Planing the end grain of a pencil sized tree core

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Does anyone know if it is possible to make a flat surface on a pencil sized , 16" long piece of end grain using a hand planer? I am trying to count ver y faint tree rings on a sugar maple without using sandpaper, which clogs up the pores with saw dust. Would a hand or electric planner catch rather tha n cut, or create a rough surface when viewed under a microscope? If anyone knows of a better method then please let me know.
Here is a link to an image of what I am trying to create an even and smooth surface on:
http://www.fortedwards.org/projects/tree-no1d.jpg
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On Sat, 11 Jun 2016 20:12:01 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I would think that a stain would help see the growth rings. That's its purpose, though perhaps a woodworking stain isn't the best solution. Biologists have a number of stains they use for this sort of thing. You might try your state's extension service.
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On Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 11:24:00 PM UTC-4, krw wrote:

zed, 16" long piece of end grain using a hand planer? I am trying to count very faint tree rings on a sugar maple without using sandpaper, which clogs up the pores with saw dust. Would a hand or electric planner catch rather than cut, or create a rough surface when viewed under a microscope? If anyo ne knows of a better method then please let me know.

oth surface on:

I have used stains to help clarify the tree rings, but it is only after san ding to 1200 grit that I am able to see the rings. I only use stains if the sanding is not adequate enough which is rarely the case.
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On Sat, 11 Jun 2016 20:43:43 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

But you said you couldn't see the rings because the sanding plugged up the grain?
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On Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 5:53:39 PM UTC-4, krw wrote:

sized, 16" long piece of end grain using a hand planer? I am trying to cou nt very faint tree rings on a sugar maple without using sandpaper, which cl ogs up the pores with saw dust. Would a hand or electric planner catch rath er than cut, or create a rough surface when viewed under a microscope? If a nyone knows of a better method then please let me know.

smooth surface on:

sanding to 1200 grit that I am able to see the rings. I only use stains if the sanding is not adequate enough which is rarely the case.

For most species I can see the rings despite the saw dust. The reason I wan t to cut rather than sand is that it will save time, money, and provide a b etter image when looking at rings that are only a few cells wide. For those who might be confused here is a pictures similar to what I am trying to ac hieve: http://www.wsl.ch/medien/news/video_dendro/fotostrecke-1/Picture2.pn g http://cfile6.uf.tistory.com/image/21618D4C56826992205E1A
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On Sun, 12 Jun 2016 15:01:33 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'd think the stain would help with that (again, perhaps not wood stain).

Yes, that looks like a microtome that someone else was talking about. I haven't seen one that long.
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On Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 6:53:35 PM UTC-4, krw wrote:

:

cil sized, 16" long piece of end grain using a hand planer? I am trying to count very faint tree rings on a sugar maple without using sandpaper, which clogs up the pores with saw dust. Would a hand or electric planner catch r ather than cut, or create a rough surface when viewed under a microscope? I f anyone knows of a better method then please let me know.

nd smooth surface on:

t

er sanding to 1200 grit that I am able to see the rings. I only use stains if the sanding is not adequate enough which is rarely the case.

I used a phloroglucinol dye to distinguish the lignified wood from the non- lignified wood. Still, I need to be able to slice the core to remove the pa ins of going through all of that sandpaper.

ey, and provide a better image when looking at rings that are only a few ce lls wide. For those who might be confused here is a pictures similar to wha t I am trying to achieve: http://www.wsl.ch/medien/news/video_dendro/fotost recke-1/Picture2.png

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On Sun, 12 Jun 2016 16:38:40 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Use Granat. ;-) Seriously, how often do you do this?

