Abrasives

Discuss new ways of doing things, old ways adapted to new contexts.

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Re: Abrasives

Postby Bertie » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:12 pm

At the end of the day, no one really has the right to question the use of abrasives - they only have the right to question weather or not they like the piece and if they want to buy it.
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Follansbee » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:28 am

Bertie wrote:At the end of the day, no one really has the right to question the use of abrasives - they only have the right to question weather or not they like the piece and if they want to buy it.


Well, that's just looking at it from the consumer's point of view; I think the maker has the right to question the use of abrasives. For me it's part of the decision of how I want to spend my time, and working with sandpaper & its related dust is not how I wish to work...

for the record, Gavin the pole-lathe-bowl quote was not me. I don't know what grit is what with sandpaper.
I vote for tool marks. let's have shavings, nix the dust.
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Re: Abrasives

Postby gavin » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:25 am

Follansbee wrote:I vote for tool marks. let's have shavings, nix the dust.

That is my sentiment too. And given the low-tech preferences of most readers of this BB, I imagine it will be a common sentiment here. But it is not a 'correct' or ideal sentiment - both the maker and the consumer will make the choices that work for them. You sand if you want to, and do let us know your results. Because I don't sand, I have very little knowledge on the topic, and so the sanders may well teach me something I would not otherwise know.
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Bertie » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:37 pm

Abrasives are quite a large and interesting subject, you all talk about "sandpaper"as if it was something a little uncouth - i agree that sanding is - i was about to say a waste of time - but that is too specific - sanding is a slow way of producing work, however if you want to see deep into the wood, to see its highlights and glow, you need to have a finely finished surface. To finish a surface well in this way requires a great deal of paitence and skill - sure workers in wet wood can do it- i certainly can, but leaving it out perhaps as a kind of taboo is not quite right, leaving it out because it is not required is something else alltogether.
For me woodworking is an adventure, every avenue, every possibility to be explored and understood, mostly the end result is what matters to me -
if it was fashionable in the wider world to eat from hand hewn, unfinished wooden spoons then someone in china would be mass producing them in far greater volumes than one can think.
If you look on my sites on you tube you will see some 45 wooden spoons, none of which ill bet any of you have seen in the wider world - for me this is what its about - spoons are an interesting media with a very long way to go before it becomes as banal and overworked as bowls.
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Re: Abrasives

Postby SeanHellman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:02 pm

Bertie wrote:At the end of the day, no one really has the right to question the use of abrasives

End of thread then?
I will question, it is how I learn.

Give me an edge tool, and 3 good stones, that is all I need, why sand, it is another time consuming process and one I do not particularly enjoy. A spoon is an utilitarian tool it is to be used daily, not an art object with a gloss finish to be gazed deeply into.

Sand paper is easily obtained these days and cheaply too, in history when did sandpaper become commonly used? Most spoon makers in our past would not have used sandpaper. How common was scraping a spoon with a knife or putting a burr on an edge tool and using that? I have never used home produced abrasives does anyone have any knowledge on the subject?

Can I say that this forum is about green woodworking and that traditionally sand paper was not used, working green wood is about the production of artefacts with the use of edge tools only?
Like nuclear power we live in a sandpaper age, we cannot undo the knowledge, and we have to find a way to live with it :lol: This is our home, the few who believe life is possible without sandpaper, we are growing, and will rule the universe, probably when society has collapsed and we can not mass produce stuff any more.
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Bob_Fleet » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:42 pm

Here you go Sean
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Bertie » Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:57 am

Some of the egyptian tombs came complete with grave goods - in the louvre are many wooden spoons, in fact the british museum has some too - they were definately finished with abrasives -
Traditional green woodworking was done without abrasives?
not sure i agree with that - for me there is no pride attached to the use of abrasives - its meerly the finished product, however are you sure there is nothing like that on your side?
Are we having a balanced discussion here?
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Re: Abrasives

Postby robin wood » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:31 pm

Bertie wrote:Some of the egyptian tombs came complete with grave goods - in the louvre are many wooden spoons, in fact the british museum has some too - they were definately finished with abrasives -
Traditional green woodworking was done without abrasives?
not sure i agree with that - for me there is no pride attached to the use of abrasives - its meerly the finished product, however are you sure there is nothing like that on your side?
Are we having a balanced discussion here?


Well now we are back to Ruskin, "never imagine there is reason to be proud of anything that may be accomplished by patience and sandpaper."
Personally I think there is an awful lot to be proud of in a well crafted object produced with skillful use of sharp hand tools and nothing wrong with having that pride in ones work.

