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These weaknesses are relative; if you are planing V^-in.-thick by 3-in.-widc end grain, then a block plane will work. But most end-grain planing is on faces much larger than this, so you'll need a larger plane such as a Stanley No. 4 or or a Stanley No. 7.

The block plane's "low angle" refers to the frog. The cutting angle on a block plane may actually be higher than a bench plane, depending on the frog angle and the sharpening angle. (See drawing, previous page.) But the slight difference in angle makes little difference in performance. The variables inherent in the process of planing—sharpness of the blade, sharpening angle, strength and grip of the worker—are all profound factors in the end result, and that's what matters. We prefer to plane end grain with a No. 7 lubricated with paraffin wax.

You may wonder why the manufacturers bothered with a lower frog at all. To make a sleek jobsite tool that would fit in one hand and stow neatly in a carpenter's bag, they eschewed a cap iron and flipped the blade upside down so that its flat face sat directly on the frog. They had to lower the frog angle in order to compensate for the higher blade angle.

Ian J. Kirby and John Kelsey Woodworkers and writers

Spraying Varnish

©I enjoyed Michael Dresdner's article about varnish (AW #61). However, it did not discuss spraying techniques. Is it possible to spray varnish with an HVLP sprayer?

Rahula Chowdary Binghamton, NY

O Although varnish is formulated for brushing, you can spray it. Choose a very thick varnish, such as Red Devil Polyurethane, and reduce it 50/50 with acetone. The acetone will allow it to spray easily and will flash off very quickly.

Spray a very light "fog" coat on the entire piece, wait about 5 minutes for the solvents to flash off, then spray a very thin wet coat. The fog coat will help the wet coat hang without running.

You can also apply varnish with airless sprayers, such as the Wagner power sprayer. With these tools, there's no need to reduce the varnish. Simply spray it very thin and ignore the "orange peeP— it will come out as the varnish cures.

Michael Dresdner Industrial finishing consultant and AW contributor Puyallup, WA

WHERE TO FIND IT Vulpex Soap, a water- and mineral spirit-soluble all-purpose c leaner that won't harm finishes, is available from Conservation Support Systems, Box 91746, Santa Barbara, CA 93190. (800) 482-6299.

Rosewood hand-plane handles and totes are available from Highland Hardware, 1045 N. Highland Avenue NE. Atlanta, GA 30306, (800» 241-6748.

LEAKING DUST MASKS & FOGGING GLASSES??

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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