Mike (et. al.),
I've planed cherry, red oak, birch, hard maple, and pine. I'd
definitely say that maple is a lot more difficult to plane than the
other woods. I found that I was sticking the plane alot (it would get
about half way in the stroke and stop). But after some practice I
found that either I really muscled through the stroke in which case it
worked fine, or I took the stroke a lot faster than with other woods
and slightly less pressure and that worked fine too. The shavings
didn't come out as full (width wise), so it (my knight smoother) was
probably acting more like a scraper, and I ended up making two passes
per one pass on other wood (mind you a single pass usually does it for
me, so what's two passes anyway), but the end result was the same --
smooth as glass :)
PS. I have lots of scrap maple sitting in a box waiting to be glued
up for my workbench (vises still in their boxes as well). I'm
jealous, wish mine were done. I'm just clamping a 1/2" thick piece of
oak across my miter bench (mdf torsion box on sawhorses) and planing
into it for now.
Assuming everything is set up and functioning properly, one more
thing he might want to consider is taking a hunk of paraffin (the type
you get in the grocery store for canning works fine; Gulfwax is the
stuff we get here) and making a few "scribbles" on the sole of the
plane. But be careful; the first time you take a pass, hold on tight or
you might watch the plane go flying across your workshop. :-}
Also, on the idea of pressure: For problematic woods, I usually
find that I have better results when I apply *less*, rather than more
downwards pressure. And especially if you're trying to take a fairly
substantial shaving, you'll end up sticking more if you are powering the
plane downward. If you've ever used a scrub plane, this becomes
apparent. The motion for scrubbing is a short almost "scooping" motion;
if you keep too much downward pressure, the plane just tends to bog down.
more good suggestions. I'll have to try just taking it easy and see how it
goes. I guess I should try some poplar or other hardwood to maybe get a
little easier result while I'm practicing, as well.
Try walnut. I'm trying some *soft* maple after cutting my teeth on, and
getting pretty confident with walnut. Maple is proving to be bitchy. My
board looks like crap. I'd imagine hard maple would just exacerbate all
the problems I've been having, so the wood could definitely be your
trouble. Especially if you have any board edges in a flamey area, which
are proving effing near impossible to do anything with.
Poplar is too easy for good practice. You can get away with sloppy
technique (like stripping off a perfectly formed 1/32" thick shaving with
every pass) that just ain't gonna work on a real hardwood.
Save the maple for another day, my friend.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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