Dealing with flame birch tear out

hello all,
I've mostly work with pine until now.
what is the secret to dealing with flame birch tear-out?
I've got a friend using his milling machine to surface some pieces for me right now and seems like everything we do causes tear-out (except maybe sanding).
I tried some water-based stain on a test piece tonight. It "furred up" on me. I let it dry then took a couple of swipes with some fine sandpaper and it was smoother again. Would an oil-based stain do the same thing?
If I set up a router/jointer, would that also cause tear-out? What about a real jointer, or a planer?
Is there a way to treat the wood after staining that will harden the soft areas?
Also, I keep seeing the term "snipe" associated with planers, and maybe even jointers. What is this?
David
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Curly woods respond best to high cutting angles - York pitch planes or scrapers - or low and skewed plane angles. Of those who use machines, some wet the surface of the wood with alcohol to soften the fiber before machining.
It's natural for wood fiber to expand with water. You've pressed some of the fiber down in processing, and now it stands back up - to be cut off with some 320. Rarely stands up much again. Most will do a fiber set after the second to final grit, wiping and letting the surface dry before sanding with the finest. Helps a lot.
Snipe is a condition caused by a tip in the board being machined, digging an image of the cutterhead into the wood. Hold the wood firmly to the table when feeding or bearing off your planer (might even lift a bit) and it shouldn't be a problem. With a jointer it's normally an off-feed table set too low.
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