top of most finishes. On top of an oil/varnish is a perfect fit. The varnish in that mixture actually allows the finish to dry faster than oil alone, so shellac is perfect for your top coat.

      Glen

  2. Tom Baker

    Glen,
    I am in the middle of a build from your book “fine Furniture for a lifetime”, the Chippendale entertainment center, and I am confused by a description pertaining to the installation of the waist frame top molding part “Y”, where on page 93 – photo #41 you say: “Remember to allow a sanding disc’s width between the upper case and the molding on each side …..”.
    I’m not sure what you mean the disc’s width, I’m assuming what I would call it’s thickness, but … would this not leave an unsightly gap along both sides where the molding butts up against the sides?
    Please clarify this for me as to your intentions.

    • Tom,

      I do indeed mean the thickness of a sanding disc. I cut the front molding a hair longer than needed, and slip a disc between the molding and the side rear (on one side only) to provide a small amount of gap. If you keep the molding tight, then you may have problems when finish is complete – film thickness builds. If that build is sufficient, the upper case would be too tight to fit into the space left. The disc thickness is a cushion. When the two cases are assembled, the gap is hardly noticeable. Remember that the total gap is then split between the two sides as the upper section is centered.

  3. John Richardson

    Hi Glen:
    I really hate to bother a busy man, such as yourself, however I have a question regarding a measurement on the New England Desk and Bookcase. I have both the “hardback/spiral” book and the “softcover” book with this plan, but due to duplication except for a measurement correction or two I’m unable to find the measurement for the slant cut on the lower case side for the drop down desk lid. I do see in step 5 in the picture the measurement drawn on the side that it begins 12″ horizontally from the back at the top of the case. However, I am not able to see anywhere the measurement vertically on the front of the case. I have tried to calculate this measurement from the side elevation (small drawing) view on the exploded diagram page. Considering material thicknesses and drawer opening heights and a guess of 3/4″ at the distance from the top of the dado for the (D) writing surface, it seems that the correct vertical measurement should be 23 5/8.” It then seems that the length of the slant cut will be 14″ long. Am I correct or am I “shooting in the dark” so to speak? I will appreciate receiving this info in order to proceed. Also, have you had other questions of a similar nature regarding this project?
    MUCH THANKS for the info and THANKS AGAIN for a great project.
    John Richardson
    Tallahassee, FL

    • John,

      The reason this page exists is to help answer questions. Please do not hesitate to contact me via email or here in the column.

      If you look at the questions posted above, you can see a reply (That Tricky Rabbet) to your exact question. If, after reading the response, you still have concerns, please contact me again.

  4. John Richardson

    Thanks Glen: I’ll see what I come up with after my attempt to follow your response to John S regarding this situation. I do plan to use a 3/4″ lid with 1/2″ rabbet and 1/4″ lip. Thanks for your service to all of us ol’ woodhackers.
    John R

  5. Glen, I am making the shaker small chest of drawers from”Building fine furniture” I need help in two areas. I do not understand the length of part “W” which does not come close to the other drawer backs, is that correct ? I also see no reference to the slot which incorporates the drawer bottoms. Your help would be great. Thanks, Love the book. Jay

    • Jay,

      You found a mistake in the cut list on those drawer backs. The correct length is 20 1/2″, matching the drawer directly above. The groove for the bottom is 1/4″ wide x 1/4″ deep and is cut from 1/2″ to 3/4″ from the bottom edge of the sides and front – another way to view this is that the drawer bottom slides into the drawer box just under the drawer back. Photo #16 in the chapter shows the end results. (you may also notice that the drawer bottom is 5/8″ thick, so there is an 1/8″ space between the bottom and the runners.)

  6. Jay Brown

    Glen,
    Thank you so much for your quick reply ! I am new to woodworking, and really needed your input. I am loving this project , and look forward to completing more. Thanks again, Jay

  7. Jim Vojcek

    Glen , I have your book, Building 18th-Century American Furniture . I have a question concerning: Project 5, Massachusetts Block-Front Chest. The copy states, ” Full-scale plans are available from my website.” What is the name of your website? I would like to check out the plans for possible purchase.

