Novice Hand Planer & Tearout

I wanted to try my hand at hand planes (no pun intended), so went to the borg and got a el-cheapo plane (6.5 inch buck bros, made in USA, ~$12).
Got home and tried it on a scrap piece of 2x2, and after some sharpening and adjusting could get very thin shavings off the wood.
Heres the problem - while most of the surface was satisfactorily smooth, there were portions with tear-outs, that just got worse on more planing. Is this related to the wood, sharpness of the blade, depth of the blade, or technique?
DGS-ed, but couldnt find anything that might point to what I can do to get better results...
Thanks, Irax.
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Turn the board around so you are planing in the opposite direction where you were getting tearout. Usually one direction on a given board works better than the other because of the way the grain runs.
Frank
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Try planing with the grain from the opposite end.

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Ya know, I did the exact same thing, same plane, the whole nine yards. After reading the wreck and getting REALLY GOOD ADVICE while lurking, I discovered the plane base is not flat. There is a big bow just behind the front handle. I can see 1/32" daylight when I put a straight edge across it!!!! From the cutter mouth back it is flat. I don't know whether to throw it into the "garage sale" pile or try to smooth it out. I know you get what ya pay for, and I got crap!
There is a woodworking show this weekend in Tacoma. I'm going and on my shopping list are 2 GOOD planes. Tonight I'll spend a little time on the "scary-sharp" system and see what I can do with the POS I have.
Erik Ahrens Apprentice Termite

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Before you invest any more money, it might help to review the various plane links here:
http://www.amgron.clara.net/planingpoints/planeindex.htm
Tim
ELAhrens wrote:

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Could be any or all of the above. If you are going in the wrong direction for the grain try, as suggested, turning and planing from the opposite end. If it is some squirrelly grain hold the plane at an angle to the grain then plane straight ahead. This results in a slicing action rather then a shaving action and will, most likely, solve most of the problems.
Think of it as taking a sharp knife to cut a tomato. Try to push the knife down and through the tomato will crush it. Use a slicing action and you can peel off nice thin slices.
Meanwhile you need a close throat, sharp blade, and thin cuts.
--
Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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I did the same thing (bought a POS plane from the Borg). It never worked very well. I even tried tuning it up via the FWW article/video on it. Still no good. I took it back and they refunded my money for me (how nice).
Then I took better advice from the wreck and ordered a Steve Knight wooden plane (coffin smoother). Oh my goodness!! I cannot even begin to tell you the difference. If you've got the money, give him a lookup (http://www.knight-toolworks.com ). Otherwise, maybe try a used stanley/bailey from ebay.
Good luck, Mike

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As others have noted, you can get bad tearout when planing against the grain. The problem you're experiencing could be due to changes in the grain orientation in the 2X2 you're practicing on. I've tried planing construction grade lumber and experienced the same difficulties. Just keep practicing and learning.
Cheers, Mike

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