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Easy to duplicate. Take two sticks and place them on either side of the work to be planed. Somehow (ok, this part isn't so easy) hold the core steady and run the plane along with the smooth parts of the plane running on the sticks. A block plane would be ideal, but a good jack plane will be of some use.
Lee Valley has a variety of planes that are well worth looking at, from the really inexpensive miniature planes to the unbelievably (until you try it) expensive ones. The most important thing is getting a sharp iron. If you can sharpen, you're all set. If not, well that's another thread or 20... I'll just say for a standard plane iron the Work Sharp is as close to "no experience but nicely sharp" as you can get.
If you actually want to save the slice, that will take a little more effort.
Puckdropper
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On Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 7:16:38 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@googlegroups.com wrote:

I have already made a vice for the core. Any recommendations on the size, price, brand, or angle of the plane? I need to be sure that the plane will cut the wood without sacrificing too much money to find out it does not work as well as sandpaper.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

I'd go with the block plane. I'd look for one with easy depth adjustments, some are hard to adjust so woodworkers use a mallet. This isn't quite as easy as getting a fine adjustment with a proper depth screw.
You can pick up planes to refurbish for around $5 or $10, or get one ready to go from Lee Valley for around $20 to $500. It might help to e- mail Lee Valley and ask which specific plane they're recommend. There's some low-angle planes that might be worth looking at. I haven't tested their return policy, but others have said it's really good.
You'll find the angle of the plane tends to set itself naturally. It's probably on the order of 20-30 degrees, but just go with whatever gives you the right feel and results.
Puckdropper
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On Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 4:36:44 PM UTC-7, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
The intended function of a low-angle block plane is to cut endgrain; it should be good for the intended task. If you use sacrificial wood jaws, a tight-mouth smooth plane (#4) ought also to work, if you hold the iron at a slight diagonal to the cut. The bed of the plane ought to ride on something other than the work, but that's what the wood surround is good for.
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It seems that I would need a 13000 grit stone to sharpen the blade which would cost me 150 dollars, totaling to about 250-300 dollars.Any ideas on another method that would involve disposable razor blades?
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On Monday, June 13, 2016 at 7:21:17 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

would cost me 150 dollars, totaling to about 250-300 dollars.Any ideas on a nother method that would involve disposable razor blades?
You don't need that fine of grit to sharpen any average/reasonable quality blade and sharpen it well enough to shave your rod. As for as grit, your l ocal auto parts store has 2000 or 3000 grit sand paper ($5), for honing an already sharpened planer blade. Securing the sand paper to a glass pane, o r a scrap piece of smooth granite, will do fine, for honing the blade.
Might want to wet (several - 10 drops of water) the sand paper, when honing .
Sonny
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On Mon, 13 Jun 2016 17:21:13 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

A grafting technique set the twig in wax use a scapel to slice at an angle, a back and forth motion is best. Take a few twigs from bushes trees and practice.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Like Sonny said, you don't need such a stone. However, let's take a look at your razor blade solution: It's the same basic setup as the plane on sticks, only you need to tape or otherwise round the surfaces that will be running on the two sticks. It's probably going to be harder to control, unless you rig up something to hold the razor blade.
You might do ok with a "chisel" style X-acto blade and a wide running surface on only one side, but X-acto blades are not stiff and will flex, which can result in poor cuts. (The chisel style blades have only a single bevel, the standard #11 blades have a double bevel. Use the bevel up.) The chisel blades that fit the most common handle will probably be too small for a diagonal cut, so look for wider blades. They'll probably require a different handle, if you decide to use it.
Be sure to wax the sticks, less surface friction will help a lot. You don't need special wax, just some candle wax will be good enough.
Puckdropper
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On 6/13/2016 7:21 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Surgical scalpel, with disposable blades ... Xacto knife in lieu thereof.
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On 12 Jun 2016 23:16:36 GMT, Puckdropper

How about a slot routed in a larger board? Maybe with a fence to keep the plane in a channel so it can (eventually) run on it's (non-cutting) edges.

I think the only problem with this whole idea is that it's a cross-grain sample and not so easy to plane. Maybe a router or maybe even a planer (with a slotted boards such as above)?
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Even glue the sample into the slot before planing? This would give it support so it wouldn't come apart. You'd then have a pretty plaque with the growth rings to hang on the wall. ;-)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Dave Picciuto got pretty good results using both sandpaper and hand plane:
https://makesomething.tv/sites/default/files/addimage/cover02_0.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK7_F4kySZU

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