Staining directly after hand-planing?

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 12-18-2012 05:09 PM 1712 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2411 days

12-18-2012 05:09 PM

Does anyone use rub-on stain directly after hand-planing without sanding?

It seems that when I do, the surface is too smooth to absorb much stain at all. Especially on pine or poplar. It seems that it needs to be roughed up with some 150 or 220 sandpaper to get a decent darker color.

Is that what I need to do, or am I doing something else wrong?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

7 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5706 posts in 2840 days

#1 posted 12-18-2012 06:26 PM

Some will tell you it is possible. I always sand at 120 and 150 regardless of whether it was hand planed, power planed, or cleaned up with a card scraper. It gives me consistent results, with no surprises when it come time for finishing. This is the main reason I do it that way. I have been burned before with tearout in QSWO from hand planing. Quartersawn oak just doesn’t hand plane like walnut or cherry. It machines well though.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4949 posts in 3987 days

#2 posted 12-18-2012 06:30 PM

Use a dye?


View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2867 days

#3 posted 12-18-2012 11:22 PM

Before sandpaper was around the plane was the last tool to touch the wood before finish. A tuned smoother will give you a surface that no sandpaper will. If you are wanting penetration a bit of sanding would not hurt.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2979 days

#4 posted 12-19-2012 12:13 AM

I rarely use sandpaper. Cannot stand the dust and mess. I read about this subject somewhere and the main point of the article was that planes cut fibers which leaves a surface that is truly open and is excellent for stain/finish to absorb into. The point made about sandpaper is that the fine dust left in the pores and fibers give the appearance of better saturation, but it does not allow the same level of saturation as a planed surface which leaves the surface almost completely dust free. My experience is that planed wood has no issues accepting finishes.

-- Mike

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2867 days

#5 posted 12-19-2012 12:23 AM

Agreed and well said.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3185 days

#6 posted 12-19-2012 12:29 AM

I agree with Mike.

-- jay,

View Mosquito's profile


9355 posts in 2319 days

#7 posted 12-19-2012 12:31 AM

I was going to respond, but then I read Mike’s response, and I don’t need to :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

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