    • Jim,
      This is the website. If you go to the tabs at the top of the page, you’ll see a tab for “Online Extras.” Because these projects first appeared in “Illustrated Guide To Building Period Furniture”, you can find the plans under that heading – the second set of highlighted titles. These plans are free (click to download a PDF), but I will warn you that the plans are in no way complete. They are profiles used to develop key areas in the projects.

  8. Jim Vojcek

    Thanks, just what I wanted.

  9. John Richardson

    Hi Glen:
    Great day to be in the shop! Slow drizzle rain here in Tallahassee! QUESTION: 18th Cent New England Desk and Bookcase —
    How are the rear ends of the middle two drawer runners (“K”) supported? The top drawer (#1) runner shows (“F”) for the rear divider of the drawer runners to receive support, but I see no support divider for drawers 2 & 3. Should I create two more (“F”) rear runner supports dividers (for a total of 3 – not 1) and mortise into them for 2 & 3?
    Thanks for your usual helpful advise!
    Trying to “Build Something Great!”
    John Richardson
    PS I think I was knocked off line just as I tried to send this question. If you receive a duplicate, forgive me.

    • John,
      The top drawer has a rear divider due to the extra width of the top runners (2 5/8″ vs. 1″). That extra width is necessary for the lid supports, and makes it impossible to nail the runners to the case side. Runners for the lower drawers are simply nailed to the case side (see caption on photo # 31) as was done in period work.

      • John Richardson

        DUH!!! I know I scanned that section 3 or 4 times and didn’t catch the nailing routine. Since I saw it again, I know I had read it previously in my initial study of the processes. Thanks for your patience with me!

  10. Glen,
    I saw the post showing the toner used on the doors, however, I was wondering how you finished the entire Walnut Secretary (e.g. dye / blo / shellac )

    • Gary,

      The secretary is finished with a coat of Boiled Linseed Oil to add depth, a few coats of orange shellac to warm the overall appearance then an appropriate build is completed using clear shellac. My final coat is a dull-rubbed effect pre-cat lacquer.

  11. Bob Hohl

    Glen,, I purchased the 18th century American Furniture Book you authored. The Mass. Block-front Chest descrption indicates that you will supply full scale plans on your website. How do I access that site and get the plans.

  12. Paul Babcock

    Glen, members of SAPFM are forming a Southern California chapter. We are targeting the first meeting for the later half of April. Will you be in the socal area during that period? If so let me know.

    Paul Babcock
    562 522 5729

  13. Roger Johnson

    Glen a few years ago in the shop you showed how to bandsaw a cabriole leg without removing the cut piece and then shaping it with the shinto rasp is that video anywhere to be found.

  14. Mitch Wilson

    Glen, I’m building a television stand with several different woods. Per your previous recommendation, I used two coats of wipe-on oil/varnish on the bird’s eye maple, which makes up most of the shelves, to enhance the figure, followed by about ten coats of (thin) super blonde shellac. But I am adding mahogany as trim to this. I plan on using garnet shellac for the mahogany. Is there any reason to use the oil/varnish first? I am not concerned about filling the pores. The legs are two boards, one cherry, the other walnut, which are dovetailed and glued lengthwise. Forms a right angle leg, which is cut at a 10° angle top and bottom (on the apex-makes for a compound angle) to provide a little slant (7½°), so the top shelf is longer than the bottom shelf. Any suggestions as to which color shellac to use? I have orange and beige, in addition to the other two. Obviously, I expect the cherry to darken, but it does have some figure to it. And, again, any reason to use the oil/varnish here? Is there any advantage to using oil/varnish over plain BLO when it gets topcoated with shellac, other than the combo dries faster?

  15. Glen,
    I am building a Pennsylvania style secretary desk which includes a small tombstone door in the center of the gallery. For this small door I am going to stray from the traditional mortise & tenon joinery and use a set of cope & stick router bits made for this type of small door.
    I would like your advice on the best way to safely rout the top arched portion of the rail using the cope & stick router bits on a router table.

