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ChuckBarnett
03-03-2017, 04:38 AM
Okay, the newbie cannot cleanly plane the edges of the quilted maple he planned to use for the back of the tenor ukulele. Some say sanding is the best option. I came up with an idea after seeing that Veritas (Lee Valley) sells a sanding plane and shooting board setup for more money than I'm interested in spending.

Has any one tried sticking sandpaper to the bottom of a hand plane with spray on adhesive and using that with a shooting board? I thought to start with 100 grit and work up to 320. Tedious but do-able.

Or do you see a better option? Your thoughts?

Thanks you for your experience and wisdom in this!98249

Rrgramps
03-03-2017, 04:56 AM
I'm told that sanding is not the best option because the glue bond is not as good as a planed surface. But it if you can't plane well yet, or the wood is unforgiving, you may have to sand. There are a multitude of sanding methods for you to chose from.

1. Using your table saw for a flat and plumb surface; adhere a longish strip of 80 grit on top of table or wings, farthest to RH or LH of the table. Then move the fence to use as a 90 support on the vertical plates. Candle them to see any light between the joint. Finish with a finer grit.

2. Using a shooting board, adhere a strip of sandpaper to a carpenters level and use that instead. You won't have to remove the sandpaper to use the level either.

3. Purchase a Great Planes Easy-Touch Hand (sander I bought both the 11" and 22" sanding bars) and adhere sandpaper to that. Then use a shooting board like you would for a hand plane (you can get by with something as simple as clamping a straight board to the bench). Or use a surface/support of something of yours already available.

98257

Parto
03-03-2017, 07:16 AM
What number plane are you using? I struggled early on when using a no4 jack plane (only one I had at the time) but picked up a cheap no6 fore plane and it is now much easier.!!

Wildestcat
03-03-2017, 07:48 AM
+1 for sticking a strip of sandpaper (I use self-adhesive 400 grit) to a precision-faced 2 or 3 ft aluminium builders level, and using on the shooting board after planing the stacked halves as best you are able. I rarely achieve perfection with the plane (I use No 7 for guitars or low angle no 5 for ukes), so after planing and without moving the stacked halves clamped on the shooting board, I lightly cross-hatch mark the joint faces with a pencil then sand with the level until all the pencil marks have been removed. I end up with a light-tight joint. I use a smooth faced piece of ply on the shooting board to temporarily raise the level of the level as it were.

Just watch out with rosewood and spruce in particular that you clean the sandpaper every few passes, as it tends to gum up - adversely affecting the result.

Rrgramps
03-03-2017, 08:15 AM
What number plane are you using? I struggled early on when using a no4 jack plane (only one I had at the time) but picked up a cheap no6 fore plane and it is now much easier.!!

I use this plane, from Lee Valley.
http://www.veritastools.com/Products/Page.aspx?p=104
It's even better than they say. My joint seams are so tight that I need to stagger the plates, making an index because I cannot see them. I'm almost screwed if I cut the body outline, and accidentally cut the over index. Then I have hunt carefully for the seam, and lightly pencil mark it for rosettes and other machining.

Allen
03-03-2017, 10:51 AM
Some highly figured timber simply will not plane with a clean edge, and will pull have chip out as you attempt to plane no matter how sharp your tools. In that case sanding is pretty much the only method to achieve a jointed edge.

I still use my shooting board, but have a long buildirs level that I've used stick on sandpaper. I find that holding the strait edge against the shooting board fence and moving the timber against it works best.

mikeyb2
03-03-2017, 12:30 PM
As with Paul above, I've used a 2ft spirit level with a nice straight edge, but in my case I attached the boards to the level and ran them through the router table fitted with a bearing guided trimming bit. The bearing runs along the straight edge and trims the boards clean and straight. This is an idea I got from Rudy who is a member on this forum. It has worked successfully for the 4 ukes I've so far built.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
03-03-2017, 12:52 PM
For troubelsome woods, I use one of these on my shooting board with two grits of sand paper:
http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Sanding/Fret_Fingerboard_Levelers.html

or

http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_odkw=&_ssn=g.m.itools-parts&hash=item3cba4b995e%3Ag%3AsZ0AAOxyVLNS8ic-&item=260823554398&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2046732.m570.l1313.TR7.TRC1.A0.H0.Xfret+l eveler.TRS0&_nkw=fret+leveler&_sacat=0

Michael Smith
03-03-2017, 01:55 PM
I use a spiral router bit with a high quality straitedge for a guide. I try to only route off a 1/16" or less. I do both plates at the same time making sure to flip one of them so any slight error will not be doubled. Works every time.

jcalkin
03-04-2017, 04:34 AM
Don't worry about sanded joints. I've done several hundred. I've had tops split from low humidity, but never on the glue joint. I have no use for hand planes. I joint plates on a 6x48 belt sander using 80 grit. Like most other systems it takes a knack. Jointing plates this way takes maybe 10 seconds, with no set up. Can't use it for guitar plates, though, the platen is too short.

Kekani
03-04-2017, 09:27 AM
Use Chuck's method. I just setup for a variation of it using the router table. The up/down spiral should lead you to success.

