Volumes of timber logs (dead trees) in the Volta Lake in Ghana, that had become a dead trap for water transportation, were being extracted for utilization to increase the timber resource base. Unfortunately, their properties were not known for efficient promotion and utilization. The influence and relative significance of machine surface planing and sanding parameters in the production of good quality timber surface finish on four underwater timber species from the Volta Lake were investigated. The preparation of test specimens, testing, evaluation and grading of the tests specimens were conducted according to ASTM-D 143, 1666-87 and DIN 4768. A cutting depth of 2 mm was made constant. Wood specimens were planed and sanded at 12% moisture content and the surface qualities obtained were visually graded. Surface quality performance increased with decreasing rake angle and feed speed. Low rake angle of 15° with 6 m/min and 9 m/min feed speeds resulted in a high planing quality. The degree of magnitude of the chipped/torn grain defects decreased with decreasing rake angle and feed speed. Grit sizes of sand paper had significant effect on the surface quality of the four species. The chipped/torn grain defects observed were eliminated from all the wood species with grit size 40. High surface sanding quality was registered for all the species with grit 150.
Key words: Feed speed, planing quality, rake angle, sanding quality, surface quality.
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