    Thanks in advance

  16. Hi Glen…
    I need some guidance on 2 items…

    1. Ogee Bracket feet ( for my Pennsylvania style secretary)…
    would it be OK to laminate to pieces to get the necessary thickness or would this present an adverse impact on the strength of the foot?

    2. Do you typically use spring locks(or other method) in securing the hidden compartments of a secretary?… I have never made made a spring lock and as simple as they may be I would really like to see how one is actually made… depth & angle of recess thickness of spring etc…

    Thanks in advance

    • Gary,

      Usually, I would say that you should not glue thinner stock to get a thicker piece, but in this case you can get away with it if you plan ahead. If you do not cut beyond the face-piece thickness, you can make this work. If you cut through that front piece, you show glue lines. That’s bad. As you plan your cut, be sure to think not only about the major cove of the foot, but also where the foot curves at the top.

      I don’t typically use spring locks, but Chuck Bender wrote an article for the November 2009 Popular Woodworking Magazine (issue #179) that covers a lot of information on secret drawers and compartments, including spring or Quaker locks. It’s worth another look if you have a copy. If not, you can pick up a copy at shopwoodworking.com.

      Glen

  17. Glen,
    Do 18th century secretaries typically have an escutcheon for a key on each drawer. I ask this because the crotch veneer i have for my drawer fronts puts the best figure where it would be obscured by the escutcheon.
    Should I simply not use them, or do you know of an alternative?

    If I am veneering a drawer front with the same species and grain orientation, is it necessary to veneer the back side of the drawer…I’m speaking strictly with respect to movement/stability (not aesthetics)

  18. Hi Glen…
    I am getting ready to make my ogee bracket feet for a Pennsylvania style secretary desk I’m building. I’m using you book Building 18th Century American Furniture as a reference. The feet in the PA Chest on Chest show a rabbet (pg 128) on which, you place a foot assembly cap for mounting directly to the case bottom.
    In the New England Desk you mount the feet to a base frame, but I do not see a rabbet used here.
    Can I use a rabbet with assembly cap to mount to a base frame?
    Will there be any issues?
    Is there something I’m missing?

    Thanks in advance

  19. Nick Mans

    Hi Glen..
    I am in the progress of building your Southern lady’s desk. My wife is anxiously waiting for this desk to be finished. I am putting together the bottom unit (base) and I am wondering if read it correctly (in your article in Popular Woodworking Nov 2011) that the tenon on the 8” wide base unit sides and back are to be glued. Should I make some arraignment to minimize the potential of the cherry from splitting. I can glue the top tenon and allow the bottom tenon to float. I am using flat sawn cherry.
    I have tweaked the design a little (wider and deeper) to make the drawer under the writing surface sized to fit a portable computer. I plan to add undermount drawer slides (100lb) rating to allow the drawer to come out 100%. I can send you a DXF drawing if you are interested.
    Thank you for this beautiful design. Nick

  20. John Lund

    Glen,
    I purchased two of your books recently (Building Period Furniture and Building fine furniture) specifically to figure out the distance from the writing surface to the start of the slope on a secretary. It looks like it may be around an inch. Can you provide me that distance and the slope angle or recommend a formula.

    Thanks,

    John

  21. Jay

    Hi Glen,
    Just finished watching your video on the Carolina Cellarette. Great job! As a finishing technique I wondered why you finish sand to 180 grit, instead of moving up thru 220, 280 and 320. Is it wasted effort because the oil, shellac and lacquer later fill the pours and after final sanding with 400 wet/dry it ends up the same smoothness anyway?
    Thanks,
    J

    • Jay,
      You’ll have a great time building that piece. I enjoyed it immensely. For the most part, I stop sanding at #180-grit because that’s where the dye stains I use work best. This piece did not have any color added, but there is little reason to sand further. When I applied the BLO, I sanded up a slurry that helped fill the pores. Then I applied the shellac. Multiple coats of shellac help fill the pores, too. BTW – I’m OK not having a super-slick surface on porous woods such as walnut and mahogany. I like to see the grain on these woods.

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