Planing Help

HI all, i recently bought some beautiful 4/4 quarter sawn sycamore. the problem is i started planing it down this weekend and had massive amounts of tear out. Does anyone have any advice before i ruin this board? Thanks in advance for your help.
Mike
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Hard to tell without seeing - offer the following thoughts:
- Are you cutting into, or with, the grain? Look at the edge grain and feed so knives won't tend to lift grain.
- How deep are you cutting? Sometimes reducing to 1/32" or less will reduce this to a non-problem. Takes longer but cleaner
- Is the grain straight or kind of gnarly. If gnarly, try wiping lightly with a damp rag or sponge. Sometimes this softens the wood grain enough to be more forgiving. You'll have to wipe the bed down afterwards to remove water. Let the machine run a few seconds to sling the moisture off of the knives.
By the way are you planing with a jointer or surface planer. If jointer, feed as slowly as practical.
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Well for one i'm trying to plane with the grain but it's pretty gnarly grain. ive been taking off between a 1/32" and 1/16" at a time ill try taking less and seeing if that helps. i havent tried wiping with a damp rag but ill try that next, anything to save this beautiful piece of wood. I'm using a 12" delta planer, nothing fancy but it works for my needs so far anyway. thanks for your help and any additional help will be greatly appreciated.
Mike

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I assume that the knives are sharp? When I started having some tearout problems on my DW735, I flipped the blades and problem gone.
--
Al Reid

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Need to be sharp, especially with a quartersawn wood with abundant medullary rays. Those little brown flecks will pop if you look crosseyed at 'em.
A hand plane to finish the surface for me on stuff like that.
"A government big enough to give you everything you want... is big enough to take away everything you have."
Only if you're one of the undeserving - rich.

problems on my DW735, I flipped the blades and problem gone.
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When you said "beautiful" I wondered if it was gnarly. That's the problem with gnarly wood is the grain runs in every direction. Again, the dampness might help. You got a sharpness comment too and that is important.
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The blades i had were fairly used so i thought it might be a good idea to flip them which i did about halfway thorugh the planing process. It seemed to help some but not compleltly.

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Try a really sharp handplane, preferably a #6 or larger, with the mouth set fine.
If you don't have one, or three, now might be a good time to make friends with a Galoot woodworker. ;-)
The nastier the grain, the more the fine control of a hand tool is appreciated. After all, beauty generally comes with a price.
Patriarch
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Try planing it with the surface planer as close to final thickness as you can (meaning, leave enough so the tear-out won't go all the way down). Then use a very high-angled smoothing plane, followed by a scraper plane to get it down to final thickness and remove the tear-out.
Mike

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That would probably work great but i'm a novice woodworker and i dont have those goodies YET, maybe a good reason to buy them. Plus the boards i have are 10" wide and 12' long so that would be alot of hand planing. Thanks though
Mike
On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 17:41:25 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

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wrote:

Sharp knives, damp surface, finish it by hand. Final finish with a scraper plane.
You should have a #80 scraper holder and a stone and burnisher rod to keep it in order. If you don't have one, then buy one - they're cheap, enormously useful, and they're even cheaper off eBay. Google for sharpening and use instructions. You need that burnisher -- some people improvise their own, but at least make sure it has a handle, or you'll shred knuckles.
With a bucket of money to spend, look at a LV #112 scraper plane and/or a decent smoothing plane
--
Smert' spamionam

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It has been my experience that in spite of doing all the things others have mentioned some boards just can't be machine planed without tear out. My solution was to invest in an old beefy drum sander (Kuster). With coarse paper it will take 20 thousands per pass or a little better with no tear out. If I then switch to a fine grit the resulting surface is almost ready for finish. If you have some really nice boards see if you can find someone in your area with a drum sander or wide belt sander that will sand them down for you. Earl Creel

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This is the real benefit of a group like the Wreck. There is always one guy that is going to go outside of the obvious box. Good thought!
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