Sawing, Planning, Sanding – How You Can Process Wood

    How You Can Process Wood

    In this article, you will determine which type of processing should be used and which advantages there are.

    Wood can be processed and treated in different ways. It all depends on the result you want to achieve and what type of wood it is. In this article, we will introduce three different processing techniques – sawing, planing, and grinding.


    When sawing, it is essential to distinguish between hand and machine saws, as these work differently. A hand saw is usually pulling, whereas a machine saw is more likely to be pushing. Special care is required with the circular saw, as most accidents can occur here.

    When sawing work, the problem is that tears can occur in the workpieces. This is often the case when the wood is coated (e.g. veneer). Tape on the cutting line can help hold the wood together better and prevent fraying. It is also helpful to slightly pre-score the cut with a butter knife. Another way to prevent fraying is to rub the saw blade with wax. The wax acts as a natural lubricant and ensures that the saw blade does not get stuck as often.


    With a hand saw, the number of teeth is crucial to achieving a straight cut. The more teeth there are on the saw, the finer the cut will be.

    The handsaw is easy to use. First and foremost, it’s important to get hold of them properly. The wrist must not be kinked; otherwise, it can quickly lead to signs of fatigue. The hand saw must be used very cleanly. The entire length of the saw blade is used, and only light pressure is applied at the beginning. More force is then built up in the direction of impact.


    With the jigsaw, the placement is more important. The saw blade must be able to work freely, and the workpiece must not vibrate, it must rest firmly. The saw must lie straight on the workpiece, and only light pressure may be applied. If cutouts are to be sawed, it is best to drill a hole near the cutout’s inner edge so that the cutout can then be sawed cleanly. With the right saw blade, you can also make round and curved cuts with a jigsaw. In contrast to straight cuts, the saw blade should then be as thin as possible.

    Circular saw

    When switched off, the circular saw must be positioned so that the workpiece is not yet touched. The saw should only be moved forward once it has reached full speed. With the right saw blade and a rail resting on the workpiece, a very straight cut is possible. As a rule, only straight cuts are possible, but the saw blade can also be set at an angle to cut with a miter. With the hand-held circular saw, it is possible to saw without splitting and to make straight cuts. This is primarily the case when using a table or hand-held circular saws with a guide rail.

    Safety with electric saws

    It is very important that when working with electric saws, you always concentrate fully on the cut and the work. Gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection and safety shoes should be part of the basic equipment. The workpieces to be processed should always be clamped so that they cannot suddenly knock out. The cables and their guides of the saw must be observed so that no electrical accidents can occur, for example, by sawing the cable. Long hair should be tucked away (cap, ponytail, etc.) so that it doesn’t suddenly get caught in the saw blade. The jigsaw should be disconnected from the power when changing the blade, and the saw blade must never be pointed towards the body.


    The “planing” technique is mainly used for dressing and adjusting workpiece edges. Surfaces that have been planned are smoother than sanded surfaces, but planning is still not as familiar to many craftsmen as sanding. The planer removes thin chips from the surface and makes them smoother and smoother after repeated processing – the more chips are removed, the smoother the surface becomes. However, it must be ensured that not too many chips are removed, and the workpiece becomes too thin, and that work is always carried out along the grain.

    Old, thick layers of paint can be easily removed with a plane – without any chemicals or dust. Also, the surfaces are automatically smoothed. A distinction is also made here between hand tools and electric planes. The hand plane is often more precise. It is important for both types that the knives are always as sharp as possible to achieve a perfect result.

    If you want to round off edges with the planer, the tool must be repeatedly guided over the edge at different angles until the desired rounding has been achieved. But also bevels that have been lost due to the cutting of boards can be easily restored with a plane. The result is usually clean and perfect.

    Advantage when planing

    There are no grinding marks or grooves in the wood during planing. The surface is even and smooth. Planed surfaces are more prone to soiling because planing is done with the grain, creating a dense, closed wood surface.

    An electric planer is perfect for removing paint. In contrast to the sandpaper, it does not stick due to the warming paint. With the electric plane’s help, the paint layer is removed evenly, and a smooth surface is created.


    Abrasives are available in a variety of shapes and with different materials. The most famous abrasive is, of course, sandpaper.

    Sanding is often used to prepare surfaces when renovating or painting/varnishing or to remove quirks or scratches from the wood. The goal is to create an even surface. Sanding blocks or sanding sponges are helpful here. Quirks and scratches can generally be removed more easily with an electric grinder.


    Too much pressure mustn’t be built up. This can lead to scoring in the wood.

    1. Fix the workpiece (e.g. on a workbench)
    2. Rough sanding with sandpaper with small grain size (e.g. 40-60). It must be sanded with the grain.
    3. Remove sanding dust and moisten the wood so that you can see loose wood fibers.
    4. Intermediate sanding with sandpaper with a higher grit. Now sand across the grain of the wood.
    5. Thoroughly remove dust
    6. Final sanding: the last thing is the fine sanding with a very high-grain paper.

    After sanding, the surface can be sealed again by varnishing or glazing it, for example.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *