strange scratches/nicks from hand planing end grain?


I recently glued up a panel from pine boards. I decided to try smoothing the end grain with my new Veritas low angle jack plane. Did an okay job, but not as well as I hoped (probably my technique).
Anyways, when I was done I noticed a series of distinct scratches down the sole of the plane that hadn't been there before, as well as a number of nicks in my (newly honed) blade. A certain amount of foul language ensued...
Any ideas what might have caused this or how to avoid it in the future?
My current theory is an errant grain of something abrasive (sand?) embedded in the wood.
Chris
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On Tue, 08 Nov 2005 13:57:17 -0600, Chris Friesen

sand is likely.
but it's not uncommon for a new blade to take a few sharpenings before little nicks stop spontaneously appearing. weird, and I don't quite know why, but I have seen it a number of times. 3rd or 4th sharpening and it never happens again.
my best theory has to do with heat generated by the factory grinding machines.
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could there have been a staple holding the upc label in the end of one of your boards?
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Charles Spitzer wrote:

There was, but I trimmed about an inch off either end after gluing.
Chris
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On Tue, 08 Nov 2005 15:28:12 -0600, Chris Friesen

so if there was any sand imbedded in the end grain, it got there on _your_ watch. did you perhaps stand the panel up on end at some point after sawing but before planing?
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snipped-for-privacy@all.costs wrote:

Oh, it would certainly be my fault.
I don't have proper supports for working panel edges, so it was sitting on a 2x4 to keep it off the shop floor and clamped against the edge of the bench. It's entirely possible that the 2x4 wasn't as clean as it should have been.
Chris
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Chris Friesen wrote:

If the scratches are behind the blade it may indicate that something chipped the blade and that blade fragment then scored the plane.
It has been a long long time since I used a manual plane but isn't a jack plane designed for very rough removal of wood ?
I always used a smoothing plane angled at about 30 -45 degrees from the direction of stroke for planing end grain. A very fine shaving set and more a slicing movement.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The scratches run the length of the sole, and line up with the nicks in the blade.

Are you maybe thinking of a scrub plane?
As for the abilities of the jack, I guess it depends on the plane and how it's tuned. This is what I have:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pI708&cat=1,41182,52515
With the mouth closed down tight it is capable of some very nice shavings.
Chris
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wrote:

Traditionally, the jack followed the scrub and preceded the smooth. It was for "good enough" surfaces which would not be seen. It's not common to make Jack blades convex any more, so we call a plane of a certain length a jack.
You have steel in your blade, iron on the sole. Any piece of wire edge left behind is potentially a scratch, as someone reminded you, as is any foreign substance in the wood, including that bane of the hard maple industry, "mineral stain." Calcium oxalate, the stuff of kidney stones precipitates in slow flow areas like beneath branches, in injuries, &cetera. It can make some marks.
However, a betting man would go with something you picked up on the bench - from putting the plane on it - like some sandpaper grit, or the odd bit of metal. Unless you're going to wipe the plane before use all the time, get used to some wear marks.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It was a *low-angle* jack, which is a bevel-up plane with an adjustable mouth; basically an oversized block plane. My L-N (equivalent to the old Stanley #62) is capable of very fine work, and excels at end-grain work.

Ditto on the angled cut with a slicing motion.
Chuck Vance
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