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.
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
By the way are you planing with a jointer or surface planer. If jointer,
feed as slowly as practical.
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.
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.
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.
Try a really sharp handplane, preferably a #6 or larger, with the mouth set
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.
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.
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
On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 17:41:25 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"
Sharp knives, damp surface, finish it by hand. Final finish with a
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
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
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