1st time jointing cherry--getting tear out

Here's a newbie question:
I'm building a chest of drawers of various hardwoods in my class at the community college. All lumber is rough sawn and I'm jointing/planing it all in the shop.
Today I was jointing my 4/4 cherry stock for drawer runners. This is the first time I have worked with cherry. I was getting frustrated because of the tear out I was getting on face jointing the boards. I'm not very experienced yet on milling my own stock so sometimes figuring out grain direction is still a 50/50 proposition for me. But it would seem that I would guess right for the first half of the board but then the grain would switch direction on me and tear out the second half. Even lightening the cuts didn't completely take care of the issue.
Once I got the first face "acceptably" jointed (minor tear out that I could sand out), I put it through the planer, deathly afraid I would have the same trouble on the opposite face. With this, however, I got much better results, taking off no more than 1/32 at a time. In fact, on a couple boards, I went back and put the "jointed" face through the planer to clean off the tear out.
Is there something inherently squirrely about cherry that I don't know about? Or, more likely, is there a deficiency in my jointing technique that has never shown up on walnut and maple? Thanks for any tips.
Ian
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On 23 Oct 2004 20:46:52 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Ian Dodd) wrote:

jointer knives dull?
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Bridger:

And grain direction?
UA100
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Grain direction is a big factor. Check out what others mentioned and if that does not cure it, get a scraper and learn how to use it. You can get rid of most any tear out with them.
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote in message news:

Could be. This was the massive 12" jointer at the college wood shop. No telling what sort of abuse it takes day in and day out from students.
I just bought myself a 6" jointer and guess I should consider bringing some of my material home and working on it here to see if I get better results.
Taking the advise of other posters, I think I'll go back and clean up some faces with a light pass through the planer and also take the opportunity to learn to use a scraper (part of my plan for this project anyway).
Thanks to all who responded,
Ian
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: ............................................ sometimes : figuring out grain direction is still a 50/50 proposition for me.
On my web site you might find some help - Planing Notes - Grain.
Jeff G
--
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email: username is amgron
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I do that all the time as it gives me a smoother surface. Has to do with the speed of the knives and how fast the wood moves ( or I move the wood) through each machine. And yes, I have had chip-out on one end of a board and not the other. And not just with cherry. Cheers, JG

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Cherry can be kind of squirrely but so can lots of other woods. I found when planing cherry, it helps to wet the wood with water just prior. Softens up the fibers for cutting. Make sure your knives are sharp and take very little off at a time. Don't get frustrated with it as cherry is a nice wood to work with. Cheers, cc

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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

It's probably more that there is something inherently squirrely about school jointers, dull cutters. The cutters in a woodworking class shop probably takes more of a heavy handed beating and less maintenance then any two commercial shops put together.
That and, if you were working from rough cut boards, I'd have to guess you may have been trying to scrub off too much material in one pass. Like the planer, small cuts. 1/32" at the most and don't rush the feed. More passes but better results.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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When you run a board across the cutter head you need to be sure that the grain of the wood is not pointing into the cutterhead but rather away from it. The cutterhead turns clockwise (toward you) and if the grain is pointing into the head you will get tear out.
Also, take off no more than 1/16 per pass for best results (4 passes will get you a 1/4 inch)
Patrick
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For that matter, if 1/32" gives you improvement, do it. More passes, less frustration.

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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Ian Dodd) wrote in message

One could always try (*cough*) a hand plane?
http://www.klownhammer.org/progress/3jointing2.jpg
And if you're employing various woods, why choose cherry for the drawer runners? I'd be inclined to go with maple or birch (harder and less hassle, generally). Anyways, you got some good advice from the jointer/planer mavens. For cherry, I'd consider 1/32" to be a very heavy cut. When I go for final cleanup of a joint, my plane is set to take off a shaving just about 0.002" thick, or around 1/512".
And anudder thing - using a power jointer might not be the most efficient way to face-up rough stock, especially given the vexing grain changes in woods like cherry. If you use a jack plane, you can be more sensitive to the grain's orientation - and don't we all want to be sensitive to various orientations in this day and age - planing diagonally at times to reduce tear-out. I've found this to be the rule when working with large stock. I wouldn't consider drawer runners to be large stock... and I'm not sure I'd get all worked up over minor tear-out in some drawer runners.
Ok, dat's enough outta me.
Humbly submitted, O'Deen
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