Otherwise, sanded joints are fine, and in some cases, desired.

resoman
03-04-2017, 02:41 PM
Use Chuck's method. I just setup for a variation of it using the router table. The up/down spiral should lead you to success.

Otherwise, sanded joints are fine, and in some cases, desired.

Ditto on the router. best way ever for me, thanks Chuck

sequoia
03-04-2017, 05:25 PM
I use a ridiculously simple method that is quick and gives a perfect seamless joint every time. No planes, shooting boards or routers needed. I can't do it quite as fast as John (10 seconds!), but I can get a perfect joint in about 1 minute.

Tools: a 2' spirit level (a cheap aluminum one from ACE hardware works fine), double sided tape (StewMac), 100 grit sandpaper, two spring clamps, a vise and a pencil

Method: Tape the sandpaper to the side of your level. Take the plates and put them together edge side down on a reasonably flat surface. Keep the show side edges on the inside (very important!). Clamp with your two spring clamps on each end. Jack the assembly into a vice. Mark the edges with a swipe of the pencil every inch or so. Now go at it with the sandpapered level. When all the pencil marks are gone, check your work by looking at it with a bright light behind. Often times it is perfect on one pass and you are done and good to go.

There is a little knack to it, but easily learned. The joints will be so perfect that after glue-up and sand-out the joint line will disappear completely. The two key points are keeping the show side edges on the inside because it is not uncommon to roll your sand paper level off thus rounding the outside edge ever so slighty but since it will be the downside seam, who cares? The second point is to use fairly coarse sandpaper. Do not work up to a perfectly smooth edge because somewhat counter intuitively, a slightly rough edge makes the seam disappear whereas a smooth edge leaves a slight line. I also think it glues up better and gives a stronger joint.

This a quick, simple, inexpensive and very effective technique that will give you a perfect invisible seam every time. Sometimes simple works best.

Rrgramps
03-04-2017, 07:07 PM
I think you may have something, Sequoia. It's the vise. I've done the adhesive sandpaper on my aluminum level, stuck the adhesive sandpaper on my table saw, done the shooting plane thing; but I've not clamped the sides into the vise.

I also mark up surfaces to be sanded with a pencil, and sometimes use chalk.

My daughter and I used to make paper doilies or dolls, LOL, which when unfolded will duplicate and magnify the cuts at 180 That is, if a nick or imperfection is made to the edge of the paper, both sides magnify the cut when unfolded. Maybe the pattern crops up when using wood. Maybe not.

There are times when I have better luck machining the sheets individual; then sometimes it works with them stacked. I think another key is to have the show sides facing inside the packet. I mostly use 80 grit too.

sequoia
03-04-2017, 08:44 PM
I think you may have something, Sequoia. It's the vise. I've done the adhesive sandpaper on my aluminum level, stuck the adhesive sandpaper on my table saw, done the shooting plane thing; but I've not clamped the sides into the vise.

Actually the key is the spring clamps and not necessarily the vise. The spring clamps lock the plates together and immobilizes them and the vise is just used to hold the work so you can get at it. The plates are already clamped. Don't try to use the vise to align the edges or else you are gonna get a headache. To align the edges I put them on a piece of flat melamine and then clamp them tight with super strong metal spring clamps. The plastic ones are not strong enough. Interestingly the plates don't need to be at a perfect 90 degrees although it helps. Approximate by eye is good enough. Any edge standing slightly proud is sanded off so who cares. A ridiculously simple and effective method. If I was a real luthier I could make hundreds of perfect plate butt joints in a day using this method.

Oh and also I use the ridiculously simple and effective "tape method" of gluing the plates together. No elaborate plate gluing jigs and other nonsense needed. I really think people over think this step.

Kekani
03-04-2017, 10:06 PM
Ditto on the router. best way ever for me, thanks Chuck
Oddly enough, right after I setup to do Chuck router with the up/down spiral bit, I redid my 60 year old 6" jointer, and set it up properly with a straight edge, jointer pal, and dial indicator.

Truth be told, I use my jointer to joint everything now, and haven't had to break out the router. Not everyone has a jointer I guess. I may hit it with some 80 grit stuck to my granite top (in my shop), depending on the joint. Don't get me wrong - Chuck's method is bad ass; I'm just lazy, and figured since I finally took the time to do my jointer right, I may as well use it - it's right there already setup. . .

One trick that I read about for jointing figured woods is to wet the wood lightly before jointing. Honestly, I've never done this - I just take low, slow passes. And I've made a few Quilted Maple ukulele.

Rrgramps
03-05-2017, 06:14 AM
Welp, the OP still hasn't chimed in. Probably chuckling about how everyone's system is the best. LOL :rolleyes: Thus far, I've picked the best —— it's the system that produces reliable results for you!

ChuckBarnett
03-08-2017, 10:17 AM
Thank you all! Great ideas, and no I did not take the time to try them all. But I did come up with one that I later found in one of your replies. That was to trap sandpaper under the fence of my tablesaw and use that fence to hold the blanks vertical and work against that fence. I may yet if I build more instruments try some of these other methods. This is been really helpful. What I ended up with was some of the gouges still there but I figured that I could probably thickness down to the point where they were gone. Which is what happened. Check the photo. :-) Thanks all once again!