I suspect this is one of the few places where the majority of contributes do not use abrasives. As Andy Coates points out in much of the woodworking world abrasive use is simply accepted as the only correct method of surface finishing. Last week I spent quite a bit of time with my friend Hannes Snelle in Germany. He is one of the most competent woodworkers I have ever met having done the notoriously thorough German apprenticeship in timber framing followed by spending his journeyman time working with Japanese temple builders. Clean cut surface finishes are highly valued in Japan, so much so that in a typical 8 hour day Hannes told me they would spend 1 hour sharpening. My first reaction to this was that there is no way we could afford that luxury in the West and that I have to spend more time on production. Having seen the speed with which Hannes is able to work with his super sharp tools and high skill level and the fact that the finish is produced by the production process rather than being a secondary process I have to accept that the Japanese way works extremely well.
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Bertie » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:11 pm

I happen to agree with you in every aspect bar one -Abrasives are a tool just like any other, there is no one who worships abrasives, but there seems to be plenty of the reverse.
I try to make my living from what i produce(i have no other means of income), this ive done for many years - from what i understand Robin is the only one here who has done this full time, and this he suppliments by teaching -
my work would not be salable without the use of abrasives -
from what i see, most colleges and schools with classes in cabinetmaking do not seriously believe the product of their work will ever work for themselves-
Working with a coullegue with a degree in cabintemaking - heed never used a belt sander, "did it work?"
Another - the use of abrasives removes clean crisp edges so heed never used them -
Another took over as the head of a large government sponsored woodworkingeducational department to find that no one had ever been taught how to do a mortice and tennon, the ony joints they knew how to do were dovetails.(all the former heads had degrees from within the education system)
its allmost as if there is a religious aspect which makes quite a number of things taboo - just like eating pork to some religions, a very good reason but that reason has now passed but is still never seriously questioned - I question everything because i feel more in touch that way.
Let me give you an example of what i mean - ask any product of a cabinet making course if its ok to touch the back of a chisel on a sharpening stone - then ask an apprentice served or tradesman the same question.
Do you seriously think that "clean crisp edges "on a wooden spoon are a good idea? My clean crisp edges are so sharp they can cut someones mouth, on a wooden spoon i remove most of them for this reason.
This discussion has gone back and forth over this matter for a goodly while - im delighted to be able to have a discussion about these things without people dissapearing in the distance, however im pretty much done.
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Bob_Fleet » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:12 pm

It sounds like "horses for courses".
Nobody is advocating actual shaping by abrasives. Mind you the Grand Canyon is pretty impressive and all abraded with sand and water.
Going up the grades to get a saleable finish seems to work. That's only finishing though and it's pretty hard to do it while the wood is still green.
Better once dry but then that could start another arguement along with polish or not.
It depends on what you want and what your customer wants. I wouldn't fancy a new car with the tool marks and no polish or colour.

Today I visited Wallington Hall where the BB was 2 years ago. In the library there is a cabinet with a little glass reliquary.
In it a strand of Ruskin's hair.
Paper thin and sandy, the ultimate irony perhaps.
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Robin Fawcett » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:02 am

Bertie wrote:Let me give you an example of what i mean - ask any product of a cabinet making course if its ok to touch the back of a chisel on a sharpening stone - then ask an apprentice served or tradesman the same question.


What's the right answer then Bertie?
I always lap the back of my chisels on a very fine Japanese stone . . . the definition of sharpness is where two mirror finished surfaces meet at nothing!
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Bertie » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:23 pm

Quite true, if you can see the edge its not sharp enough.
Ive met any number of people out of college courses, and tutors on the same who have this big thing about not sharpening the back of a chisel, for me its a sign that they have come from within the education system, the same as with dovetails - no questioning of what dovetails were for or why, just that dovetails in drawers are a must.
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Donald Todd » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:05 pm

I haven't read all the posts on this,but I think something's been missed. I used to use emery paper on Windsor chair seats and combs. I got a superb finish with repeated damping, BUT, you could see grit particles in the Spring wood of the Ash combs. I switched to using sandpaper so the grit can't be seen, but it's still there. I hate to think of what this does to people's teeth when used on treen!
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Re: Abrasives

Postby Mark Allery » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:55 pm

Donald Todd wrote: I hate to think of what this does to people's teeth when used on treen!


I should think it makes them grit their teeth!

sorry,

I'll get my coat,

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Re: Abrasives

Postby Heinrich H » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:17 pm

Donald Todd wrote: I hate to think of what this does to people's teeth when used on treen!


Then carrots and potatoes should be banned :roll:
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